Business is a little harder than usual these days.
(Obvious statement of 2020 but stick with me here).
If you’re working remotely with a spouse that’s showing a totally different side of himself on conference calls (read: you’ve just realized you’re married to the small talk KING) or kids who love to shove goldfish in your mouth or dinosaurs in your face while you work, here’s your friendly reminder that it’s not always this hard.
- Running a business is easier when you don’t have to the pressure to be the best teacher, cleaner, barber, chef, parent, spouse, AND *sucks in air* business owner.
- Focus is inevitably harder right now because the world is harder right now, and that strain often leads to stress, where the only pressure release valve (going out, being social, cooking bread) is unavailable.
- Selling is a little more uncomfortable than usual these days because we’re not sure how to show up without looking smarmy.
In times like these, it’s easy to succumb to the idea of who we think we *should* be or what we think we *ought* to be doing according to the outside world. We look on Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok for examples of what others are doing without seeing the full picture of the chaos they’re living in these days. And we look sideways to try to compare ourselves to others in our industry, gauging where they are versus where we are. None of this is healthy for our mindset, soul, or business.
In the comparison game and justification of our sales actions, we hesitate. By hitting pause or slowing down, we also start to back away from our edge. Corners smooth and we start to conform to a place that feels safer and more solid because we need that safety and solid ground in a time where nothing is certain or clear.
I’m guilty of this as much as anyone. I’ve written less, not because of my new role as full-time parent and teacher, but also because I’m afraid.
- Am I saying the right things? Or will what I’ll say will rub someone the wrong way, or unintentionally offend another person’s situation out of pure ignorance?
- Am I doing the right things? Or will what I create fall on deaf ears and *CRINGE* not help anyone, wasting everyone’s time and tarnishing my reputation?
- Are my warts showing? Or will the world look at me and think I’m not good enough?
Those are heavy thoughts for an even heavier time, so it’s no wonder we struggle. The minute we see ourselves moving toward the edge, we slingshot our way back to center. We stop. We worry. We do not pass Go.
These difficult times require us to keep our texture.
Your mindset can empower you or it can stunt you. If you’re leaning into the urge to play it safe these days, there’s validity in that. But, I argue, there’s also harm in it. By playing it safe, we stop showing up in the way people want us to show up. We hide. We cower. And ultimately, we’re less helpful.
Your voice matters — and your voice? Yeah, your voice is your texture.
It’s where your rough edges show, where your endearing qualities come to light, and where you become relatable. Your voice is what makes you unique. It’s what builds trust and makes people lean in to hear more.
If you’re worried about keeping too much texture in your marketing, remember this — speak to your audience online with the same emotional intelligence you’d use when speaking to them across the table at your favorite coffee shop. If you see them recoil a little bit, you’d walk back and clarify what you meant. If you see them lean in, you’d speak a little louder, faster, and with more enthusiasm. If you see them laugh, you’d do more to make them smile.
And in that little bit extra you give them, you also add color, patterns, and (you guessed it) texture to their lives.
That’s the kind of contagious marketing we NEED right now. Will you keep showing up to give it?
Want to feel inspired by others who are showing up authentically? Rub elbows virtually with smart entrepreneurs in The Focus-Driven Biz FREE Facebook group.