As first seen on Smallville, where The Word Stylist Elizabeth Campbell am a regular contributor on all things to do with small business and dreaming big! Why not head over and check it out. There are more than 100 experts in their field who all share the same vision to dream bigger and take our businesses higher and higher. Here’s my piece on sharing your struggle story.
Have you ever had one of those days where you just want to throw in the towel, while also throwing yourself on the floor in a crying mess? Sometimes, business is difficult. Painfully difficult. And when you’re a small business owner or working remotely, it’s very real and every now and then you just need to share your struggle story.
I don’t know about you, but I never thought I could share my struggles because people (my clients and peers) would think I was weak. I’ve always grappled with it, even when I was working in the media with a bunch of hard-nosed journos who never cried … not that anyone saw anyway. You need a thick skin. There was no room for emotion, only egos.
Well, one day recently I couldn’t take it any more and I posted that after a terrible morning, I’d had enough and was basically curled up in the foetal position rocking in the corner wanting nothing more than a hug from my Mum.
The amount of engagement this post got as compared to sharing a business tip or selfie was incredible – and I learned a valuable lesson.
It’s OK to be imperfect. It’s also OK to share when you’re having a bad day.
I’ve noticed when I write a blog about “the struggle” (of course, with tips on how to overcome that struggle) that these posts have been the most read and shared.
You know why? Because underneath our tough exterior of being a successful small business owner who’s taking on the world and crushing it to take our business higher and higher, there is just a normal everyday human being who sometimes needs a hug and a vote of confidence.
Here’s are my best tips on how to use the struggle story in your online content:
Kick off with your struggle story to build emotion. Share something real that people can relate to. We like people who show they are human because in our social media world, often we only see the good, not the bad and the ugly of a person’s life. Not that we want all the gory details, but it’s nice to know we are the same in this way. Share how you are feeling.
DON’T BE NEGATIVE
If you are going to have a rant and share your struggle story, I suggest doing it in a positive way. There’s only so many “rants” your followers will take until you are just that person who’s always having a rant (you know the ones). Of course, we want to share our struggles, but only when they are necessary and only to offer support to others who you know are facing the same struggles.
SHARE YOUR BEST TIPS
Give your followers something to take away, even if it is simply motivation or inspiration. Tell them how you overcame the problem you were facing or what you did to pull yourself out of the hole you were in (when you wanted to throw in the towel). Talk them through it. Even if you feel it is a small or insignificant step, it’s in my experience that these are the key grabs of info that resonate with people the most.
Let me give you an example. When I was having my meltdown and needed a hug from my Mum, I shared some of the 10 things I do to give myself a boost. That is, I call my Mum or my bestie for the “it will be OK” talk, I have something nourishing to eat, listen to music, go for a run, get dressed in an outfit that make me feel sensational and put on some hot red lipstick.
I happened to share this story in a recent workshop and one of the men in the group said it was refreshing to know that I was like everyone else and some of the things I’d outlined would definitely help him (minus the red lippie!).
That’s the ultimate outcome and what we all what our content to achieve.
We all struggle at some point. How you handle it is when the magic happens. So go forth and write your best struggle story and feel free to share yours here in the comments too. Let’s all help each other as best we can.
Feel free to have a look around my website. There are plenty of great writing tips and other interview you may find helpful. Like this one!