Telling your story in your business!
Truth be told, I am not a good writer, it’s one of the reasons I don’t write more personal posts or things to just get you thinking!! BUT I decided why not work on it! So, as you might notice when you read through this, it is not a typical thing I do, get real personal or share in detail my STORY! I come out the gate all the time telling myself “YOU CANT TALK” about that “IT’S STUPID, YOU MUST ALWAYS TEACH SOMETHING”! No, No I don’t! I came to that realization! I already knew it but I didn’t understand it really! At least not in the perspective that I needed to fully get why I (we) should and need to tell our story! I am going to get to that part! I bet you already scrolled this blog post and you are already like, that’s a lot to read. Yes, Yes it is! BUT I wanted to put this out in the internet for someone who needs to read this!
So let’s start this blog post off with a big WOW! And Why I believe you should be sharing your story as an influencer and entrepreneur!
YES! Wow! That is all I can say! Wondering what I am so WOW’ed about! Well friends… My husband and I departed this past Wednesday evening to attend Rise Business Conference! And holy goodness it was amazing! It was so amazing that I came home with a new fire lit! Intentional intentions! And for those of y’all who happen to not be following me on Facebook (you can go follow along here) You might have missed the post I shared (yes, it is pretty much like reading 2 chapters of a book read it here) but it was necessary for me to do it!
Today I want to BLOG POST something for you! For the past few years I have been showing up daily! Back when I had my booth biz, and then in my store front and still today I am showing up consistently! BUT, I had to take a look back at HOW I was showing up! My heart has always been in everything I do, every post and every video! AND yes in every LET ME SELL YOU THIS post too and if you really know me my heart is in all my “PINTEREST” obsessed posts asking you all the questions! BUT (there are so many but’s happening right now) I was showing up with what I thought I needed to do! I was serving ME as if I were my customer, reader or buyer! And while that is a great strategy to start I had to look at my comfort level of how I was showing up! I always focused on the THING, look at this, pay attention to this and it was about the thing I was doing, showing or sharing rather than the PEOPLE!
I promise you that I did focus on the people, but it was focusing on the thing for the people. I didn’t really show up (even though I would do a million live videos)! My security blanket was to show up on a video and talk about the piece of furniture I was painting, or show you around my store front on a Thursday night, or look what I found on Pinterest! But rarely did I feel comfortable to talk about the things HAPPENING around me and to me in my life and business because it felt (to me) like no one cared, it was stupid, embarrassing, shameful, boring, too brag-y, too poor me, to “who cares” so why say it! In reality, I felt compelled to say things and I didn’t want to say it because (OPINIONS and JUDGEMENT)! This is just truth for me! and I am willing to bet SOMEONE ELSE HAS FELT THIS OR THOUGHT THIS! You basically have said to yourself… “I am not well known enough, or celebrity enough, or famous enough” TO BE ALLOWED TO DO THAT! Am I right????
Seem’s like celebrities now days can say and do whatever and everyone is like OH MY GOSH THEIR AMAZING! You post that you went to therapy or you do your first live video and all the ugly people come out the wood work to shame you! You get what I am saying! I have thought these things! “Who am I” and “No one cares, Amber”!
TRUTH COMING AT YOU RIGHT NOW:
This is my just PART of my story! This blog post will be transparent because that is what I promised in my 2 chapter post I made that I told you about!!
Most of you know me as the “I am a business owner”! BUT I also was a teen mom! I was divorced! I was a single mom! I worked no where jobs to pay the bills, I struggled to afford groceries and sometimes to pay the rent or light bill! I never thought I would be able to get remarried, own a house, buy a new car, or buy name brand anything! As a child growing up, we were not wealthy but we always had a nice (clean and super cute decorated) house to live in, we had clothes to wear, (some were sewn by my mom who was super crafty, by the way I hated wearing those clothes, because I wanted what others had to be popular and to fit in) I was picked on in high school for what I wore, for my crazy out of control frizzy hair, thank the LORD I didn’t struggle with acne, that came later in life!
I became out spoken, I had no shame in back talking the bullies yet I wanted to die inside because what they were saying was true) (so I thought), My mom cooked dinner every night because that is what we could afford, we didn’t have cable til I was in High School! We didn’t have a new car, in fact we had 1 car! We didn’t take many vacations and we always had to get what we could afford, rarely things that were simple wants! In addition to my dad working and my mom working part time they raised cocker-spaniel’s and bred, which meant us girls had to clean out the dog pins and feed them! Super fun chore! all this to pay the bills! I had a boyfriend who I ended up marrying in High School! That ended after just 3 years! I wasn’t even 21 yet! During my single mom days I filed bankruptcy! My ex-husband left us with a ton of debt! My ex-husband rarely paid child support and to this day he owes a good $25k in back support that I will never see! My ex-husband was an absent father to my 2 oldest children!
I worked odd jobs because NO COLLEGE FOR THIS GIRL! I worked, paid bills, paid for day care and did it over and over again! I struggled with my weight, with my skin and acne, I struggled to smile because my teeth were not straight! (truth bomb, I have veneers now on my 4 top teeth in the front because I got a cavity between my 2 top teeth not because I could afford them) Now and only now do I actually smile because my teeth are straight! I re-married, we loved and fought! We fought and loved! We struggled in our relationship and as a blended family! We had a special needs child that needed round the clock care! We had our vehicle repossessed and foreclosed on 2 houses because my husband lost his job and it was a good paying job in 2008! We were financially stable, we had all we thought we needed! 2 houses we owned, a new car and one we paid cash for but barely ran!
But then it all fell apart! We never thought we would be able to rebound! We cashed in my husbands retirement, moved from Indiana to Georgia with NO JOB prospect and paid our bills 6 months ahead to know we could at least have a place to stay, but still struggled to buy groceries! I busied myself with mom duties and tried to ignore that we were not stable or secure anymore financially! My husband got a new job, lost it and ended up at a meat packing factory, he washed cars and did odd jobs! While I stayed home with the kids! He went to school full time and worked full time plus overtime, we really didn’t see him for 2 years through that. I felt alone a lot of the time, even though I was BUSY in my mom life! Kids grew up, needed me less and my husband was rebuilding his career and I was a big nothing! I was depressed and felt useless! I fell into a pit of poor me! There is so much I still have not shared, but I thought to myself is this all I am created to do is struggle, come up for air, struggle and gain and come up for air? There has to be more to my life GOD! BUT…..
That is the quick told story version! But it was not quick at all! Sometimes, I felt as though I would never get through the valley and the water was rising!
Who has a story to tell???? YOU HAVE A STORY TO TELL! This is what is on my heart, people need people, the stuff we sell or offer is an accessory and a bonus to the story we live! But were told to leave your home life at home especially in corporate America!
Now my story is missing a lot of parts which I still have not ever shared! But one day! ONE DAY! But I decided to finally start to share my story and when I did it opened not only myself up but a whole new group of people came into my circle! They were paying customers and fans from afar, fellow believers and perfect strangers!
In real time you see someone who is a business owner, a person who regularly shows up and motivates others to do big things in their life and business, but I was not always that person! BUT one day I got up and wrote a new story! YES! I wrote a new story, I prayed and asked that God show up and use me and get me out of the bed, out of my depression and give me a purpose again! Thing is, I still had purpose as a mom and a human but I didn’t believe that about myself. I just knew that there was more to my life than JUST being a mom, a wife, a daughter, a friend! I was more than that. I’ve gone through stuff, my own version of stuff! and I am strong, I am smart, I am nerdy, I am creative and yet somehow I am not confident or equipped to be those things or believe those things.
My story still continues! It is what has made me and is still making me what I have become and will continue to grow into and be! And that is GREATNESS! I am greatness! I am blessed and I am chosen! I didn’t feel that way most of my life, i felt so ordinary and below the norm! I didn’t think it, think I could be it and I sure didn’t believe it. BUT I decided! I decided to get up and go anyways. Many of you know the rest of my story already but this is for you to be reminded, and for those of you to get to know me more! I decided to get up one day and take my life back! I drove around my town and found free pallets (because I had no money to even buy anything to think I could do anything with) to build and create stuff to keep my mind busy and allow me to feel that I was doing something more than just being mom, or wife…. Never planned to sell anything or start a business. But I threw it out there on my personal FB page and said look at what I made!
You know that post you make where you want to show off that you did something (because you are more confident and bold on a Facebook Post than you are in real life) and your terrified no one will accept you or your thing you did. Yep, that post. AND holy goodness someone said “IS THAT FOR SALE?” and another said “DO YOU MAKE THOSE?” I never thought that post would get anyone to believe in me, notice me, to talk to me, or to pay me for anything but I SOLD IT! And I kept going. No one knew my story of “my why” at the time, and no one cared. But as I kept doing it, people got curious, “how did you do that”, or they said “wow you’re so creative”, or “I wish I could do that”. No one ever complimented me really, beside’s my family! But I knew that even though I still didn’t believe in myself I believed in what I had created because people wanted that thing, It was good, even though I didn’t believe I was good enough. I got more pallets and made more stuff, sold it! AND it kept going and growing!
LATER, much later I began to share my story and let people in and wow! JUST WOW! People cared about me, more than I cared about myself and the compliments came in and I will be honest, I do not know how to react to praise or compliments because I do not praise myself. That is truth! I feel unworthy of such great words. And my response comes off unappreciative because I do not believe in myself or the things being said to me! I still struggle with this. But YOU KNOW WHAT I LEARNED AT RISE BUSINESS! It took a conference for me to see this. I am great! I am smart and I am blessed! AND I am good enough to accept the compliment and not redirect it. I have come so far and I am still going farther! How can I believe that I can do what I feel God is leading me to do if I don’t believe in my own self, nor accept the compliment or conformation that I am good enough! Can you relate to this?
I write this to tell you that you are WORTH GETTING TO KNOW! Your story is worth being told! Your story can change another person! Your story can inspire someone else! Your story can secretly change the path of another! AND YOU telling your story can change you! YOU ARE WORTH GETTING TO KNOW! God gave us the journey to testify to others about where we have been, where we have gone and where we are going! This is BOTH in LIFE and YOUR BUSINESS/CAREER! You are more than just the business you are trying to build, you are more than just the money in the bank, you simply are!
YOU WILL have people not on your team! And you will feel knocked down many times and you will begin to silence yourself but please do not silence your story! Your story is what connects people to you and to others. Your story is what makes what you do and sell so much greater! (not that it isn’t already great) but it is like a cupcake with no icing. It’s good, but the icing is what makes it GREAT! Your story is the icing to your business, to your product to what you do! and IF YOU ARE A CHRISTIAN, guess what it will be hard standing on your faith and not compromising because YOU WILL NOT BE FOR EVERYONE! But do not snuff out your faith in your business. Keep your eyes forward on who is guiding your steps in your life and business! (At the Rise Business Conference, I had the opportunity to walk past over 6,000 people, I decided to wear something (that tee I am wearing in the photo) that showed my faith in God, even if I didn’t get to speak to a single person, my hope is the read it and got curious!) #makeheavencrowded!)
I know that this is not what everyone probably expected or wants to take the time to read but I am very clear about something, I have went all in on the thing I was doing but I never BET ON ME and GOD!! I am betting on both! I want you to take some time to really tell your story in your business. I really believe that when you begin to step out and do that, you will feel something shift within you, and you will see something in your business shift as well, for the good! Know your why, tell your story and don’t look back!
My experience at Rise Business was one that is honestly unexplainable! But what came out of it was clarity and a fresh new outlook! My hope is that through my boldness and transparency that you are inspired, that you can relate to something about my story! In the end it really isn’t at all about me but what I have been through! BUT through it all God was there! He saw me through a lot of things and HE still does. I hope you are inspired to tell your story, use it to make an impact and create intentional relationships with your people, this is especially important if you have any influence on social media, through video or a blog! I believe that in the day we live in, showing up in a super real way is very important! Thank you for taking the time to read mine, and if you want to connect more please leave me a comment below, tell me a little about you! Do we have some things in common by chance?? I would love to know!
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