“The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare ourselves with everyone else’s highlight reel.” -Steve Furtick
Thanks to Facebook we have created a world of instant gratification; making the success formula for any business person or entrepreneur look very easy. I feel like a failure at times, since I haven’t achieved anywhere near the success I would like after 2.5 years of hard work in building a new marketing business. I get sucked into the vortex of Facebook videos all the time; the catchy click-bait titles get me focused on strategies to grow my audience, build my list and increase my sales funnel, so as to reach my six-figure target for my online business.
The same goes for the many entrepreneurs I admire and follow. They promote their best-selling books for sale and share them on their enormous social media followings, wherein I have fallen into the trap of thinking this has all been an easy passage to success. I’ve compared my experiences with theirs, so there is a good reason why I feel deflated, as I wonder why it’s not happening to me, despite my hard work and effort.
Because it’s all a lie.
The success formula doesn’t come without a struggle.
It only looks easy from this lens, but that’s not the whole story.
But my attitude shifted with the incredibly moving keynote address from Vanessa Van Edwards at this year’s World Domination Summit in Portland. It was my fourth year at the conference, and I always take away something meaningful from the incredible inspirational speakers and meetups from WDS every year. It is where Troy and I connect with a robust community of new people that change our lives or listen to empowering talks that are usually just the right medicine for me during my difficult times.
Vanessa Van Edwards is a behavioral investigator and best-selling author of Captivate: Use Science to Succeed with People. Her speech on the main stage was fascinating because it had little to do with the topic of her book and EVERYTHING to do with the state of mind and energy in getting the success formula as an entrepreneur. It was putting in hard work, overcoming failures and dealing with her own fears that got her to where she is today.
The Success Formula is years of hard work and rejection.
Vanessa compared her journey to a visual of a beautiful swan swimming effortlessly in a pond. What you don’t see is that the swan is not swimming effortlessly at all. Under the water, the swan’s legs are fluttering around to stay afloat like mad. The same goes for successful people I admire, follow and sometimes envy. We don’t see the behind-the-scenes sweat equity that took them to get to where they are today. Vanessa had three books that failed, which plagued her with shame and despair. It took enormous courage to push through her fear of rejection before she got back up again and wrote another book.
Vanessa shared the seven years of hard work it took to get to where she is today. She wrote over 2,000 blog posts, created over 400 YouTube videos and years of hard work to grow her social media following. It took 10 years to build her Twitter audience to 25K followers and a full-time staffer to manage it! That isn’t instant success by any stretch. That comment gave me pause to take a breath and appreciate my new business journey thus far of just 2.5 years.
Vanessa also pointed out that it takes time not only for an audience to understand you but also for you to know yourself. Finding your voice is a journey, wherein you are able to resonate with people and allow you to identify your calling within you.
We also get in the way of ourselves, no thanks to FEAR and SHAME.
Vanessa also shared that we all handle fear differently. It is up to us to fight past it and keep on going. She shared this video from the New York Times. In this study, people were paid to jump off a high-dive tower, and they filmed the reaction of how each of them handled the situation of jumping off a high tower into a pool below. Some of the jumpers handled this stressful situation by psyching themselves out, others just gave up and climbed down the stairs.
We all have a tower, an obstacle that can stop us from going further to attack an obstacle head on.
My experience on the tower? I have good and bad days. Some days I psych myself out and I am empowered to do anything, other days I have feelings of “I’m not good enough or smart enough” but eventually I do jump off that tower and the little steps that I have taken and replay in my head prove my journey is on the right path. (The 5-minute journal is the best for this!)
Thank you, Vanessa, for your honest, transparent and resonating speech, now I have to get back to creating, and building my dream business!
What has inspired you to keep on going and building your business or career success?
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