I want to come clean about something to you all.  Today, I embarked on my latest marketing campaign for my e-course.  My e-course is all about taking an holistic approach to business planning, which may give the impression that I am somehow in a Zen state about the whole business process. I’m here to bust that illusion- I most absolutely am NOT zen with online marketing.  In fact my internal wrestle with the whole process of marketing is something that I still struggle with and nearly undoes me every single time.  But it is a necessary and unavoidable part of the business process- particularly the line of work that I am in, and it does none of you any service to hide the fact that I struggle with it, because I know for a fact that a lot of you struggle with it too.So lets have a frank chat about this shall we?

Why am I telling you about this? Because it’s good to come clean about your ‘Achilles Heel’ which, by it’s nature, runs deep to your emotional core and has the power to take you down. Do you know that story of Achilles?  Achilles was an ancient Greek warrior who fought in the Trojan war (tee hee, I almost wrote worrier, great Freudian slip:-).  He was the greatest warrior around, completely invulnerable to injury, being the son of a goddess and a King, except for in one place and that place was his vulnerability- his heel.  It was an arrow in his heel that finally brought him down and killed him.  It’s such a great metaphor for the secret places we conceal from the world for fear that they may destroy us.So back to my marketing ‘Achilles Heel’.

Now I’m quite clear that marketing will not indeed kill me, but I still have pretty much the same reaction every time I have to launch a new promotion.  It is completely irrational and very emotional.  It starts with procrastination.  I wonder if I really want to run this program at all, is it really what I want to do?  If it was really what I wanted to do, why does if feel so bad? And on that front, it’s all just a bit crap really isn’t it?  I mean, it’s all been said before.  What additional value could I really bring to the whole topic…blah blah blah, you get the drift.  This can go on for days, or weeks if I’m off my game.  Or I can have a fairly reasonable morning of it before I come to my senses.  And I push through.  I remember that I am just in the part where I try to talk myself out of it so I’d better just bite the bullet and do it.

And so I do….and then I proceed to have an emotional breakdown.  I feel like I have just shown my vagina to the world on Facebook.  The vulnerability is excruciating and I am utterly convinced that absolutely NO ONE is going to sign up for this thing.  I am a looser, and this time is going to be the time that it all comes crashing down.   I cannot tell you the level of shame that I feel.  All because I advertised my e-course on Facebook (!)

Now I am completely aware as I am running the emotional gamut of this scenario that I’ve seen this before many times and that I’m totally blowing things out of proportion.  In fact, I’ve always reacted this way in the moments when it is time to deliver my work to the world.  In the big business days of my clothing label Manque Design, I would complete a 40 piece range, have photographed it, produced look books, have sold it to retailers and STILL when the clothes arrived I was convinced that it was all shit and no one was going to buy a thing. Every. Single. Time.

And every single time the clothes sold.  And every single time the tickets sell.  And yes, people are enrolling in my current eCourse. But still, I run the same emotional program that has been with me for time immemorial- which lets face it- is the archetypal fear of failure.

I tell you this story because this is my Achilles heel in business.  Shame and fear of failure are my ‘Achilles Heel’ in business.  And somewhere you too have an ‘Achilles Heel’ in Business.  Many of you will have a similar one when it comes to marketing, another will have it when it comes to exhibiting their work, or sending manuscript to the editor, or charging money for what you love to do.  We all have them.  We all have soft spots that are so vulnerable that we are prepared to pack up the whole show and go home rather than move through them and the emotional pain attached to them, because it actually feels like it could kill us.

For many it happens at the beginning of a project.  For many of us it happens at the point of delivery, at the point when we birth our creative baby to the world and the ultimate moment where we find out if anyone is actually prepared to pay for the beautiful creative child we just birthed.  It is, in my opinion, one of the most excruciating parts of the creative process.  Yet it is also one of the most important gateways to move through on the heroes journey that is creative business.

As a Paediatrician, my husband Mark attends a lot of births.  He says it’s the same almost every time with all women in the birthing suite- at the very end, the are all declaring (sometimes screaming, sometimes swearing, sometimes with a shake of the head) that they just CAN’T do it.  And then they do.  Then the baby is born.  And then the new chapter begins and the hell of that moment is usually forgotten as a new journey begins.  Having a business contains many of these birthing moments that push you to what you think is your limit, only to discover that you had way more in you than you thought.

Even 15 years down the track in my creative business career, I still go through those birthing moments kicking and screaming, declaring that I can’t….and then I do it.  I’ve lost count of the times that I have gone through this process.  And I am in complete acceptance now that that program will always run to some degree and the only choice I have is what I do with it.  It just so happens that my birthing style is dramatic and not very graceful, but was there ever a birth that was graceful?

So lets stop reaching for every moment in the business process to ‘feel great’, because many of the most important moments to pass through are sometimes down-right tough and something to be endured with the wisdom and knowledge that you have passed this way before and you will do so again.  It does not mean that we need to ‘fix’ ourselves or change the business we are in.  It just requires knowing that ‘this to will pass’ and then step out and pass it. And then they become the moments that we are most proud of.

I’d love to know what your business ‘Achilles Heel’ is in the comments below?

If you would like to check out this eCourse, Holistic Business Mapping, its pretty rad and it starts March 2nd.

Suse xx