Being visible and building a tribe are crucial to the success of your business, but there’s a knife-edge to walk — one side ego, the other invisibility. Can you hold your balance and be seen?

THERE’s a real knife-edge to walk when it comes to building your personal brand and becoming more visible. It can be really easy, or really challenging, depending on where you put your attention — and your INTENTION.

I see people fall down on this one all the time.

I see people launching their own businesses and failing (or, more accurately, giving up) because they’re afraid of stepping into the limelight in case people say they’re in ‘ego’.

These people daren’t show any confidence or pride in their achievements, because they haven’t quite grasped the line between confidence and arrogance, they’re worried about rocking the boat and they’re terrified their peers might demand to know what gives them the right to say such things, or ask who died and made them God.

Those crippling, limiting beliefs, coupled with all those crushing lines our parents used to spout — “Self praise is no praise” — leave people wearing a cloak of invisibility and wondering why the clients aren’t turning up.

Most commonly, I see therapists and complementary health practitioners falling into this camp — people who might describe themselves as being ‘heart-based’ or ‘spiritual’ as part of their work.

And then, there’s the flip side…

I also see people launching their own businesses and becoming so desperate for the limelight that they become totally blinded by the glare and lose sight of their message, morals and humanity.

All too often, when this happens, they get hooked so deeply into their own arrogance and rhetoric that they don’t notice how much their personal brand is becoming tarnished.

They think they’re skilfully moulding the PR and media machine to their own will and growing an audience off the back of their talents, yet they’ve no idea how many people are calling ‘cockwomble’ just beyond their earshot.

They think they’re skilfully moulding the PR and media machine to their own will and growing an audience off the back of their talents, yet they’ve no idea how many people are calling ‘cockwomble’ just beyond their earshot.

Growing an audience and building a tribe ARE important for the success of your business… but you absolutely have to keep it real!

So, back to that knife edge I was talking about…

If you’re clear about your intentions, know where you’re heading and everything ties into your ‘soul mission’ (for want of a better term, and to appease all those sick of hearing about ‘authenticity’), it’s pretty easy to keep your balance — in fact, it comes so naturally you’ll hardly need to spare it a second thought.

But… if you’re driven by ego and desperation, you’ll probably spend much of your time wondering why it all seems so tough.

Whether you’re lead by your head or your heart (and yes, I accept some of you will be cringing at that descriptor, but I haven’t found a better way to describe that balance yet — go with left-brain or right-brain if you’d rather, or click away now and go find someone more analytical and academic), you might have to put a bit of work in to find your balance point.

DO follow your heart, but you must remember to take your head with you. The opposite is also true.

A balance point is exactly what’s needed — yes, DO follow your heart, but you must remember to take your head with you. The opposite is also true.

If it’s all about the numbers and recognition for you, if your focus is purely on getting into the fame game, being sought after and ‘papped’ purely to fill some egotistical need and bump up your fortune for pretty much the same reason, you’re in danger of losing your balance or, at the very least, building a reputation that’s entirely the opposite of the one you desire.

Look at it this way: becoming well known and visible is nothing more than a necessary step towards your teachings/messages/services becoming more accessible to the masses.

If, however, you’re perhaps more service-led, if your soul-mission is all about creating a positive difference, if you’re more altruistic by nature, it’s all too easy to step entirely away from the concept of ‘fame’ or being noticed at all.

This is where you might do well to remember that, in order to serve more people, they need to know you exist.

Look at it this way: becoming well known and visible is nothing more than a necessary step towards your teachings/messages/services becoming more accessible to the masses.

Tapping into ‘Heart’

Even if you count being in the public eye as a necessary evil, if you can keep a tight grip on that end goal/intention, it’s possible to leverage social media and traditional media attention (TV, radio, newspapers, magazines) in order to serve more people and do the job you believe you were put here to do.

If you can summon up all that confidence, wisdom, spirituality, positivity and life experience — and hold onto a dose of humility — you can blend it all into a state of energy and confidence that will allow you to sensibly step into the spotlight in order to best fulfil your mission. Let’s call this state ‘Heart’.

It’s a bit like a game of rock, paper, scissors — ‘Heart’ cuts ego, ego blunts modesty, and modesty — if we’re not careful — can wrap ‘Heart’.

It’s a bit like a game of rock, paper, scissors — ‘Heart’ cuts ego, ego blunts modesty, and modesty — if we’re not careful — can wrap ‘Heart’.

See? There’s the balance. We need to hold onto our integrity — exercise our ‘Heart’ — without allowing fear of judgement to either tip us into ‘negative modesty’, or becoming so obsessed with the idea of ‘fame and fortune’ that we feed our ego until it becomes a modesty and ‘Heart’-consuming beast.

The truth of who you are

Before we go any further, do heed this advice: in order to hold onto ‘Heart’ and become visible and known for all the right reasons, you’ll need to absolutely hold on to the truth of who you are and get to the place where the opinions of others don’t knock you off your path.

Over the past few years, I’ve had people accuse me of being a ‘publicity whore’, had people who see me as a competitor do everything they can to sabotage my reputation and, perhaps more painful of all (though a huge, wonderful life lesson!) had those I once saw as my spiritual ‘peers’ saying I was full of ego.

Why was that such a powerful teaching? Because it allowed me to see past some of the BS we create for ourselves and understand why so many therapists and ‘lightworkers’ struggle to make a decent income and create enough repeat business to allow them to effectively serve the world as they’d like to.

It’s why so many keep their work largely secret and run themselves into the ground working a full-time job and then trying to do their ‘other’ work in the evenings and weekends, like some kind of underground, poorly-rewarded goodness network.

Clarity and confidence

When I’m presenting and in full flow — particularly if I’m working as a channel and being guided by what, for me, is ‘Spirit’ — but, for you, might be ‘The Universe’, ‘intuition’ or even ‘God’ — I present very confidently. I trust what’s coming, intuitively work with the audience and let it flow.

In the past, when I’ve presented to audiences of people who would see themselves as ‘spiritual’, they have interpreted that confidence as ego, and called me down for it.

When this first happened, I allowed it to really punch me in the gut.

Eventually , after lots of soul-searching and work with my conscience and guides, I was able to switch into a state of being really thankful for the teachings.

If ever there was a lesson in holding on to the truth of who we are, holding balance in the face of judgement, this was it.

It’s no wonder so many therapists and people doing spiritual work hold themselves back and fear being seen. This experience really highlighted the desperate need for some clarity out there about the differences between confidence and ego, judgement and discernment.

We also need to remember that ‘spiritual’ people are still just human beings like the rest of us.

If you are working with spirit, if you are a clear channel and are following your soul-mission, you absolutely SHOULD be confident in that.

As a side note, if you’re reading this as someone who sees their work as ‘spiritual’ and has been holding themselves back for fear of the ego judgement, let me say this:

If you are working with spirit, if you are a clear channel and are following your soul-mission, you absolutely SHOULD be confident in that. You trust in your spirits, don’t you? You trust in the universe? In ‘God’? In ‘Great Spirit’? Then trust in the process enough to show confidence, and trust in ‘their’ confidence in you enough to step up and be seen. How on earth are we supposed to make a difference in this world if we’re all too afraid to be visible?

Showboating’ll sink you

So what of the other side of the coin? What about those who go to desperate measures in order to claim their five minutes of fame? The ones who push others out of the way in order to get in front of the camera?

I bet you’ll know some of them. If you’re one of those who, up to now, has been hiding your light under a bushel, you’ve probably stepped back in order to let them through… or you’ve been elbowed in the nose in their eagerness to push to the front.

I once saw a firewalker get so desperate for the limelight during some TV filming that he seemed to let go of everything I’d previously seen him teach in terms of safety and sensibility and tip right over into showboating for the cameras.

The result? Well, burned feet for starters. And the production crew weren’t overly impressed. Every mention of him was cut from the final production and none of the ‘showboating’ was shown on TV either.

It just goes to show… even the most sensible individual can be dazzled by the lights and lose face in the process. There’s the danger of that knife-edge again!

Balance and value sets

Is it really possible to keep your balance?

Well, yes, I believe it is, but we have to remember our mission and we need to remember who we are, so we’re not punched too hard by the opinions of others.

We need to remember value sets. Even when we’ve done enough work to get to the truth of who we are, when we’ve made sure our self-awareness is high and that our EQ (emotional intelligence) is in harmony with our IQ, we need to remember that others will sometimes perceive us via the windows of their own world view — and we might not like what they see.

A therapist and a visibility coach walked into LinkedIn…

Quite recently, I was in a not-quite-heated discussion with a therapist on LinkedIn. I’d written about the importance of being seen — blogging, vlogging, using social media, whatever it took to build a tribe — and she disagreed with my words.

She insisted it was entirely possible to be a secret and a success at the same time, that she didn’t take any of those measures and always had a full client list. She also said that my energy was “explosive”, which she found difficult.

Here’s the thing about world views and value sets…

As far as I could see, this lady was in no way keeping herself secret. She absolutely was not being a secret and a success at the same time.

She posts and contributes regularly on LinkedIn (that’s largely how I’m aware of her), she has a website, does a bit of radio and is listed in counselling directories. She pops up straight away on Google searches and she came up as a suggestion on Facebook searches too.

In her world view, she’s managing to be fully booked whilst absolutely remaining a ‘secret’ and not publicising herself, and my ‘out and proud’ persona is sometimes a bit too much for her to handle.

In my world view, she’s very clearly not keeping herself a secret at all. She might be using different channels to promote herself, but she’s out there — and doing it all quite well — in order to have those bulging client books.

I reckon we’re pretty much singing from the same song book much of the time, but we’re looking at the lyrics from opposite sides of the hall.

Don’t just dismiss every opinion that seems contrary to your own — see if you can learn from it, see things from the opposite viewpoint, even if you don’t end up changing your mind.

Sometimes it does us good to learn from situations like this one — that’s one of the measures we can take to keep ourselves grounded and balanced; don’t just dismiss every opinion that seems contrary to your own — see if you can learn from it, see things from the opposite viewpoint, even if you don’t end up changing your mind.

It just goes to show… the channels we use to build our audience and create a tribe might be different for all of us, depending on where our potential client base hangs out and where our comfort zone lies, but that doesn’t make one right and the other wrong.

Ultimately, in order to attract clients and grow our businesses, we still need to be willing to be seen, whichever ‘publicity routes’ we choose, in order to build a name for ourselves and serve those we’re in business to support.

Remember the mission

Whenever anyone attempts to call me out for grabbing every media opportunity I can get (and to be clear, most of them come to me — it’s not like I’m out there with a pink pith helmet and oversized butterfly net trying to snare unwitting podcast interviews, guest spots on TV and radio or invitations to become a columnist!), I remember my mission.

My mission is to serve and to inspire as many people as I can.

Life hasn’t happened TO me; life has happened FOR me and, as an extension, for others.

I honestly believe that every challenge life has thrown at me — from abuse, to suicidal thoughts, to my broken back to my breakdown — has been sent to enable me to help others. Every experience has added to my toolkit, so I have not only the ‘paper’ qualifications to coach, mentor and help people ‘heal’, but life experiences to allow me to understand, empathise and demonstrate at a very real level.

Life hasn’t happened TO me; life has happened FOR me and, as an extension, for others.

So, yes, I am going to accept as many offers to be seen and heard as I can — because that’s how I can reach — and serve — more people.

Once an introvert…

It might surprise you to know that I’m naturally quite an introvert. There would have been a time when the furthest thing from my mind would have been standing on a stage and speaking to an audience, writing books, running empowerment events or leading by example to teach people in business how to be more visible.

Confidence, presence, visibility… they’re all skills that can be learned and they’re all worth learning if part of your mission in life is about helping, inspiring and motivating others.

Confidence, presence, visibility… they’re all skills that can be learned and they’re all worth learning if part of your mission in life is about helping, inspiring and motivating others.

Self-belief can be learned too; think about it… I wouldn’t be much good at coaching others to believe in themselves enough to stand up and be counted if I hadn’t first learned to believe in myself, would I?

There’s a knife-edge there too though. Remember my version of rock, paper, scissors. You need to hold onto ‘Heart’ in order to avoid toppling into ego or invisibility!

Confidence Without Ego. Tribe Without Arrogance.

Is it really possible to find that balance? To create a tribe, to have people following you, believing in you and trusting you without being caught in the ego trap?

I believe it to be absolutely possible, yes.

If you don’t believe me, though, try asking the Dalai Lama… he seems to be pretty well known and trusted, don’t you think?

Until next time,

#UnleashYourAwesome,

Taz

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