and how to get there in the first place
Lately several people have asked me for help with their websites, blogging and social media. Now, I didn’t study any of these and I have none but my personal, non-commercial experience with them. I also don’t own a business or spread business cards saying that I do websites and social media. Yet, people want my help, my advice, my service.
That happens because of two things:
One: I systematically expose myself.
Not a very fun thing to do as a recently come-out introvert. It drains my energy and time for a very tiny outcome. Yet it is the people I met and whom I am following up with who are approaching and in some cases even paying me.
Two: I know what I stand for.
Another insight I gained very recently. Not that I have figured it all out, you know, the whole “My Life Purpose”, “My Calling” stuff. But I am confident enough, in fact, I can’t do otherwise but to introduce myself as a writer and freelancer.
In that way, the people I meet get me because I am talking sense straight from my heart. That makes connection much easier than for example with a person who doesn’t stand behind the business they are talking about.
Getting to that point where people start asking you for help is hard and uncomfortable, but doable and rewarding work.
Because now I get to hear things like: Oh, you blog, could you show me how to do it? Or: I need a new website, do you have any ideas? Or even: That last blog post of yours was really inspiring. (I’m not making these up, by the way. Those are things people recently said to me and it feels amazingly good!)
And I am left with only one option: Show up.
That is why I revived the blog. That is why I sleep the latest and wake up the earliest I can. That is why I force myself to produce more helpful content for my readers, why I struggle with HTML, why I almost always faint when the rains cause yet another blackout that leaves me unable to work on my laptop for several hours. That is why I, an old-fashioned soul and mobile phone dyslexic, I got a smartphone to do email and social media and reading in the Nairobi traffic jam.
If you have ever been asked for help by someone or gotten even a tiny piece of praise, then you know how good it feels, how it causes goose-bumps and makes your face flush red, how you want to hug the person who just said it, how you want to frame that sentence, however small it was, and hang it on your personal wall of fame.
To get there, do this: expose yourself.
When you got there and people are reacting, don’t stop.
Do this: Show up.
Keep the good work going.
What was the best thing somebody told you about your work? And how did you invest that statement into more work? Let me know in the comments.