We live in a world where uniqueness is promoted, but not truly accepted. I’m proud to say that in the last six years my life transformed from owning a small photography business, to founding a blog with over 7.5 million unique visitors, and then to opening two other businesses. I’m proud of the opportunities I’ve had to speak at photography industry events. I’m truly grateful for all the opportunities I’ve had to make a difference in the lives of other small creative business owners.
While I’m grateful for where I’m at now, it wasn’t where I started. There was a long journey in between. What I used to be was a kid who was so short and tiny I never fit in. When we had a roller-skating unit in PE class, I was put in the corner to roller-skate alone on carpet squares while the rest of my classmates laughed as they skated by me. When we played kickball in school I was never chosen for a team. That feeling of not being good enough was so strong that when we had an all-day kickball tournament in school, I came home crying to my mom about how awful school was going to be the next day. I knew that not only would I not get picked for a team, but that I’d be the last kid standing there – not being chosen. The teacher would have to actually individually call my name and force my inadequacies onto my other classmates who would audibly groan when I was assigned to their team. Those feelings never went away as an adult either. I constantly struggled to find a place where I could fit in. I always felt weird and different. As an adult I was offered a speaking opportunity. The company I was working with needed a photo to showcase that I was part of the event. The most professional head shots I’d had done were for my wedding photography business where I brand and market to a specific niche of nerds and photograph lots of costumed weddings. Knowing how effective consistent branding is, I had head shots done where I dressed like a fairy. I sent one in to the company and they rejected it. I got an email with the sandwich method. You’ve probably heard of it, where you sandwich a negative statement in between two positive ones. The email started out nice and sandwiched there in the middle was, “I’m not sure it’ll be the best photo for us to use for your talk.” BAM. There it was. The message that I was too different to be good enough. That message is something I’ve worked to overcome not only in life, but also in business.
Here’s what I know now. I am weird, but I’m not the only one who feels that way. What I learned was how to overcome that feeling of not being good enough and channel it into something productive that helped me and can help you too. I took all those weird things about myself and learned to use them to connect with my tribe and eventually my clients in business. My mission now is to teach other creative business owners that they are good enough. I do this by helping you learn that nobody can market you better than you. In order for you to market yourself, you need to know yourself. The branding and marketing work we’re going to do here at Rock Your Weird is one of a kind. It’s will be an exploration of what makes you unique, why you’re in business in the first place, and an actionable tool set to know exactly how to use these unique aspects of yourself in your business and branding.
There are tons of great ways to be part of Rock Your Weird. The first round of coaching starts March 23rd 2016 and you can opt for group or individual coaching. Rock Your Weird is also a huge part of an event near Denver this May where I’ll be teaching all this awesome goodness in-person if you’d like to join in!
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