I had an epiphany today. And it couldn't have come at a better time.
Earlier this year, I decided to develop my skills and experience in coaching and training, and to make the transition from freelance practitioner to Coach & Mentor. Around the same time, I also started working with Freelance Business Coach, Emma Cossey of The Freelance Lifestyle. And it's been the best business decision I've made in some time. Not only did Emma's 1:1 coaching act as the perfect laxative to my blocked creative mind, she also introduced me to a whole new network of kick-ass experts, business people, inspirations and role models that I'd previously never heard of.
It was Emma who suggested I look up LinkedIn expert, Helen Pritchard, whose 5-day sprint revolutionised my use of LinkedIn from "I have a profiled because I think I should" to "I've triple my connections and have gained 2 pieces of work purely from connections made on LinkedIn".
It was Helen Pritchard who then introduced me to the Laws of Attraction and suggested I look up Denise Duffield Thomas. And purely through reading her book #GetRichLuckyBitch and working my way through some of her free resources, I now feel more confident in the plans I'm making and have a very different perspective to view my choices and decision from.
Then, off the back of the LinkedIn Sprint, I was also introduced to Instagram Queen, Kimba Cooper, whose 5-day Challenge I also took part in and who revolutionised my use of Instagram for my business.
And so now, as well as running our household, and my fundraising & comms agency, and launching a new strand as a coach and trainer, I now have new Instagram, LinkedIn, Manifesting, Journalling and Planning rituals to fit into my schedule.
But the benefits of making that investment of time and money into myself have paid off in the improvement and additions I'm able to offer in my work with my agency clients as well.
One big new discovery for me has been podcasts. I now listen to these every night in bed, like being read a bedtime story.
Last night, I listened to more of Denise Duffield Thomas' The Lucky Bitch Podcast and one particular episode caused me to sit upright in bed, take out my phone, and send myself a message
"You don't have to be a guru, you can be a contributor"
Since making the decision to transition into coaching and mentoring, I've struggled with one main mindset block: Imposter Syndrome - "why would anyone want to be coached by me? No-one knows who I am: They know the charities I've worked with and the things I've helped to achieve, but I don't have a profile, no-one knows me."
This mindset block / imposter syndrome was further manifested when one "Charity Sector Guru" I used my newly found LinkedIn confidence to connect with on LinkedIn, sent me a direct message offering himself and his services to MY clients - which I took as basically meaning "I've never heard of you, you can't have much useful experience to offer, so when your clients are left wanting, I can step in and provide the service you're not able to"
And it really knocked my confidence.
Listening to Denise's podcast last night was the wake-up call, slap-in-the-face I needed to get over myself, and to get over the comment from ONE person on LinkedIn, and to listen instead to the feedback I've been getting from those who I have been working with as a coach / trainer and who have been sending me their thanks for my support, my enthusiasm, my nurturing, my sharing and my expertise which they're now combining with their own knowledge and experience to achieve amazing results.
So, thank you Denise, for making me realise that there are many voices in our sector. And while they might not all be offering the same advice at the same price, there IS room within the marketplace for mine.
And that if you're looking for the "there's only one way, may way" approach of a sector guru, then I'm not for you.
But if you're looking for someone passionate, enthusiastic and non-threatening, who just wants to help others achieve great things and who will share their 20+ years of knowledge, experience and learning to help you find your own answers and your own voice - I might just be the person for you!
So, if you'd like to have a chat about how I could help you tackle whatever your current pressing charity / fundraising / comms challenge is, or if you're looking for your own version of charity mind-block laxative, click here to book a no-obligation coffee call.
In the meantime, I hope that you and yours have a fun-filled, peace-filled Christmas and New Year, and have the break you need to face the year-end challenges that await.