Whether you are an entrepreneur, business owner, employee, or the CEO of a household, if you want to bring your best self to the table, you must be willing to do one thing: shine.
At first glance, shining may seem like an obvious and even simple concept, but once you step up to shine your light, you might be surprised by how tempting it is to reach for the dimmer. “Who am I to shine this bright?” “It’s selfish to take up this much space.” “I don’t want to seem rude.” “Give someone else a turn.”
While you might know that you’re your best self when you shine, if you spend too much time in the spotlight, it can start to get uncomfortable. People might start to notice. You might start to wonder if you’re being “too much.” Your voice is heard, but now you’re unsure if what you have to say even matters that much.
Shining your light into the world might not be the easiest thing to do, but it is one of the most powerful things you can do for yourself and everyone else in your world.
Whether you’re impacting 1 person or 1 million people in a day, the effects of your light remain the same:
- When you shine, you allow others to do the same.
- When you speak up, you dare others to follow suit.
- When you stop asking for permission and start moving through your world with confidence, the quiet girl in the back of the room may wonder “Hey, could I do that too?” The domino effect begins.
- When you ask for what you want, you are 100% more likely to get it than if you never ask at all. I like those odds.
Your light is contagious, and if you want to be a source of good in this world, then it’s your JOB to share it with as many people as you can.
The best part is that you already have everything you need to get started. You aren’t missing a thing. You don’t have to hire a guru to help you “find your light.” It’s right there, waiting for you to give it the go ahead to do what it does best—say it with me now—SHINE!
But, because “Just shine your light, girl!” might feel a bit too broad to start out, here are three simple steps to help you shine your light into the world while making a difference and receiving even more blessings to fuel your fire. These steps are especially applicable to entrepreneurs, small business owners, and women who are out in the world inspiring lives! (See what I did there?)
STEP 1: STORYTELLING
Storytelling is one of the most powerful forms of communication that we have. It’s how history was passed down through generations, and it’s how an entrepreneur shares her big idea with a room full of potential investors.
It’s important to know what it is you want to share, but it’s even more important to know how you want to share it. In other words—It’s not WHAT you do. It’s HOW you do it. It’s easy to get caught up in the details of what you want to say. What are the exact right words to use? What can you say to make them feel better? What is the most inspiring angle of the story? But the truth is that none of that matters if, when you go to say these magic words, you come across as cold, disconnected, small, insecure, or fearful.
So, instead of getting bogged down with what you’re going to say, start playing around with how you want to say it. What kind of energy do you want to bring into the room? Do you want to be open? Inspiring? Funny? Motivational? Serious? Powerful?
When it comes to storytelling and captivating your audience, big or small, your “how” will always be more powerful than your “what.” So, stop worrying so much about choosing the perfect words, and start sharing!
Focus on the how. Get comfortable being seen. Play around with your message. No one remembers the girl at the party who said the perfect sentence, but they always remember the girl who shone her light into the room, just by being herself.
Your energy tells your story.
STEP 2: STRUCTURE
Once you’re clear on how you want to shine your light into the world, it’s important to put it into a structure.
Audiences (and people in general) appreciate structure. We naturally look for patterns, because we like to find ways to feel like we’re in control, like we can predict what’s going to happen next. Therefore, if you want your audience to feel at ease, it’s great to create a predictable structure of sorts. You see this all the time by the way a host will open or close a show using the same taglines or phrases, or the way that every movie theater has trivia questions, an intro, and ad for the concession stands followed by previews and then the movie.
You know what to expect, so you’re more open to receive it. It feels familiar. You trust it.
Trust—it’s important to build with an audience if you want to inspire them to change their lives in some way. Why should they trust you?
If you want to build a strong following, then you have to make it easy for people to trust you and get to know you—good thing you got comfortable being seen during the first step! Develop a structure for how and when people can expect to hear from you. And, when they DO hear from you, it should be aligned with the kind of brand and message they would expect from you.
Help your audience deal with the fact that they can’t predict the future, no matter how badly they want to: give them a structure to lean on.
STEP 3: MARKETING
Oh, marketing. The very piece that bridges a hobby and a career. The chance for you to shine your light and receive at the same time.
Don’t be afraid to receive. Let people know what you’re worth. Stand in everything you have to offer.
Marketing is where a lot of people, especially women, start to doubt the worthiness of their message. They wonder “Who am I to be saying this?” “Why are people going to care?” “What if they judge me?”
Those thoughts are all perfectly normal, and I’ve never met a successful person who didn’t have those thoughts along the way. The difference is, they didn’t let those thoughts stop them.
Marketing is where the rubber meets the road for your mission. This is an important step, not only for YOU, but for your audience too. If you don’t stand up to say “I’m here!” how will they know where to find you? If you don’t show them the different ways they can work with you, how will they know where to begin?
Marketing isn’t about asking for something, it’s about creating an opportunity for even more connection. It’s about inviting your audience into your world a little more. It’s about knowing that it’s safe for you to shine and receive abundance in return.
Stop playing small. Stop second guessing. Stop selling yourself short.
Get out there, and tell them what you’ve got to offer. Don’t even THINK about giving them a discount either. You’re worth every penny.
Play around with these steps in your business life, as well as your professional life. The important thing is that you continue to explore. Get to know yourself, your story, the structure that feels good for you, and then shine it into the world, one light beam at a time.