Overcoming Our Fear of Authenticity as an Entrepreneur
It would be so easy to jump into this article and discuss the ways in which we disconnect ourselves physically from our community by spending so much time on social media. However… I’m not going to go there…
Let’s talk about the dirtier, much less pretty side of “disconnected.”
This is the side that comes along with a door hanger, letting you know your electricity, gas or water has been shut off due to lack of payment. Its bright, neon color stands out as the paper flaps in the wind on your screen door for all the neighbors to see. And your stomach drops at first sight.
“&$^#. They got me.”
The entrepreneurial lifestyle is rougher than social media often shows. Multi-year marathons of limited sleep sessions frazzle our over-tired, over-anxious brains, causing us to make poor business decisions. The exhaustion leads to self-doubt, which in turn feeds into shiny object syndrome.
Because, you know, all the people sharing their successes on social media are fully rested with equally full bank accounts.
They must know something we don’t know, and we need to purchase their product or program so we can’t achieve the level of success they’re having.
Why didn’t it work?
You’re out TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS, and your business is where it was when you purchased the program!
But now the utilities aren’t paid.
And they’re disconnected.
My friend, if this sounds way too familiar, I understand your pain. Thank God for snow on the day the water was turned off, or I would have been forced to go to McDonalds with my $0.12. Instead, I finally got to pee in the snow, as a woman, in the privacy of my own bathroom.
Yes, you read that right.
I got to pee in the snow. My husband brought snow inside and put it in the toilet so I wouldn’t have to make a trip or go outside. And by that evening, the water was back on.
I realize we’ve been more fortunate than others who have faced disconnects. Whether it was the electric or gas, internet or water, we’ve always been able to restore our service within 24 hours.
By not giving up.
But not giving up is far different from the picture perfect entrepreneurial experiences we see flash across our screens every day on social media.
Not giving up is accompanied by gray hairs, tired under eye circles and hangnails. Not giving up comes along with hunger pains when you pay your website hosting bill and feed your kids a real meal while you settle for cereal or whatever randomness is in the cupboard. And not giving up celebrates with a HUGE scream of delight when the first up-sell is processed for… $7.
So often, however, disconnects cause disconnects. In the face of all the big successes we see on social media, we either keep quiet about our struggles or we pretend we’re more successful than we are.
Friends, hiding our struggles eliminates — or significantly decreases — the opportunity for us to connect with others who 1) share our struggle(s) and support us in the climb back out of the pit and 2) can use our knowledge and strength as inspiration to fight their own battles. So let me ask you…
Why would you want to face your battles alone, when you could have an army of supporters strengthening you mentally as you move forward?
On the Positive Productivity podcast, I share it all. I share relationship troubles and motherhood struggles. I share the financial woes and the client battles. And I share about the anxiety and depression I have experienced by disconnecting reality from who I was pretending to be on social media.
I don’t want to see you face the same.
Don’t disconnect yourself. While you may not be able to avoid the utility disconnects, there are people out there who are ready, willing and silently begging to hear your story so they know they are not alone.