Everyone Starts at Zero

Leslie Douglas
Oct 16, 2018 · 3 min read

If you’ve started a new venture recently, you’ve probably compared yourself to others on the digital landscape. These days, whether your starting a business, trying to level up in your career, or trying to establish yourself as an industry leader, being visible and showing up online is a must.

No matter what you’re launching, you’ve probably done some research amongst your network to see what the digital landscape looks like. Maybe you’ve found yourself pining after all the likes on your friend’s Instagram feed, or counting the comments on your colleagues latest blog post, or wishing for the level of engagement on your competitors’ Facebook page. Maybe you’re watching your peers get promotions, speaking opportunities, media engagements, or new clients, wishing you had the same opportunities. Maybe you finally mustered the courage to start blogging (**raises hand**), but are afraid no one will pay attention because your audience is so small. No matter what you’re launching, remember this: Everyone starts at zero.

I’ve built a career helping brands and people show up and stand-out online, and it’s hard, and noisy as hell out there. In order to start a successful venture, you need to stand out. You need to set yourself apart from others, and give people a reason to follow you. You need to do the legwork up front, building a strategy and plan to follow moving forward, with the knowledge that not everything you plan will work out as expected.

Everyone starts at zero. What matters is that you start.

Rachel Hollis once had zero books and zero speaking engagements. Gary Vaynerchuk once had zero followers. Beyoncé once had zero members in her Beyhive. Kim Kardashian was once just cleaning Paris Hilton’s closet. Okay okay, I’m kidding, I know we’re not all trying to be a Kardashian, but you get the idea. Everyone starts at zero. What matters is that you start.

Building a business, a community, a personal brand takes time, commitment, focus, resilience, and courage. It means putting yourself out there, learning along the way, and continuously showing up. It means finding your support network. It means asking for help when you need it. It means failing fast, falling hard, picking yourself back up, and moving forward.

I work with a lot of people who are experts in their field. They’ve worked hard to build their career, and are micro-influencers within their company, organization, or personal network. They are hard workers, and are often perfectionists. They have high expectations of the people they work with, and high standards in the work they deliver. When they decide to take their message and voice online, the same expectations are there. That’s why it’s hard to start with zero followers. When you’ve spent a significant amount of time, energy, and resources building your career, it’s daunting to share your voice on a new platform, starting from zero to build an audience and community.

Fortunately, for most people, the audience is there, it’s just a matter of finding them, connecting with them, continuously showing up, and making your voice heard. I’m proud to finally have the courage to share my own voice and focus on my own personal brand as I build a community of women leaders and grow a business helping others stand out on the digital landscape. I challenge you to to do the same — show up online to take your career to the next level. Don’t wait. Just start, and keep going!

Read this on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/everyone-starts-zero-leslie-douglas/

Leslie Douglas

Written by

Digital marketing, personal branding, exec visibility. Global Marketing @Accenture | Former PR + Social Media @PwC_LLP. I want to be friends with everyone.

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