Its not always easy to start a business, build a blog readership, or quit your desk job to pursue your handmade housewares line full-time. In fact, its almost always quite challenging at times. So, I started a series that tells it like it is"¦the good, the bad, and the completely "˜Girl, I cant believe you went there." Secrets to success that have been learned along the way. This is where we left off last week"¦
Let me ask you something. How do you discover the answer to a question you don't already know? Something that relates to your business that you just can't figure out on your own? Does it just magically come to you or do you have to go searching for it?
I'm guessing 9 times out of 10, you go searching for it. Right? Of course! You have to be resourceful to get the information you need when you can't figure it out on your own. That is one of the secrets to success, after all.
So where do you look? Well, the internet for starters, and maybe a friend or a colleague if you can't find what you are looking for online or in a book. But what if the person you asked knew 'the answer', but refused to share it with you? How would that make you feel?
Pretty crappy, I'd imagine. And you'd probably be left feeling a little confused and maybe even a bit hurt too.
So now, let's reverse things. What if you were the one with 'the answer' that someone was desperately searching for and you decided to stay close lipped and didn't share? What are you afraid of? Are you worried that if you share your secrets to success with someone else, they will become more successful than you?
Well, guess what?
There is plenty of room at the top and sharing your knowledge and experiences with your friends, colleagues, and clients is perfectly okay. In fact, it's recommended.
You may be a solopreneur, but you're not alone.
There is no penalty for revealing your secrets.
Build a group of friends and colleagues you can trust and swap stories often. Don't be afraid to 'give it all away'. Your friend's success will be yours as well.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying your should share your unique lavender soap recipe with a competitor, or your dress patterns with someone else who wants to sell similar items. But there is no reason why you can't share what has 'worked for you' with a peer who is just starting out or swap stories and experiences with a colleague to brainstorm a growth path for the future.
This is what successfully people do. They share their experiences with other people in the community - go back and forth with ideas and brainstorm new ones, share horror stories, give advice...
"Oh, you've been using Pinterest to build your blog readership over the last six months? Cool. Have you tried such-and-such? I've been doing _______ and it's been working for me, BUT I'm having trouble with _______. Any ideas on how I can move past that?
These are the kinds of conversations that are happening every day in the community around you. Will you join in or sit on the sidelines and watch people pass you by?
image credit: Brittni Mehlhoff for papernstitch