But WHO am I?

I have been working very hard at this business stuff.

So hard, using my time IN the business making sure that it is right, and authentic and REAL.

Then I spend (a lot of!) my time tossing around what to call myself. I’ve opted for a temporary name as the one that I want (my name) appears to have been purchased by some other Amy Madden (how dare she!)

The working IN my business is not NEARLY has hard as working ON the business, specifically what to call myself.
Working out what to call myself involves knowing WHO I AM and what I stand for, and getting that into a small set of words. Hopefully with my name intertwined into it so that people can remember me. It has meant I surely must know EVERY SINGLE detail and I have to somehow get that into my name.

Ive been agonising. I mean AGONISING.
Im driving my coach nuts. Im driving my partner NUTS. Im driving my friends NUTS.
Im googling, Im facebooking, Im searching web domain names with endless varieties.

Then I realised. I have a new Inner Critic.
Doesn’t that sting?!

It is possible to have an inner critic grow or reappear later in life, in response to a new situation.
This one is keeping me so very busy with this detail, that it has stopped me from doing the other important work that is required ON my business.
You know the stuff that will grow it into the success it deserves.

This critic is the resurgence of an old friend, I called her Silke Storyteller when I met her.
She keeps chattering on in the background like a tween, anxious to work out all the details ahead of time, so that she can avoid the catastrophe she is certain will befall us. She reminds me of all the other times that she feels I tried and failed, and is twittering about in a worried voice.

As soon as I recognised her, I called her out on her game.
I reminded Silke that her new job is to chatter on about how GREAT I am doing, and about how AWESOME the new steps are going to be. And to help me to chatter on to the listening people about how wonderful the programs I am dreaming into life are going to be.

With that conversation done, the name of my business became so much less important.
What became important was developing the next step in my business.

Its all about the journey

I had an unintended realisation the other day.

An amazing, bright, intelligent woman I know, who has dreams bigger than her boots, was agonising over allowing her image to be public in various Facebook groups she has joined. Its not that she didn’t want her image to be seen, she just struggled with whether it was okay, or enough, or …. well, you fill in the blank.

Just about every woman i know has suffered with this.

Here is how I look at it.
I’ve joined a few Facebook groups, and as I’ve gotten to know them, I’ve slowly shared more.
I’ve told myself that I took my time in order to make sure that the people in the groups weren’t crazy stalkers, and while that might be true on one level, there is a significantly more important reason I took my time in sharing.

Its that I had to feel comfortable. I wanted to make sure that I had refined me enough, and had done enough research with the group to make sure I would ‘fit in’with what I eventually chose to share.

What has happened though, I’ve observed, is that those who succeed, who win hearts and find their ‘place’, are the ones who don’t refine. They might wait, but they don’t refine.

Those are the ones who share their journey, not just the end.

When we share our journey, with its shining triumphs AND its grungy morning hair days, we allow other people to be imperfect. We allow and give permission for those among us and around us to be humanaly flawed. Beautifully humanly flawed. We allow by association, the dismissal of that mean inner voice that demands perfection.

Im certain that other people would love to see the uncertainty, humanness and growth in you. Just as they have in me. Im certain that we don’t need to be ‘there’ in order to be ‘here’.

How does this help my business you ask? How can this ‘hanging it all out there’ approach serve me in my business? Shouldn’t I be professional?

Im not saying to share all your dirty laundry. I don’t.
But I am saying, allow people to see your humanness. Allow them to participate in your growth. When people have a role, or a connection or a memory associated with you… they are far likely to remember you first when searching for a service. They are far likely to remember a human connection that they’ve made, than they are to remember a business card.

Don’t allow your inner critic to rob you of the opportunity to be the beautiful human face of your business.

You don’t have to be ‘there’ to be ‘here’.

You Might’ve noticed that there are typos…

Yep, thats what I said. There are typos’ in my website, and I am aware of them.

Why don’t I fix them up you wonder? Because I am not perfect, thats why.
I used to allow my Inner Critic – Judgemental Judy- to pick at things like typos’ in my work.  These days however, I am no longer prepared to exchange my precious time for fixing these things. These days, if there are typos’ but I’m perfectly certain I’ve communicated the message, I don’t insult myself, or you, by assuming that I must fix it, and that it must be perfect before anyone can see it. You know I’m human. I know I’m human. Humans make mistakes. Lets all move on.
There is much more fun to be had in the world.
Besides, Judgemental Judy underwent a significant employment shift a while back. She no longer applies her judgement to whether my work is perfect or not. Now she makes the call for me that inspite of the imperfections she can see, whether or not the message is still clear enough to put out there. She gives me permission to move on, or draws my attention to places where I might need to add more clarity before I can.
You see, she no longer judges me and my work as not good enough, she judges me and my work as perfectly good enough…

Let me help you to meet and befriend your inner critic.

Oh, and don’t mind the typos….