Social Media Groups Make Me Sick!

In the mix of all the excitement, encouragement and ‘value’ sharing, there are scores upon scores upon scores of newbies clearly imitating one or more of the Internet rock stars they admire; others who have just quit their jobs and admittedly do not have a plan of action; some who confess to spending thousands on courses and/or businesses coaches who did not live up to their promises; others who confess their pursuit of entrepreneurship is causing their relationships to crumble; and countless more who seem to be taking the ‘fake-it-until-you-make-it’ route. What a group.

I have a confession.

When I spend time in certain groups on social media, I get nervous. Anxious. Depressed.

I see dozens of business owners, specifically internet-based business owners, celebrating their victories. They tell the rest of us how much money they made in a brief time period. They tell us that they spent days and nights worrying about their business and how they were afraid to launch. They tell us that imperfection is OK and failure is a normal part of the game. They teach us to be resilient. And for many of us, the mere presence of their success is the slither of hope we need to keep going.

I am excited for them.

And then, I see hundreds of internet-based business owners, who are either fresh out of a popular business-building course or anxiously awaiting the right time to enroll in the course that they hope will take them to the next level. They’re inspired by the success stories. They’re energized by the tales of how someone built a million dollar business in fewer than 12 months or how someone retired their spouse or how someone else was able to walk away from their soul-sucking 9–5 to pursue their passion.

They are ready to take their respective businesses — most of which seem to be built around the coach/guide/mindset/course/funnel/FB ad/copywriting/tell-you-how-to-do-it/ model — to the next level. They’ve taken their professional pictures with their smiles wide and eyes bright. They’ve learned the ins and outs of Canva or PicMonkey and are becoming whizzes at the simple DIY graphic design platforms. They’re on all the right e-mail marketing lists — Amy Porterfield, Marie Forleo, Derek Halpern, Ryan Deiss, Kimra Luna, etc. They’re learning and diving in head first to this special tribe called “Business Owner.”

It’s exhilarating.

Life changing.

Wonderful.

And, then, I get nervous.

In the mix of all the excitement, encouragement and ‘value’ sharing, there are scores upon scores upon scores of newbies clearly imitating one or more of the Internet rock stars they admire; others who have just quit their jobs and admittedly do not have a plan of action; some who confess to spending thousands on courses and/or businesses coaches who did not live up to their promises; others who confess their pursuit of entrepreneurship is causing their relationships to crumble; and countless more who seem to be taking the ‘fake-it-until-you-make-it’ route.

What a group.

I feel for my fellow entrepreneurs. I want them to be successful just as badly as they do. I love it when we all have something to celebrate. There is more than enough room for each of us to use our unique gifts. And, if entrepreneurship is the vehicle for the light that is our gift to shine, then I would love nothing more than to see those thousands and thousands of lights shine brightly.

I get nervous because I see so many people who have the capability of becoming an outstanding original become a good-enough copy. I see many who fall into the toxic comparison trap and begin to doubt themselves or their self worth. I see so many people feel the pressure to put forth the image that they’ve ‘made it’ and have everything together when behind the scenes, and away from the computer, they’re falling apart. I see those who make the huge mistake of starting a business and jumping head first into entrepreneurship without a solid plan of action. I see many who think that if they just run enough Facebook ads, targeted to the right audience, they’ll make $1 million in four months. (Yes, I know it’s possible.)

I have been building my ‘brick-and-mortar’ public relations, marketing and brand development business for more than five years. Full disclosure: I, too, have developed an online personal brand development course for new entrepreneurs who are ready to stand out, be bold, and really, really learn the tools to position themselves as an authority in their respective industries. I’ll admit, my online presence is paltry, maybe even laughable, to some. As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t spend a lot of time counting my likes on Facebook.

Still, I know what it is like to build a business, establish a strong brand presence and desperately want it to succeed. I know what it is like to question my sanity, my friendships, my family, and to wonder whether I made the right decision. One thing I know for sure — despite what anyone says — is that brand building, growing a successful, sustainable business, takes TIME.

It is a process.

Yet, in our microwave society, we think that success can happen overnight.

For those of us who are ‘lucky’ enough, it may seem that way. But I promise that each one of us goes through a process to obtain success.

I am reminded of one of my favorite parables. It is the Parable of the Growing Seed.

It states:

“…A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain — first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.”

A booming business is like the grain in the parable. Growth does not happen at once. It is a process that takes time to bring forth fruit. We may not always know everything that will happen to bring forth the harvest. We just have to move confidently and faithfully in knowing that our work in planting the seeds for our businesses will produce a harvest of success meant just for us.

No, it won’t happen overnight — I don’t care how many messages you receive via e-mail or on social media from marketers who promise to give you their blueprint of how they made six figures in three months.

No, it won’t happen if you fail to launch.

It will not happen if you don’t have strong systems and processes.

It will not happen if you continuously compare your success to others.

It will not happen if you don’t learn and hone in on your own unique gift — your true talent, your true value. (I can assure you that not all of us are money attraction/brand/business coaches. Wink.)

But, if you focus on planting a solid seed in stable ground and you do your part by tending to your seed, eventually, you will reap the benefits.