I know nothing. What do I have to offer? I am not as good as any of the others. Look at them, and how well they are doing, I see their posts constantly. Not like me, struggling to make it all work. Here I am, staring out of the window of my office again, a deep sigh. Not knowing what to do next, even though I have jobs to finish. Am I even cut out for this running-your-own-business stuff? Maybe I should get a job. I’ll probably fail at this anyway, so I may as well. They’ll find out soon enough that I’m no good at this, and I don’t actually know what I’m doing. I’m a fraud, really. Does this sound familiar?
How do you find work in Spain for English speakers? Or in Italy, France, or anywhere else you are planning to move to? Unless you are retired and are bringing a healthy pension, moving abroad means figuring out how to earn money to pay for your lifestyle. Some expats are able to work remotely for their employer overseas, but many expats who move to countries where the unemployment numbers are high, start up their own small business. And why not? You are already brave, making the move abroad, so becoming an entrepreneur is really not that big a step. So what skills could you monetise as a small business abroad? (FREE download included!)
As a business coach I work with creative entrepreneurs and small businesses, to help them get more clients. Most of them have one thing in common: fear. Fear of becoming visible through marketing and getting judged for it, fear of starting, fear of failing – but also fear of tech and being a business in itself. They over-complicate things in their head, start feeling overwhelmed, and then they freeze. They think they need to have it all 100% sorted, or else they can’t call themselves a business. They look at peers and competitors, and believe that everyone else has it all well organised and they are in a mess. So they procrastinate, panic, or even give up. Is that you? Today I am telling you to chill out, and listen. It ain’t that hard, really.
Imagine opening a physical shop in your local town. You get the keys to the space, you are dead excited. But there is nothing in it. What do you need? Shelving, display units, and a counter, if you are running a retail business. Kitchen facilities and furniture, if it’s a cafe. And you need to decorate it of course. Bits and pieces, artwork on the wall, paint, wallpaper, maybe some bespoke joinery. And someone to fix the lighting. Add it all up, how much would you need to invest before the grand opening day? Thousands, probably even tens of thousands, if you include everything. Now, be honest… how much did you spend on starting up your online business?
When you start Googling the term SEO, you’ll quickly find yourself lost in a long list of websites all telling you what to do, how to do this, the newest trends in the field of SEO, and why you should hire some expensive fancy agency to improve your website for you. I mean, who wants that headache, trawling through all that? Exactly. I just want to bust that myth right here: SEO is not rocket science. It means nothing else that making sure your website contains the right keywords and phrases so that potential clients find your business in the search engine when typing in their query. So how do you start?
I had a very powerful call with my own coach not long ago. I love having those weekly calls with someone who has been in my shoes, helps me grow as a business owner, and holds me accountable. Whilst we were talking, we discovered I still had some self-limiting beliefs (like everyone does!), and she asked me where I thought these came from. I know from my own work with clients, that many of them fear judgement from family and friends. But I realised, that it was not my loved ones and dear ones who I was afraid of; but that I had other demons haunting me. Memories of people that were holding me back from stepping into my true power. Or were they?
When I first started my coaching business, I was figuring out what kind of coach I was, or wanted to be. I was new to the coaching industry, and even though I knew I had tons of marketing experience and business skills to share with my clients, I was seeking guidance on how to this coaching stuff right. “Doing it right”, in fact, became a bit of an obsession, and I looked at my peers in the industry for ideas. Of course, I made mistake number one right there: don’t think you need to be like your competitors, in order to be successful. Nope. I now know that my coaching style is very unique, and nothing like anyone else’s. I don’t offer a cookie-cutter service, and I that is my USP.
I work with many clients, who are on the edge of jumping into the scary deep end of starting their own business, or have already jumped and are now trying to swim. They dreamed for years about doing this, dabbled a bit in it as a hobby, dipped a toe into it with the odd paid job. And then the moment arrived to walk through that door, and become the free, creative business owner they desire to be. 99% of my clients will recognise themselves in this description, and all the big feelings that come with it. “I will fail”, “I won’t make enough money”, “people will think I’m stupid”, “I should just stick with my old job`’. It is normal to have those feelings, but they are not helpful. How can you break through that first wobbly phase of business?
When everyone goes left, I go right. I don’t follow the masses, never have done. If people tell me that something has to be done in a certain way, I question it. When people put restrictions on me, I rebel. Freedom is my everything, and my creative mind leads the way. I choose uniqueness over acceptable. I don’t follow trends, I have never been a groupie, I do not idolise anyone. Most people want to fit in with what is socially acceptable, are afraid to stand out and be ridiculed. I am very comfortable with being unusual. I have never given it much thought until now, as it is not something I daily study. It is who I am. But I do know that there are more beautiful, weird and unique people amongst my readers and followers, who may need some encouragement to ‘come out’ and feel supported in their weirdness. Today I give you full permission to flaunt it.
“I want to be an artist when I grow up”. Did you say this as a child? What were the reactions from your family? Were they all for it? Or did they reply with something on the lines of:”That’s great, but you’ll be poor”, or “You’d better choose a proper career like law or engineering, because you’ll never make a living our of art”. Did you do it anyway? Or did you take their advice, got yourself a ‘proper job’, became miserable, and then went back to your original desire to be an artist later in life? Whatever your situation, those early messages about being a poor artist are likely the biggest reason why you are currently not making enough money, and why you are reading his post. Let’s explore this a bit more.