It’s funny what running a new business can do to you. It can suddenly make you aware of the idiosyncrasies of human nature that were previously overlooked.
For instance, EVERYONE is social networking ALL the time, right? So promoting your business on Facebook seems like the logical thing to do, right? Actually, not always right. The problem is that because the social network is so frequently visited it is congested with information. In order to retain a certain level of sanity, people have learned survival techniques such as skimming or deleting whatever doesn’t hold their interest or seem pertinent to their mood that day. I truly believe that less is more in the world of social networking.
I have also learned that I appreciate refusal etiquette on the rare occasions when it is used. Before now, I didn’t realize that there were so many ways to say “No” and most of them come with a sting to the person offering the product. I can’t tell you how many times my offers and endeavors have been turned down and what a balm to the soul it is when they are turned down with appreciation and good wishes for the efforts I have exerted. More often than not, I am left with the impression that many people seem to forget that small business owners have feelings, hopes, and dreams too. A polite decline with a genuine offer to help advertise can ease the disappointment.
Finally, for all the talk about supporting the entrepreneur, small business owner, or stay-at-home mom seeking to supplement the family’s income, that support can be hard to come by. I am just now developing the courage to speak freely and proudly about my businesses and the products I sell. For quite a while I hesitated to promote my businesses because I felt like a bad guy trying to wheedle people out of their money. “Oh no, here comes another direct sales person,” or “Facebook is not for businesses,” or “This group doesn’t allow advertising.” The frustrating thing is that most moms working from home are limited in how much they can promote their business because they are at home. How else are we going to promote what we do unless we can talk to our friends and family about it when we are with them or share it on Facebook when our kids are napping? However, the longer I am with my businesses, and the more people I meet through them, the prouder I am of the companies and products I promote and sell. The next time I mention one of them to you, please know that I am not trying to nag, wheedle, or manipulate you. I am simply wanting to share something with you that could truly brighten your day.
I am more than my businesses, but they are also a part of who I am. I am always observing, gleaning, and tweaking my business strategies. I do put careful thought into who I approach and how I approach. I now understand what it takes to approach people about one’s business, how vulnerable one must become to do so. I understand that we are all trying to make our way in this big, big world; my endeavors are not as important to you as they are to me and vice versa. But perhaps if we each recognized the value in each other’s efforts the toil might be a bit less arduous and the success a bit more within reach.