The last two months have been big. I received my first "like" on Instagram, was "followed" on Pinterest (up to 10 now!), ate lunch with a well-established, kind woman who has done everything and knows everybody, and almost potty-trained my then two-year old. (After the third change of clothes in two hours while making no effort to get to a toilet, we...meaning I...decided to try again in a few weeks. So, it is shaping up to be another big month.)
Now, to some of you who are have been on social media since MySpace was the rage, getting a "like" on Instagram or a follower on Pinterest is old news. But, for someone like me who almost pukes before sharing an Instagram post or writing a tweet, these accomplishments are big deals!
This post is about celebrating successes...big and small. I read an interesting blog post several weeks ago about keeping a success journal. That idea resonated with me because those of us just starting, and especially women, only remember what did not go well, who did not email us back, and who snickered behind our backs about an idea. Those are the things we focus on, not the positive events.
As Taylor Swift would say, "Shake it off!"
This blog post celebrates several of my small successes. You are welcome to laugh at me; I don't care. More important to me is that I gain some motivation and courage from a few things that have gone well (even if by accident). I hope, in turn, you reflect on positive things happening in your life and in your business and ultimately your courage is bolstered.
Brandon Gaille Followed Me
Oh, the excitement I felt when my phone buzzed with a Pinterest notification that Brandon Gaille, from The Blog Millionaire Podcast, followed me! It was not Brandon Gaille himself that followed me; his podcast actually did. But, his picture is next to the podcast's title, lending a very personal feel.
Seriously though, I still remember exactly where I was sitting in a Cheesecake Factory in Dunwoody, GA sipping on a Coke and devouring the delicious bread when I felt the buzz of my phone. I looked down to see the Pinterest notification and immediately was on cloud nine! When my husband and sons returned to the table soon afterwards, I informed my husband of this huge accomplishment, and being my biggest fan, he congratulated me on becoming a rock star.
In my newbie thinking, this whole following thing went like this. Brandon Gaille, who has a remarkable story and a huge fan base, just followed me! He thought to himself, "That Rachel Eubanks really knows how to pick some Pins! I better follow her."
After several weeks of pondering this "following" on Pinterest, I realize it probably didn't go down as I imagined. But, this realization doesn't diminish my initial exuberance that a podcast as well-known as Gaille's followed me. Something good happened to me on Pinterest! And, I choose to focus on that!
For this girl, one "following" led to much-needed confidence!
Now that you know you are reading the blog of a Pinterest rock star, it will be no surprise to you that I also have, shall I say, an uncommon presence on Instagram.
Sadly (or fortunately for you), I can't remember as many details about my first "like" on Instagram as I do with my Pinterest experience. But what I still remember is the happiness that came over me. Someone liked what I had to say.
Honestly, I almost puked before sharing my first post on Instagram. My friend April insisted that I would enjoy Instagram more than other social media platforms; she was correct. It is my favorite, if I have to choose one.
I am not sure why I can write about insecurities and embarrassments on a blog, yet almost have a panic attack when I social media-ize. (At this time, I don't even have a Facebook page! I have a Twitter account, but it scares me to death.)
So...for someone like me who wants to build a business based on her spoken and written words, my first "like" was earth shattering. I was truly surprised that someone, besides my sister and husband, "liked" my image and my message.
I picture myself as the Cowardly Lion when he received his crown of courage from The Wizard of Oz. He instantly held his head higher and walked with a swagger. Such a small, simple gesture can really mean a lot. This experience gave me courage to make another post just 2 days later. I know...I was blowing up Instagram! :)
For this girl, one "like" led to much-needed courage.
Ate Some Lunch
Usually, eating lunch is not a huge ordeal, and on most days I would agree with this sentiment. However, on a cool day in February I found the grit to email Vicki Morris asking her for a lunch date. My brother-in-law spoke highly of Vicki and encouraged me to reach out to her. He thought talking with her would give me motivation, inspiration, and friendship.
A surprise to me, I found the courage to email her. (This giant dose of spunk was around the same time I started using Instagram. I was on fire that month!) So another lesson here, when you get some nerve...just go with it. That is what I did! I composed an email explaining how I knew of her, how impressed I was with her accomplishments, and how I would like an opportunity to take her to lunch.
Guess what?! Vicki agreed to meet me. I was shocked, excited, and anxious. Now, I was faced with actually talking with a stranger who I only knew from a recommendation and from some stalking activities on the internet. Plus, I had to make conversation for the duration of a lunch. Ugh.
We agreed on a place and time, and I called my brother-in-law for my own personal pep rally before meeting with Vicki. (Because he does a lot of networking with his job, I knew he would have some tips.) His poignant advice, "Just have fun," stuck with me. I love people, and obviously, Vicki did too since she readily agreed to eat lunch with a total stranger.
With that mantra in my head, I ate lunch with Vicki Morris. And, I did have fun...lots of it! She is a rock star. Vicki has been a stay-at-home mom, entrepreneur, musician, consultant, organizer, and the list continues. She is kind, energetic, and determined and has numerous awards proving her accomplishments. I am so glad I took my brother-in-law's suggestion to reach out to Vicki and even happier that she said yes.
In doing so, I found a fellow mom who has navigated the murky waters of entrepreneurship and motherhood, and she is still standing tall and smiling brightly.
For this girl, one "yes to lunch" led to much-needed encouragement.
Little Successes = Big Things
On paper...having someone follow you on Pinterest, receiving a like on Instagram, and eating lunch with another person...these things are insignificant.
In my mind and in my heart...the places that direct how we humans attack new, scary ventures...these events were momentous.
Each one gave me something I needed so desperately at the time.
Confidence to continue with Pinterest and other forms of social media.
Courage to put my words out there for others to read.
Encouragement to know that I am not alone in my entrepreneurial pursuits.
My Challenge To You
Reflect on the last couple of weeks or months. What things have gone well for you? Maybe you were surprised. Or maybe you put in a ton of work, and it turned out perfectly. No matter if little or big, accidental or purposeful, document your successes...the events that made you happy at the time and motivated you to continue.
On days when you seriously doubt yourself and your business, go back to admire what you have accomplished, who you have met along the way, and how you have changed.
You will be amazed.