Have you ever been to a 6 year old’s soccer game?
If you have had this experience, you likely saw kids running in different directions, some chasing the ball, others running away from it, and a few either chatting on the sidelines or running in some random direction. At my niece’s recent soccer game, I watched expectantly as she ran with the other kids for a while in some type of formation that wasn’t exactly the right direction, then proceeded to do a cartwheel in the middle of the field, and spent at least two minutes chasing a butterfly that happened to be near her.
Not exactly a game-winning strategy, but guess what her personal experience was? She was happy, excited, and really thought she played a great game. Now, I’m not of the mindset that all kids should get a trophy just for showing up, or that we should care so much about self-esteem that we don’t strive for excellence or help kids find other areas where they may be better suited. That’s a topic for a whole other article.
The reason I tell you this story is that as kids, we were happy to JUST PLAY the game. We got out there and gave it our all, and we didn’t care what people thought about the fact that we chased a butterfly for 2 minutes, and quite possibly helped the other team score a goal. We joined the team even if we had no remarkable skills, and we were eager to get out on the field and show off to our parents and friends.
As adults, we somehow lose this confidence in what we have to offer. I speak to so many business owners who tell me that they can’t write opinion pieces because “nobody will listen to me since I don’t have a PhD, haven’t written a book, or am just starting out’. They tell me that they don’t know what value they can offer to their clients and customers in terms of written articles, resources, or advice. They tell me how they “just can’t do it” because the media hasn’t yet found or published them.
Well guess what? This is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you create great content, people will find you credible. The media will have a far greater likelihood of finding and publishing you. And that next client or customer will be far more likely to do business with you because they’ve already had a chance to see that you have something of value to offer them.
But if you continue to let the fear of “what if people don’t agree with me, or think I don’t know what I’m doing” stop you from ever creating that content, then you will never be found. Clients and Customers will assume that you don’t know what you’re doing because they don’t see any evidence that you do. And that inaction can have far greater consequences than even the most controversial of topics.
The morale of the story? Create something today and publish it. It doesn’t have to be perfect, in fact it probably never will be. But it will be the first step toward putting you in front of your next client.