It’s human nature to say to people, “Hey Joe, how are you doing?” We tend to ask that out of common courtesy to before moving into the topic on our minds. But today, asking ‘how are you doing’ is almost taboo in some circles, a question that some people don’t want to address because for an entrepreneur that is really a loaded question. Today asking someone how are you doing is code for, how is your business and do you have any work?
It’s amazing how many people answer this question with an upbeat response such as ‘yeah, yeah, I’m doing good, business is great!’ And then they immediately move onto a new topic.
In the early days of the pandemic, I have to admit I was guilty of doing the same. In doing so, this actually hurt me as it just prolonged the inevitable. It kept me in the denial stage of my business loss a heck of a lot longer when I could have been moving along in my grief phases.
But I think there is a bigger reason why I did it and I think it’s the same reason why people are still playing the ‘everything’s great game’. Two words—embarrassment and shame.
If you belong to a particular community tight community that is always sharing their wins on social media, the last thing you want everyone to know is how difficult things are for you right now.
I dare say I was embarrassed not to be able to say truthfully that things weren’t so good and perhaps a bit ashamed to have found myself in this position.
It would be one thing if you blatantly did something wrong to cause the demise of your business, then you might have reason to feel some form of embarrassment. However, when you remember that a unseen virus is responsible for upending the world and that this isn’t something that happened to only your business, you begin to put things into perspective.
When I allowed myself to go to the dark place of a business totally disrupted and acknowledge my current offerings were no longer relevant, I could finally get to a place where I could imagine something new.
The ‘new business model’ keeps evolving as I gain more clarity of who I can help, what they need help with and how I can help with the new business.
Telling yourself and others the truth is liberating. Furthermore, it removes any emotions of embarrassment and shame because things just are what they are. It’s as simple as that.
Stop hiding. Stop lying to yourself. Tell the truth people—speak your truth.
Pamela Wigglesworth CSP, is an International Speaker, Marketing consultant and CEO of Experiential Hands-on Learning. She is a 50-60 Something entrepreneur who consults and trains individuals and organizations, so they can effectively communicate the value of their products and services to generate greater awareness, increase their leads and ultimately increase their sales. She is the author of The 50-60 Something Start-up Entrepreneur: How to Quickly Start and Run a Successful Small Business.