'Isn't it weird sharing yourself online like that?'.... 'Is it for people who don't have real life friends?'...... 'But that Instagram thing is just for fitness models and people with loaded husbands'....... 'It's not just for your average Joe though is it? who wants to read about some boring real life stuff?'
I've heard all the above. You see, I choose to put myself, my relationships, my family, my home & my work online but I am not most certainly not a fitness model & I'm not rolling in cash. My house isn't always tidy & my life is pretty run of the mill. At times I've really battled with my decision to be online in the way I am.
Today I wanted to share a new post with you all about me. The real me. I have been inspired to do this by my darling friend Aby. You see together we spend hours each week talking about our plans to rule the world. Ok, so ruling the world might be stretching it but we are both women on a mission and our mission shares a lot of similarities. We both love business, we both want women to feel confident that they can be in charge of their work lives, they can break the rules, they can do anything they want. If I know one thing for sure. I know that. However, we both also chat about the reasons that hold women back and not just other women. Women including us.
Back Story About three years ago now I launched a coaching business online. I was, am a business coach. I have a lengthy history with business turnaround (making businesses more profitable) and have also got a ton of experience with start up businesses (not just my own). I've run an online blog and made money from it. I've ran online challenges. Coached amazing clients and I also run a pretty profitable business that's offline.
I really wanted to make this online coaching business my 'thing'. It was going to be my way of working easily around Fred Having some work life balance and, call me silly, but also showing women some of these amazing secrets I knew. Mainly that business could be for all of us and there was nothing to be scared of. So I set up shop and I got clients but a year into it I was really falling out of love with my business. I found myself constantly second guessing myself.
I worried about my branding, so I changed it. I paid a ton of money to look professional. I secretly hated it but I wanted to make my business work. Next up were my photo's. I hated them. I told myself that the key to me being taken seriously online was to get great photo's, professionally taken and of course I couldn't just book a photographer. Oh no, I'd also need a make up artist, because I was too 'plain' and I'd have to get someone to style me, because I was far too frumpy. I'd need a location, because who takes website photo's in their half decorated house in South Wales? Oh yes, and who hires a business coach who hasn't lost any of the baby weight. No one! At least those were the messages that I told myself.
I looked around at all these amazing women, living amazing lives and getting their hair blow dried and I ran. I admit it. I didn't feel that I was good enough to be online, asking people to put their trust in me. I felt like a fraud. It didn't matter how many of my brilliant friends told me I was amazing at what I did. I didn't care how brilliantly my clients were doing after I helped them or how many people came to me as their go-to business gal. I felt like I wasn't enough. I wasn't glossy enough, successful enough, rich enough or thin enough and I took that website down. I deleted it from the Internet.
I decided to focus on my consulting work with businesses. In my head, I was not good enough to motivate and support women online but I had absolutely no problem approaching actual businesses, pitching myself to them, telling them what I charged and then helping them turn their businesses back into earning machines. (Does something sound off here to you - yeah, me too)
Early in 2017 I got the online itch once again and I decided to launch a Facebook page for Welsh Mothers. Within a month I had built this website, grown the page to epic proportions and within twelve weeks I got paid brand work. You see, I find the business stuff easy. It's the 'Me' stuff I struggled with. When people asked me 'What This Welsh Mother was about' I would clearly and confidently state that it wasn't about me! This was a community. It was a blog for Welsh Mothers. It most certainly was not about me. no one needed to see me. I didn't need a profile photo. I was going to rock this!!! Until, that is. They needed me.
You see it's really bloody difficult to connect with someone you don't know. But the This Welsh Mother community connected with Me. It was me writing on the Facebook Page. It was me writing the posts. Somehow I had slipped into the business again and all those same old fears came bubbling up. What if I just wasn't good enough to be online????
Over the year or so since I launched this site, Aby has been my sounding board for many insecurities and like close friends do, we've taken the royal p*ss out of each others fears. I can't quite believe that she, uber-super-mum-blogger would be scared of anything. I can't believe she would worry about the financial parts of her business, or how she looks (she has like a gagillion followers online!!!!!!) but she had and has the same fears as me. She can't believe that I worry about my bad hair, or the brown birth mark on my face, or the gap in my teeth. She tells me no one cares. I think she's mad. But that's what we do. Most of us. We let our fears hold us back every damn day and we've had enough of it.
We've had enough for us and for you so we did what all normal female powerhouses do. We decided to launch a campaign.
We want you to know you can do the thing. Because there is always a thing. You might want to learn french, learn to drive, start a business or start baking for fun. Who cares. I can guarantee you have a thing you are holding back from. That's the thing. You can do the thing!
We want you to know that fears are normal. But they are also pants and we can share the fears, We can laugh at the fears but we can't stop doing the thing because of the fears. OK?
We also want to make this the norm. we want the internet to be a nice, less clique-y, never scary place to be ourselves and we want you to join us...
If you are tired of feeling 'less than' for some reason - This is for you. If you spend far too long lusting after seemingly 'perfect' lives on Instagram - This is for you. If you are just sick and tired of adding a filter and want to finally feel free and be yourself - This is for you.
We want to reach as many women as possible on March 8th - International Womens Day. We need you to help us! Just post a selfie and use #saynotoshiny on any social channel and we will come and give you some love, you could even share your own This Is Me story like I have here. We'd love it if you would.
To sign up to our mission - click here
You can do this.