What's YOUR why in your business? What made you do what you do?
Everything shown in my photo here is PART of my why, but none of them was the catalyst to me getting going with personal branding photography.
So what was the catalyst? Well ...
It was a dark and stormy night (obvs) ... and my phone went ping.
I eyed it sourly. It was 4.23 am.
"Bugger off", I ordered it. It pinged again. The notification panel was full of, well, notifications.
I peered more closely. Then catapulted out of bed like the hounds of hell were scenting my rapidly congealing blood.
Sweating spinal fluid, I boggled aghast at my phone screen. "Oh god, NOOOOO ..!"
I'D GONE AND MADE MY FIRST EVER FACEBOOK BUSINESS PAGE LIVE BY ACCIDENT.
The page I'd been tweaking, over-working, and tinkering with for months because I didn't have the balls to publish it and let anyone I knew see what I was doing, was now public.
I had heaps of comments and messages from various people I knew.
"Nice page hun!" (NB: DON'T EVER EVER call me that!) "Cool - at last! Love your page!", "Brilliant! Love your photos!", "Great page, lovely!" (NB: DON'T EVER EVER call me that!) and possibly the most horrifying one of all: "Love it - have shared".
I froze. What now?
I could have just unpublished the thing instantly. But I didn't. That would have looked even worse. That would have been completely rolling over and admitting defeat.
I was appalled, but somewhere hiding under the bed there was this wavering, miniscule little spark of relief.
Nevertheless, I squirmed in a cold sweat of mortification that my online presence was now ... online, and I needed to just suck it up. Knowing it looked, quite honestly, a bit shit. Bland. Anonymous. Not ME. Knowing people would SEE me. What would they THINK?!
I'd been so scared to put myself out there for so long that this was a turning point for me. Horse on, or run away?
Well. I'm still here amn't I?
I'm maybe not the brightest, so it took a while for me to see that I am no unique little snowflake in the shitting-one's-pants-about-being-seen arena.
It took a while for me to realise that all these hundreds of comments and remarks I was hearing from other women business owners about feeling paralysed and not worthy of being truly visible meant something.
It meant that this is something I can help them with. Firstly by identifying what exactly they NEED to tell their potential customers or clients, and then giving them their own great brand photographs which not only convey those messages but which they'll also be proud to post, so their businesses are propelled forward.
I always feel like a fairy's died when I hear other women whose businesses have such a lot to offer say things like "I look shit in photos", "Why would anybody want to see me, I'm not important", "People will think I look old/haggard/ugly/fat ... No wait, I AM old/haggard/ugly/fat". It's heartbreaking.
I don't only offer photographs. I help people see women business owners like this the way they SHOULD be seen, not the way they see themselves. Which is just one of I spend a lot of time beforehand with them finding out who they are and how they need to be seen.
That's my why. I know what it feels like to be desperate to stay invisible, forgetting that if you can offer something which genuinely helps others, then you've actually got a moral duty to tell them about it.
And the funny thing is, when you stop focusing on yourself and what people out there are going to think of you, and you start concentrating on getting yourself out there to help others ... You just publish the damn Facebook page, you just write the damn Instagram post, you just put the damn photos of yourself out there so people can see who you are and what you do.
Because it's not about you any more, it's about the people you're trying to help. It's about letting them know you're there for them. It's about showing them what you can do to help them on THEIR journeys. Once you move your focus from your own fears and towards helping others conquer theirs, that's where the magic starts.
So tell me (here on IG or here on LI) ... What's YOUR why?