Once upon a time there was a woman of a certain age. Okay, it was me. I had joined a Masters swimming program, though I did not consider myself a particularly good swimmer. Still, I was committed to improving my form, and I welcomed camaraderie and coaching.
One day we worked on the backstroke while the coach held an underwater video camera. I liked the backstroke because I could keep my face out of the water. I enjoyed being able to see where I was going. And I was eager for feedback because, in spite of liking it, I didn’t have any confidence in my form. I felt clumsy.
So I swam the length of the pool, anxious for correction. And lo and behold, the coach told me, “You’re a natural. Just keep doing what you’re doing.”
Self-employment is like doing the backstroke
The same thing is true in self-employment. It’s really nice to have your head above water (earn a decent living). It’s really nice to be able to look around (know where you’re going).
But without experience and feedback, it’s hard to know if you’re doing it right. If you have what it takes to succeed. You feel clumsy and ill-suited to the business side of self-employment.
You feel out of your depth. And you could be mistaken.
You’re better suited to business than you think you are
When you come right down to it, business is about relationships and communication. The more awareness you have around relationships and communication, the better suited you are to creating a successful business.
The key is mapping what you already know to this new arena. You need a way to apply what you know to new strokes.
The real action is underwater
But before you can map what you know to business, you need to look beneath the surface.
That’s where your subconscious beliefs live. Where the way you make sense of the world shapes your reality. There below the surface are the roots of issues with being visible. With money. With power.
The good news is that, if you are reading this, you know how to work underneath the surface. You’ve probably done it in many areas of your life.
You just haven’t known how to apply that inner work to succeeding at business.
You need an outside opinion
Here’s where you need an outside opinion. An observer who can see your strengths and your blind spots. (And who can show you strengths that have been hiding in a blind spot!)
We all need a sounding board against which we can test ideas and plans. Someone (or several someones) who can be a mirror and a lamp, showing us more clearly who we are being and where we are going.
So don’t be afraid to show your strokes to others. You may find out that you’ve got talent where you least expect it.