Welcome back to our entrepreneurial series running all month of February 2023. I’m your host, Ruthie Gray and this is The Authentic Online Marketing Podcast. Today, I’m going to get candid with you about my 5 Tips for Taking The Entrepreneurial Leap of Faith.
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A little bit of the background of my entrepreneurial journey. As some of you may know, I am writing a book this year. I’m telling you this so that I will remain accountable. Some of the ideas and background that I’m
going to share with you today is from bare-bones sketches, the very beginnings of my book.
If you read the book, when it comes out, some of this may sound familiar. This is a whole new entrepreneurial journey for me.
If you’re a writer and you’ve written a book, you’re trying to build your platform online, like Instagram. I work with a lot of writers. This is where my expertise comes in. I am both a marketing expert and an author. I have written a couple of eBooks before but this is my first real-life, hold it in your hand…book. It’s not just going to be just an ebook rather it’s going to be a real hard copy. Full-blown launch and all that. I am thankful I know how to market a book.
Authors need social media platforms
I’m excited because I already have that foundation laid as far as my platform. This is something that I advise you to have in place if you are at the beginning of writing a book and don’t have a platform yet. If you have already released a book and your platform is a little weak. Do it now. Grow that platform. Here is why…the day that I announced on Facebook, on Instagram that I was going to release a book. I got lots of positive feedback and people saying they want to read the book. That’s because I’ve spent so many years building online communities and developing my platforms. Start now building that community.
Now back to today’s topic at hand. In my own entrepreneurial journey, I have had to battle the fear of the unknown. Fearful of what people think of me and fearful of the future. Have even been known to be fearful of what my children think and say about me. In my mind, fear is a kind of force that holds me back from
achieving my goals and living my best life.
I want to overcome this fear, want to be free. If you do too, come along with me. You may think that I’ve already
arrived and that I’ve already conquered my fears. But the truth is. I’ve just faced them and powered through. How am I able to do this? Because I believe this Is where God called me to be. Not because I am a fearless person.
Recently I was interviewed by the lovely Sue Moore Donaldson for her WELCOME HEART: Living a Legacy Life Podcast. Which by the way, is a lovely podcast and very encouraging.
Sue’s question was this: what do you want your legacy to be? And I said I do not want to leave a legacy of fearfulness. I am fearful at my core. My dad was fearful at his core and my grandmother was fearful at her core. Can you see the pattern here? All three of us are basically the same personality type. We are scared. However, we are witty and we love a good laugh. We defer to the louder people and are afraid to express our opinions. Scared to draw a line in the sand. We’re afraid of confrontation. afraid to speak up, to go out, and also afraid of heights.
Breaking the legacy of “scared”
Here’s a little bit of background: My dad took a failing grade in his high school speech class because he refused to do a speech. He later became a pastor, preacher, and speaker that was only through the work of the Holy Spirit.
My grandmother, in mid-life, decided to shut down and not go out of the house. No church, no grocery store, no Christmas pageant, even starring her only grandchild yours truly.
Grandma didn’t give me the legacy of confidence to take an entrepreneurial leap. She left me with lots of things. Two of which I own proudly. One is I’m short, just like her. I used to call her grandma tippy toes because one day I came in and she was standing on a chair trying to get into a cabinet in the kitchen and so I called her grandma’s tippy toes. My own grandkids could call me that and the second is a legacy of a great sense of humor.
She also left a legacy of fear. My dad turned the tables and left a legacy of not really being confident, but overcoming fear. Fighting it back with faith. God’s confidence and Holy Spirit infusion, because this is what God asked of him.
Faith Over Fear
What if in the second half of life, we don’t give in to our fear? What if we dare to do something we’ve always wanted to do? Learn to knit, try Zumba, go skydiving, or try taking an entrepreneurial leap and build a business. And not just any business, but a business you love. This is what I set out to do, build a business. In the search for legacy because I’d already raised my kids, I started to grow my dreams. My dare, if you will. I dared!
When I answered Sue Moore Donaldson’s question about legacy, I realized so much more. I realized my dreams were rooted in God’s reality. I love my job. Engaging in marketing is basically the opposite of fear. I’m a marketing coach. Most people are afraid to promote themselves. I teach them how to do it in a way that doesn’t feel icky. Doing my own marketing in a way that doesn’t feel icky and I love it.
Marketing is showing, not telling
I know what you’re thinking. You’re asking, “Ruthie, do you really mean you love self-promo?” No, not necessarily. What I love is filling a need that people want, and speaking to their pain points. I am providing a service that they are asking for, whether they know it or not. I’m filling a need. You see, marketing is all about sharing your solution with people and getting them to invest. And by investing, even if you don’t have a product or service. Do you want
them to go somewhere and do something? Click a link to a website, read a blog post, and listen to your podcasts.
Marketing is much more than that. It’s showing not telling. Building confidence, not fear. Earning trust by being good to humans because you are a human. You want others treated as you want to be treated. Marketing doesn’t have to be a hard sell, marketing can be fun. Even the copy, even the sales pages. My mantra is… Authentic Online Marketing is so easy, your mom or Carol Brady can do it. Now that’s funny! (At least the seventies children will think it is.) Marketing can be fun. The fun comes when others realize you have the thing they’ve been searching for. Taking an entrepreneurial leap is easier when it’s fun!
A little bit more background about my legacy in regard to this community and why I’m so passionate about building communities. Believe it or not this did not come easy for me.
My dad was a pastor. Our home surrounded Christ on a daily basis. My parents ministered to others through house calls, prayers, and hospitality. Mom taught me the ABCs of Scripture when I was four. Be kind one to another. My parents were the epitome of what it means to have a church welcome committee. All two of them. They knew how to build community.
Although dad pastored several churches in his lifetime and held special meetings at other churches (see the one about me snoring in the front pew while accompanying him), his longest tenure was at a little country church in the heart of Southern West Virginia. This is where I learned the importance of cultivating community. Dad would stand at the door to grasp a hand and speak encouraging and sometimes witty words as folks mounted the concrete steps and entered the church doors. Meanwhile, mom worked the inside crowd bouncing from pew to pew exclaiming, “We missed you last week!” and connecting with people.
During all those interactions, I was the one sitting on the second row, clipping my nails or reading a book. Talk to people? No, thanks. Sit inside my little corner and answer when spoken to? Yes, please. Only thinking, don’t speak to me unless I like you.
As I said before, My dad was not an extrovert. Remember the failing grade he took in high school speech class?
Mom on the other hand was born with a purse on her arm and a phone in her hand. The woman loves people. In fact, her first love is others. Her second love is connecting with others. She is the ultimate community cultivator. I cringed every time she said, Ruthie, come meet. So-and-so. (“Seriously, I don’t need another person in my life. I have you and dad. And my best friend Mich, that’s enough.”)
Being an only child didn’t do me any favors in this area for years. Mom battled my introversion like the plague. When I was nine. Mom sent me to summer camp for a week. I did not want to go. I cried I pleaded, and I threw a fit, but I went camping and I hated it. However, she sent me right back to camp the next year and it went a little better. In fact, the year after that I was ready to go and have a good time. I had built a community. From then on, I looked forward to seeing my friends at camp.
Thankfully my mom kept pushing me out of my shell. Some will argue that you shouldn’t push your child to do things that don’t come naturally. I would argue it’s with a larger view in mind that the child’s future potential and legacy are at stake. Years later, I see the value in what she did for me that summer of my ninth year of life. It had a lasting legacy.
The secret sauce to my entrepreneurial leap
Now I build communities. Turns out, it’s the secret sauce to my business. Over the past five years, I built a
business that started out with an experiment. The experiment was a success that landed me several contracts until I transitioned into Instagram coaching. Then I transitioned into group coaching. How did I get the guts to make that entrepreneurial leap? The coach of the mastermind saw my potential And suggested it. So I went for it.
I opened a full-fledged, high-level group coaching community. How did I get the guts? By testing new ideas out within the community. Seeing what worked and hiring a long-term coach. Are you seeing a pattern here? Investment is key to advancement in business. When you invest, you commit. And if you don’t use that commitment, it hurts the pocketbook. If you do. It also hurts because it pushes you out of your comfort zone. So, where do you want to be? Stuck floundering on your own? Or, advancing out of your comfort zone.
Walking by faith
Remember when God called Abraham to get out of his country, but Abraham had no clue where he was going? That’s the 21st-century walk of faith for the Christian online business owner. Face your fear. And fight back with faith. Cultivate community. Take action and pray.
My book is going to be about how to tie together the various experiences life throws your way. There’ll be some self-help tips in there. It’s going to highlight my story. I know that it will help the midlife mom, the parent, the entrepreneur, or potential entrepreneur, or the marketer. Most definitely the believer that wants to make a difference. Leave a legacy. Take an entrepreneurial leap. Someone who may not want community, or may not even realize she needs community. I want to enlighten her that she does. She may be an introvert, just like me.
In summary. I just want to encourage you. If you are wondering what the second half of life is supposed to look like for you. If you’re a little bit lost, a little bit stuck. Thinking about daring to dream, you’re toying with different ideas. Here are five tips from someone who’s been there right in your place.
5 Tips for Taking the Entrepreneurial Leap of Faith
1. Faith over fear.
Are you in midlife? You can’t go backward. And now you don’t know what to do to go forward. My favorite verse is when Moses took the Israelites out of Egypt and they were being chased by the Egyptians. God had led them to the Red Sea. Exodus 14: 13-14 says, Moses said to the people, fear not. Stand firm and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. The Lord will fight for you and you have only to be silent. God has a way for you. He will fight for you. But you’ve got to trust him.
2. Cultivate community
Join a community, just get into some community.
3. Weave the threads of your legacy
Reflect on your past experiences. That will help point you to the next step.
4. Take the next step
Take action. Move. What is right in front of you that you could do next? I guarantee you there’s something, it might not be the option you want. But it’s there. Do it.
What does that look like? It may mean buying yarn materials for your new crochet class that you’re going to take. Maybe, you don’t know anyone in the class, but you know you want to start crocheting. It may mean buying a course or investing in a mastermind or coach. I certainly hope you will consider mine. Authentic Online Marketing School, the perfect blend of Instagram and email marketing. I cultivate community. It’s beautiful. And you’ll get. so much support so you can take your entrepreneurial leap of faith!
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Stay tuned for next week’s episode in the entrepreneurial series. It’s the last one called unlocking business growth with book marketing tips with Shelley Hitz. It’s going to be great. Until then be sure to share your message your way. Consistently. In your own authentic voice and don’t give in to fear.