I love new opportunities. I love opening a fresh new notebook or turning a page to a blank slate just ready to be filled in. I love the start of a new year, and making goals and plans to live it out.
But when you start a new business, or even if you’ve been in business for a few years, its so easy to get bogged down by your to-do list and everything that NEEDS to get done, let alone all the things you want to do but just can’t make a priority right now.
I discovered Tiffany Han through a podcast a few months ago, and I fell in love with everything about her business. Her blog and business are based on the idea of “Raise your hand and say yes”. She also leads a course called 100 rejection letters. While I haven’t taken her course, or even purchased her services, I have adapted her mentality into my life and my business and it has made the world of a difference.
I love the concept of 100 rejection letters because it involves putting yourself out into the world. The shocking thing is that when you ask for things, more times than not, the reply will be yes instead of no. Since starting my business, I've been very conscious of putting myself out there and stepping up to say yes to as much as I can. Over the past few months, I've learned a lot, and I wanted to share that today to encourage you to do the same.
There’s a local magazine that I've been reading for the past year and have just adored. It’s almost like the magazine was made just for me. It has content that I would include If I had a magazine, and the design looks like something I may have made myself.
This past winter I decided that I didn’t just want to sit back and watch the magazine anymore, I wanted to be involved. I reached out asking if they needed a volunteer, I was willing to pretty much do anything. They actually came back to me and said, we love your work and we want you to design some spreads in our next issue, are you interested? I was over the moon excited! But this never would have happened if I didn’t just ask.
Sometimes just asking is all it takes. Sure you can sit back and admire from afar. But if you want to be involved or contribute, you need to ask. I can’t even list all the opportunities I've had by simply asking how I could get involved. Opportunities aren’t always posted on businesses websites. Or in some cases, the opportunity doesn’t even exist until someone else brings the idea forward (aka you!).
These past few months I have also reached out to some local small businesses, asking if they want to meet up in person. Do you know how many of them said yes? All of them.
Pro tip: who can you reach out to and ask for an opportunity? Or maybe there’s someone you want to meet in person, go ahead and ask them.
Facing your fear of rejection
For me, the hardest part of putting myself into the world and asking for what I want is the fear of being rejected. I think this is something everyone struggles with and it’s just a natural part of being a human.
I love this quote from the movie “We bought a zoo”
You know, sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage. Just, literally, 20 seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.
It’s 100% true! Sometimes all you need is that 20 seconds. Sure a lot of work goes into leading up to those 20 seconds, but when it comes down to doing the thing, it’s that 20 seconds that count.
Make a list of the people that matter. These are the ones who opinions matter to you. They love you unconditionally, and not despite your failures, but because of them. When you’re feeling fearful of doing something, look at this list to remind you who really matters.
I’ve also found that reading Daring Greatly, or watching any of Brene Brown’s videos has helped a lot. It can be a scary thing as a creative to put your work into the world. She has helped tremendously with overcoming that venerability.
To me stepping up and being seen is all about:
- Reaching out to those people and businesses you adore and asking them how you can get involved.
- Showing up to networking events or get together's even when you don’t know anyone.
- Asking others to collaborate with you.
- Putting yourself out into the world even when that’s scary and vulnerable.
Because I have chosen to step up, and raise my hand and say yes, I have been able to do the following:
- Collaborate on a local magazine I have adored for the past year.
- Hired a business coach that is helping keep me accountable and reach my dreams.
- Secured two different volunteer positions (something I have been trying to do for the past year but didn’t get a chance).
What are you doing today that will help you reach your goals? Who do you want to reach out to and collaborate with?