Have you ever felt, “I don’t have a large following on social media, so I guess I can’t do x, y, z…”
I hear this often from other writers and artists and, sometimes, depending on what new venture I’m about to jump into, these thoughts cross my mind as well. I try not to let this thought fester too long because it makes me sad. This thinking says that I can’t continue doing the things that I feel excited about offering to the world. This thinking says I don’t have enough within me to make it happen. That’s true. I actually don’t have enough … but that’s not the end of the story.
Don’t let your lack of followers limit you.
Everyone, even the most famous person on social media, at one point only had 2-3 followers. In time, that number grew. They probably had a lot of help along the way. You have help too. Let me share with you a quick story about my friend that may inspire YOU to seek help for your concerns. Here’s the story:
I have a good friend named Sherri. I just love her story about how she got started with her business and guess what? In writing this blog, I actually did what I am about to share with you below. But let me tell you HER story first. Sherri got into making hand-made soap as a hobby in her journey of creating various home-made products due to her son’s skin allergy. When she got into creating soaps, she gave away a few bars to others to get their feedback. Well, they LOVED it! So they started placing orders and asking her for her business card- but she didn’t have any of that. Sherri just made soap as a hobby and enjoying hearing how people loved how it felt on their skin. Sherri always made connections with other people. She knew that her younger niece graduated from business school and wanted to pursue her love of marketing. Then in an effort by her niece to get input in creating a better hair care product, her niece asks, “What are you going to do with your soaps? What if we partner…?” Together they worked out all the details launching the business just last year with Sherri’s products of soaps and other items powered by her niece’s skill in designing, creating, and maintaining the brand and running the business.
The help each one needed was right there, within their own family!
Sherri needed help with a website, business card, brand name, and all the business side of things whereas her niece was looking for quality products. Now they run a business called Urban Curl found here https://myurbancurl.com/. Everything they needed they actually already had, within their own family relationship! But, it wasn’t until they reached out for help that things started to come together. I think that is so beautiful.
This is what happened to me today:
As I typed out this blogpost, inspired by a conversation in a writing group, I reach out to my friend Sherri via text. We hadn’t talked in a while because I’m busy going to school full time in seminary. When she responded, I called her to tell her I that talked about her today and was blogging about it right now!! She laughed. Then as I shared with her what happened, I went and did it. I did the thing that I’m writing to you about RIGHT NOW. I took a risk and asked her, would YOU be willing to go LIVE with me on video TODAY so we can talk about this story? “I think others can be encouraged in knowing they don’t have to give up on their dreams just because they don’t have x,y,z yet- maybe there is SOMEONE ELSE out there can help them with the part that they aren’t so excited about. You found that in your niece, and I’d love to share your story with others on video.” She agreed. So you know what I did?? I RAN and found my tripod and we made it happen! We went live on my Instagram page. I took a chance and asked my friend the question- I asked her what I wanted from her (needed)- even though I knew she just picked up her daughter from school and I didn’t really want to impose on her schedule, but I thought it would be such a great video! So I asked! I presented the offer. She’s a grown woman, she can say NO if it didn’t work for her! I knew that by sharing her story with the world, she would be supporting me as her friend, but also I believed it could also support her too because it could lead others to get to know about her business, UrbanCurl. Of course she could have said no and I could have not asked the question…but I thought it would be exciting to try since we still clicked, even though we hadn’t talked to one another in a while.
So, what about you? You’re reading this because you feel like or maybe heard from someone who ‘made it’ tell you that you need this or that in order to move forward. Maybe you don’t have that right now. Be encouraged!! What if you could still do what makes YOU come alive by finding someone else to do the things that you can’t? What if THOSE THINGS were the things that made THEM come alive? That sounds like a WIN, WIN to me!
But how do you find these people? Where are they hiding?
What if you already have what you need, in the relationships that God has placed around you? Your family, within your friends, in the friends of friends, in the places you frequent (grocery story, fast food places, day care, schools, mail box, doctor’s office- they all have people!!), on social media…. What if you TOOK A RISK and shared with others a bit of your hopes and … ask for what you need? Perhaps there is someone within your friend circles that would love to do that thing for you. (In the IG video we recorded Sherri actually talks about how she got started and that she was nervous about sharing her stuff with others. It’s a great conversation!)
Here are some questions to brainstorm a bit:
What exactly do you need help with? Where do those people hang out (so you can pitch an idea to them to see if there might be a working fit)? Maybe you don’t know exactly what you need yet, so who do you already talk to (in-person, on the phone, at the store, online)? Could you share with them what you are doing and hoping for and ask them for ideas? Are there already people in your life that would be able to recommend someone? Perhaps you could pray about and see if God will bring someone to mind. A specific person or business may present itself or it might be someone you know or maybe it is someone you don’t yet know that you can approach with your idea. It could even be someone who has never done what you wanted done before but they are wanting to try and you both seem to work well together. Maybe it’s a student in a school learning about how to do what you’d like for them to do. Maybe it’s a younger family member near you. Maybe, just maybe, it’s even you. Yup that right, YOU. Maybe this is an area in which you didn’t think you would enjoy but once you have done the work out of necessity, you might find that you love it. I know I’ve had to learn as I go with doing all the different projects I’ve tried to do over the years. Some of it I continue to do and it gets easier and easier. Other ideas, I have let go but it has not stopped me from continuing to create and share encouraging content online, which is what this is today.
Ask people, ask God
It’s important to me to bring every part of my life to God. My hopes and my issues all are communicated to God through prayer although sometimes (many times) I get so laser focused on trying to solve my problems that I forget. But praying about and sharing my needs with God and others is the best thing for me to do. Why? Because by taking a moment to pray, I acknowledge that I can’t do it all on our own, even though I try. I submit my desires to the Lord. I ask for God’s refinement, God’s guidance, and God’s help. When I pray, I look for God to respond. It’s so encouraging to see how the Lord meets us where we are and loves us to where ever we are to go next.
In editing this blog after the recording of the video I just made with Sherri, I looked online for HOURS to figure out how to edit the sound on the video. It is SUCH A GREAT CONVERSATION but sadly, when I re-listened to it, there is an echo every time Sherri talks. I found out that’s because she is using a Bluetooth and doing that on a LIVE messes up the sound quality. OH NO!!! MAN what a bummer and this is what I mean by learning as I go! I’m still glad for the experience and maybe, just maybe, somebody out there knows someone who can edit the sound of this video, because I would love to share it broadly with the world! I actually wanted it to be my very first episode for my first podcast. I thought I’d call it “SejanaShines the light on…” Podcast but my daughter says that’s too long. Instead she suggested, “SHINEcast” which that is actually not bad. Well, we will see what happens! If you know how to help me, reach out and let me know! But I hope this helped you. I’d love to hear what stood out to you here on on the video, if you can hang in there despite the audio echo.
Now that I’ve shared these thoughts with you, I hope you feel helped and encouraged to KEEP GOING! What’s your thing? What’s your gift? Do share it with the world! Please don’t let a lack of followers- or even a lack of skill- stop you! Look at me! HAHA. We are each learning something new and gaining resiliency every time we try. Remember, there are others out there that specialize in doing the things we can’t or don’t! We just haven’t realized it yet. Let’s put the word out there about what we need and ask others to join us in what we are doing. Together, we can do wonders! I do believe that we are better together and I trust the Lord to make it known when the time is right.
Lord, thank you for all these gifts, talents, and desires you put in us to use, to grow, to share with others we know and even those that we don’t know all around world! Lord, remind us when we are discouraged that we already have more than enough already in you. Show us God where we might have become focused on the wrong things and help us to refocus on You. Please put us together with others who can encourage us to keep going and to look to You. Lord we thank you for friends and for mentors that have helped us along the way. May we be a light to them as they have been to us, and even more. Thank you for your love for us oh God. Thank you so much.