As I really begin to embark on my SheMugs blogging journey, I think it’s important for me to tell you all a little more about myself and how I’ve gotten to where I am. I’ve worked in web development helping other people get their businesses off the ground for nearly 10 years now.
You need a new website? Let’s go!
You need some ideas about how to expand? Let’s talk!
You need to kick your old guy to the curb and get that rebranding going? Let’s get started!
I’ve spent the last 10 years of my life helping other people find their path, and it hasn’t been easy. For them or me. The thing that has been easy is my ability to see so clearly from the outside the things they need to start doing, stop doing, or tweak to build and grow their businesses.
You see, building websites for me has turned into a bit of a formula. It can be as easy as 2+2 or as complicated as (325*876) + a unicorn. And somehow, I have always figured it out. (I can’t give away all my secrets, so how to find unicorns will have to be for another day. 😉) I have always been able to reach the finish line because it’s so clear to me how to get there. I know the tips and tricks, and ways to get to the place where we can get their stuff live and for the world to see.
This business is so different from what I’m used to.
Fortunately and unfortunately all at once, SheMugs doesn’t have that same simplicity in a finish line. Now, if you’re still following me on this, it’s because it’s not so easy to be creative! I know, I know, goals and such, but it’s not about that for me when it comes to creativity. You have to start with a product that people want to buy! Sometimes the math of creativity doesn’t add up and it does all at the same time – confusing, right? I know! I always know when I reach the finish line on a website, but being creative doesn’t mean that when I get started I will know where my finish line is or when I will reach it.
Will people want what I’m offering?
Will people think it’s stupid?
Will people think it’s ugly?
Will they actually get what I’m saying?
This. Is. Terrifying.
Maybe it’s part of my personality, maybe it’s part of the business I have been working in for so long, but either way, being creative is a whole new ball game for me. Luckily, I have years of trial and error from my clients to be able to identify ways that I can build this new business for myself in a way that they haven’t, or that I didn’t have to for my web work. See, I built my web business on word of mouth referrals and long relationships with a handful of clients. I wasn’t required to put myself out there. I never had to do much marketing or client outreach. They all came to me- and it was fabulous! But SheMugs is so different, mostly in that this business isn’t like that. I have to put myself out there.
I knew if I wanted to build this baby of an idea into something more that I would have to reach out and be prepared to be critiqued in a way where 2+2 doesn’t always equal 4. I had to prepare myself for people to say what I was offering was stupid and ugly and that they didn’t want it and that they didn’t get it.
Why would anyone willingly subject themselves to that?
Putting together sayings and making designs requires me to be vulnerable, and to maybe be misunderstood. That’s what being creative is- it’s just that my brain doesn’t always work that way. I like my safe little finish lines. And I’m scared that my sassy side might turn people off. It’s a part of who I am, and a part of me that I think my friends would say they loved. It feels familiar and unfamiliar all at once. I needed to figure out how to overcome this idea of putting myself out there. So, I decided one way would be to reach out to get some feedback and some support, and just throw myself into the deep end. Brené Brown would be proud of me for even pondering this in my life.
So I started my outreach…
When I reached out to Home Business Magazine about including me in an upcoming article, I think I literally closed my eyes when I hit the send button. I was terrified! Were they going to see me as someone worthy, or look at my sassy creativity and say “who does this girl think she is?”
And you know what… I was met with not just a yes, but an enthusiastic YES! Not only did they want to feature my work, but they wanted to make it a homepage feature!
Shut. The. Front. Door.
Me? Little old me?
Little old me with some silly sassy slap-your-knee and giggle sayings on mugs?
Little old me who doesn’t-really-quite believe in herself all the time but wants other women to believe in themselves?
It was exactly the vote of confidence that I needed and a literal public declaration that people do understand me and wanted to tell my story with me! It was the most humbling, validating, exciting push to keep going that I have ever experienced.
I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to be featured in a place where other business owners go to learn about how to build their own businesses in this crazy world, full of other amazing people who are trying to make sure the world sees their own not-always-equal equations. It gives me strength, and also power to persevere. Home Business Magazine allowed me to be a part of their journey, and they are such an incredible turning point in mine.
I am really learning that I’ve got a cool thing going, and I have to keep spreading the word! I have learned that I might not have a formula, but that I am worthy and that I’m onto something. It’s unbelievably ironic that the mug I told them that every girl needs in her office is my Fearless mug because I needed to be fearless in reaching out to them. I really was speaking from the heart when I told them everyone needs it! Heck, even I needed it! As I read through the article, I can see how they are speaking to their readers, but they were talking to me, too!
In the opening paragraph Shannah says “these timeless and simple mugs will serve as a reminder that you are tough and fully capable of accomplishing all your business endeavors.” I mean – it’s true, and it’s what I believe, but I had always thought of these words as the opportunity to serve other people, and here I was, being served a dose of my own motivation! It showed me that maybe I do know what I’m doing, and every day as I continue to meet new people and reach out, I am further shown that people do want to be a part of ShemMugs. That gives me so much strength and hope.
I, too, have doubts and am scared, but I really do believe in the simple reminders around us. Sometimes we just need them from other people. I may not have all the answers, but I’m going to keep putting myself out there and spreading the word, and continue to get excited about the next sassy saying I want to put onto a mug. I don’t need a specific formula, I just need a crazy mixture of a little faith, and support, and lot less fear.
Check out this amazing, empowering, “Jessie, you too should believe in yourself” feature in Home Business Magazine here: SheMugs Empower You To Stay Fearless & Motivated Throughout Your Entrepreneurial Journey