“I don’t care what others think,” people often tell me. “It’s what I think that matters.”
But what if what you think is tainted? What if it’s misguided? What if, based on a falsehood, you broadcast your insecurity to the world? What kind of ripple effect would that have?
For one woman, it cost her credibility – and a TON of money.
Here’s the story:
Marie Forleo is a popular online marketer with a quirky sense of humor. Beautiful and sassy, she’s built her business helping others build their businesses through her down-to-earth approach.
She opens up her BSchool Marketing Program once a year and gets lots of her online marketing friends to help promote it. Since it’s expensive ($2,000) and her affiliates get half ($1,000), my inbox gets flooded with emails from all her marketing friends bestowing the benefits of BSchool.
This year, some of her biggest promoters were Laura Roeder, Derek Halpern, and Melanie Duncan, all of whom have big lists and successful online businesses like Marie. It was fun and educational seeing how the “big guns” ran their Bschool promotions.
But there were a number of less well known marketers promoting the program as well – one of whom I’d signed up to receive her ezine just a few weeks before. But as soon as I read her BSchool email, I quickly unsubscribed.
Because she didn’t promote the program. She whined about everyone else who was promoting it.
It went something like this:
I wouldn’t have signed up to promote Bschool if I’d known you had to:
*Be 30 and look like a supermodel
*Dress in designer clothes
*Have a glam squad on speed dial
*Make 7 figures already
She went on to say that she even though she was 40+ with a muffin top belly, she felt like she was doing alright in her business…until she saw everyone else who was promoting it. Then she just felt like a loser, and it was all their fault.
Laura, who didn’t have a car when she started out, and had to take the bus to see clients?
Or Melanie, who went to school full time, worked on her new business full time, and sat up until 2 or 3 in the morning, prepping materials for the next day’s work until she could hire someone to do it for her?
Because I don’t see it that way.
No, what I see is someone focusing on her own shortcomings and projecting them on to other people.
So she’s not 30 and a millionaire. So what? They started earlier and had better instructions. It doesn’t mean she can’t get there if she tries. But right now, she’s her own biggest critic. She’s standing in her own way because she’s focusing on what she doesn’t have as opposed to others in her field.
Now compare all of them to another marketer I follow, Suzanne Evans.
The first contact I had with Suzanne was through her article, “Fat, Gay, and Broke.” It’s such a Non-PC title that I just had to take a look.
“I may not be as pretty as some other marketers,” Suzanne quips, “But I get results FAST.” And she does. She went from being 6-figures in debt to making 7-figures in less than three years. These days, she’s rapidly approaching 8-figures.
“I’m twice as fat, which means I have to work twice as hard,” Suzanne says. “But that’s okay. I like to eat and I’m not afraid of hard work.”
See the difference between Suzanne and that other marketer?
Suzanne doesn’t blame anyone for anything. She owns who she is and moves on. If you don’t like her, there’s the door. There are plenty of others who do.
I think that’s why I was so quick to unsubscribe from that one woman’s ezine. Because we’re all flawed, we all have issues. To sit around and pick at them is pointless.
In fact, it can be downright dangerous.
In writing this article, I went back and looked at that woman’s blog post (name withheld) – and was SHOCKED by some of the comments. While there were a few who agreed with her, there were many more who, like me, did NOT. They were appalled that she’d vent her insecurities in such a public format, and they were unsubscribing in droves.
The ripple effect was profound. And expensive.
As my father used to say, “Now she actually has something to whine about.”
Sadly, she did it to herself.
So what’s the lesson here?
If you find yourself coming up short in comparison to others, don’t whine – even if it’s really, really tempting. Instead, think about why you’re feeling insecure. What about the other person is setting you off? Age? Money? Level of Fitness?
Fix what you can, but don’t bemoan what you can’t. Own it.
Suzanne Evans isn’t a size 6, and she wasn’t a millionaire at 30. But she’s a millionaire at 40, and there are plenty of people who hang on her every word because they want to repeat her success. Her size is irrelevant.
So is yours.
I’m more concerned about your confidence.
Quit focusing on the things that make you feel “less than” and start zeroing in on the things that make you feel “more than.”
What can you do better than anyone you know?
Write? Sing? Cook? Play tennis? What?
Remember that any time you’re feeling low.
You have a unique set of gifts. Only you can bring that combination to the table. Own it.
Then, get out there and share them. Push people to do better and go farther.
Let your gifts and confidence have a ripple effect, not your insecurities. You’ll be amazed by how success really does breed success.
Diana Pemberton-Sikes is an image consultant and author of Wardrobe Magic, an ebook that shows women how to dress well whatever their age, shape, size, or budget. Download Wardrobe Magic right here.