I’ve been sat on this post for several months – wondering if it’s too self absorbed to share or not. So now I’m sharing it so that you can tell me whether it is or not and also, how you would phrase this differently if you were expressing your thoughts on this kind of thing…..
Disclosure: this is not a post with a ‘how to’ or learning point. I am writing this post to document my learning. I’m writing for the people who are interested in what I’m learning at the moment from Frederic Laloux’s book “Reinventing Organisations” and what I want to come from this is a) more conversation about being as truthful and straightforward in presenting ourselves to clients and b) giving potenial clients another opportunity to get to know, like and trust me, before approaching me with a potential project.
This is a cathartic share and in many ways, self indulgent documentation of a lightbulb moment I’ve had today. I’m publishing this as I’m learning so much at the moment and changing and challenging myself and my thinking. I’ve been discussing it online and a few people have asked me to document it as I go along. So that’s what I’m going to do, right now, in this post….
I want to make you a promise. I won’t just shake on it with you. I’ll pinky promise. I promise that when I do get up to do a presentation or share my learning, or finally get around to doing a webinar with you, I will not:
1. Spend the first 90 minutes sharing my life story (I will not detail every step my ascent to greatness from the early days of banana packing in the holidays)
2. Show you a picture of the home I grew up in and the home I now live in (not least because the home I live in is full of toys and not that tidy a place…)
3. Share photos of the flash cars that I drive. (Mostly because I don’t have a flash car – I have my mother in law’s hand me down. I really do)
4. Brag about going to silverstone and taking 12 of my mates with me / share pictures of me at the X Factor Final in a celebs only space / share photos of my amazing second / third holiday homes that I own.
What’s got me feeling like I have to share this? I went to an event today. I knew I was going to this event for someone to sell me additional training and sharing of their insights. Heck, I was interested in paying them several thousand pounds for the additional learning opportunity. But I was not prepared to pay to listen for 90 minutes of someone’s bragging about minute details of their rise to their definition of uber success. I couldn’t handle it. So I left.
To be fair the person who was “sharing his knowledge” will likely not want me as a customer. Why? Because I’m not the right type for them. I’m working towards ownership of something that’s not measured by money – I’m working towards ownership of my life – as a great life – and for the same for the team I am part of. I’m working towards earning money for holidays where I can make memories with my children. I’m working towards having a cleaner twice a week and doing our washing and ironing AND pairing the socks, so that I can spend more time hanging out with my boys.
I’m not the right person for several other reasons. The chief one being that I’m not wanting to fit into a fully automated process and scalability model of selling our services to the world.
Today I have realised that I already have many of the skills I’m looking to develop. I’m smart enough to know what I can and can’t do – and know how and where to buy in other people who can bring the skills that I need. I also know that I have the ability to sell – sheesh, have you heard me talk about bureau direct’s stationery??? !!!! But what I don’t have, is the detached ability to manipulate, leverage and sell, sell, sell, regardless of whether you are a good fit for us or whether we can do an awesome job for you. I can’t do it.
And nor do I want to.
I’m seeing so much about automation and the ability to work less and earn gazillions whilst sipping piña coladas on a hot beach. Maybe in the future this is what I will feel like or want to be doing. I’m open to change. I know that it’s ok to change my mind on things. I’m all for learning and evolving. But right now, I’m learning the following:
1. If I buy a resource, training or package I cannot learn from it until I have actually spent the time using it
2. When I make the time to do it, I am great at teaching myself how to do things and usually find out lots of other interesting adjacent things on the way
3. I need to put myself in a place where I learn. Where I switch everything else off and learn. I’m going to work out some dates for this and go from there. And share them publicly. And moreover, I will document what I am learning from them.
It’s taken my getting up, asking family to help with childcare to take our boys to school, parking, train ticket and emergency hot chocolate purchases after wandering London lost for 20 minutes- not to mention, spending 8 hours of my day on getting there and getting back to the office, to realise this. To have this lightbulb moment. That working smart, not hard, means I need to trust my instinct and inner abilities.
I think that one of the reasons why I’ve resisted doing a course, doing webinars and selling so far, is because I couldn’t work out a way to do it with pride. The ways that I’m seeing other people do it make me cringe. Every time that I go a presentation or webinar online there’s so much scene setting – aka – bragging – about why someone is qualified to teach me about something and how they are in the right place to share their learning. Surely the fact that I’m signed up tells you that I already trust you and believe in you enough to give you my time?
For those who don’t know me, I have written two posts.
The first is a post where I tell my story – who I am, where I have come from and what I’ve done along the way. There’s no photos of me as a child, or my childhood home. Promise. Here’s the long link for folks who prefer to click on them: http://westoncomms.com/2015/03/my-story-by-liz-weston/
The second is a brag, brag, brag post. So that if you want to know why I believe myself to be qualified to take two hours of your time in a webinar and how I’ve come to think that I’m in a place where I’m really able to teach you about social media, communications and marketing , you can check it out there. Again, here’s the long link for folks who prefer to click on them: http://westoncomms.com/2015/03/brag-brag-brag/
Now, if you’ve got through this emotional expression of what’s happened to me today, and my damascene lightbulb moment, and you still want to work with us, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01223 501520 for an initial chat about how we can help you with growing communities that are truly engaged with you, your work and your stories – so much so that they can’t wait to share them with other people.