I have a confession to make.
This month, I committed to speaking up on Instagram Stories every day. I pledged to share something–not necessarily profound, not necessarily useful or valuable–just something.
I didn’t follow through.
In fact, as of the time of this recording, I’ve been hiding out for more than a week–not really publicly posting anything anywhere. What had been a consistent effort to creatively share my ideas, reflections, and stories has ground to a halt.
Today, we’re talking about all the things that keep us from speaking up–and how we can work through them.
This is far from the first time I’ve gone dark on social media. It’s the first thing to go when I start to feel overwhelmed and depressed. I’ve been fighting back a period of depression for over a year now and it’s just gotten to be too much.
There is something different about going dark this time, though.
So far, it’s only impacted social media. And, frankly, I don’t need to constantly post to social media to run my companies.
What’s really different about how I’ve kept speaking up outside of social media is that systems and routines that I’ve put in place to help me maintain a consistent practice of using my voice and sharing my ideas.
The What Works Weekly newsletter has still be going out every week.
This podcast, of course, has still been produced every week.
I’m still showing up to share and lead The What Works Network.
My businesses can surviving without social media.
They can’t survive without me speaking up.
Twelve years into this small business leadership thing and I KNOW that my mental health impacts my ability to share. But it doesn’t have to stop me in my tracks.
I can focus on systems that inspire me to share my thoughts and give me direction when I need it. I can commit to a sustainable pace for using my voice and pull back on any extra effort when it gets to be too much–without feeling bad about myself or my capacity.
Speaking up for yourself and your business is no joke.
Putting your ideas, stories, or information out there can be daunting. Any number of things might be going through your mind:
Is this really helpful? Hasn’t this already been said a million times before? What if someone yells at me? Who am I to say this? What if they think I’m weird? Is anyone paying attention at all? What if it goes viral and I get inundated with replies?
And it’s not just the head stuff that stops us!
Sometimes the challenge is finding our people and speaking directly to them. Sometimes the obstacle is finding a message that makes a connection. Sometimes it’s the logistics or the technology that throw you for a loop.
So many things can stand in the way of us speaking up for ourselves and our small businesses.
Today, I’ve got 5 stories for you. Each story is from a small business owner who identified a hurdle they had to speaking up and found what worked for them to overcome it.
You’ll hear from Pocket PhD founder Emily Crookston, photographer Janeris Marte, brand strategist Helen Tremethick, Niche Partnership Consulting founder Mary Beth Simón, and speaking coach Johanna Walker.
Before we get to their stories, I want invite you to join me inside The What Works Network.
The What Works Network is for experienced small business owners who are building stronger businesses. Each month, we work of strengthening a part of our businesses or our leadership so that we can run operations that are more sustainable, more effective, and more profitable.
Next month, we’re tackling skill-building and exploring how we level up. In December, we’re focusing on strengthening our self-leadership and hosting our 14th day-long virtual conference.
When you join The What Works Network, you’re locking in a year of top-notch, on-demand support and learning for your entrepreneurship. And you’re gaining access to a globall network of hundreds of small business owners who have been there, done that, and are still doing it every day.
To get all the details on The What Works Network and join us, go to explorewhatworks.com/network