Category Archives: Professional Development
“The more you rely on the statistics that are offered to you as some real or true measurement of your worth the more worthless you are likely to feel in the long run because you will never be able to make those numbers big enough to keep proving what they never proved in the first place . . .”
Every time I turn around these days I’m bumping into some new marketing guru’s seven steps or ten tips for making the world want whatever it is we have to offer. It seems it’s never enough anymore to be the creator of something beneficial or beautiful, we must also be willing and able to nearly make a full time job of peddling our product or service—or willing to pay someone who’s willing and able.
I admit I don’t like it. If I wanted to be a salesman I would have been a salesman, and I’ve never taken kindly to anyone telling me I have to be something I’m not. And yet there those realities seem to be, staring us in the face and daring us to be a success if we don’t bite the bullet, suck it up, and show off in the ways that the experts and their statistics tell us is necessary.
I’m pretty sure I’ll never be the Marketing Magician that so many insist I need to become. Just the thought of it exhausts me. And yet there’s the dilemma of how to be a successful, fulfilled writer or photographer or anything else when only a handful of folks may ever read or look at what I do. So I asked The Shower Team: What’s an alleged genius creator who’s also a reluctant self-promoter to do? How do I create a life—and work—that I love regardless of the feedback I do or don’t receive? How do I live and work and play and create joyfully and productively and genuinely not care what the responses to me are?
Here’s what we would urge you to do. Call it “Source’s Steps to Successful Self Promotion.” First, forget doing anything you NEED a response to. Do what YOU respond to. Offer what gives back to you in a way that you think will feel good. When you share anything at all, express anything at all, share it because you love it, never because you need anyone else to. The moment you feel you need another to approve, pause . . . pull back . . . wait until you have something to offer that you love too much not to offer it, where your enjoyment and appreciation of it is your only reason for offering it.
Be YOU, for the truth in this is that any lack of response you might perceive is actually a lack of response to your needing a response. The silence you sometimes notice in response to your efforts, is the silence of others who cannot give you what you seek. It is the silence of no one being able—or responsible—for making you feel good enough.
Check your reasons before you share. Ask yourself, “Why am I doing this?” Then follow these guidelines:
- Share only what lifts you up.
- Share only what lights you up.
- Share only what makes you smile.
- Share only what you find beautiful or beneficial or compelling
- Share it only because it feels too good not to share it.
We would also add to this our view of the diminishing returns of your watching numbers as though they tell you anything of ultimate importance. We would call this the Myth of Marketing that has been gathering considerable momentum in your physical experience.
More and more of you are believing that your value is based on numbers, be they in the form of dollars or readers or viewers or subscribers or paying customers. This lie has crept so steadily and so powerfully into your consciousness and taken root in such a way that it is increasingly hard for any of you to see around it to the larger truth that who you are—your value—is never quantified that way by Source, or by the part of you that is aligned with how Source sees you.
Measuring your value this way will never bring you the true joy or satisfaction or fulfillment that you seek. Even some of your so-called spiritual teachers are now suggesting to you that your message is only as worthy as the size of your mailing list, that your self-worth is only as rich as what you are paid for offering it.
We cannot begin to convey how screwy that notion is from broader perspective, or the degree to which it is bound to trip you up sooner or later. The truth is you will never get where you want to be by assessing yourself this way or by this outside-in approach to quantifying your success.
We see and we understand the power of this trend that roars through your world. You observe it and you find it increasingly hard not to buy in to it (for as you’ve noticed, there is nearly always a price tag attached to the picture that has been painted about how to promote yourself). But we say to you, again and again, the numbers do not tell the story. Trust them and you will sooner or later come to see the illusion behind them.
The more you rely on the statistics that are offered to you as some real or true measurement of your worth the more worthless you are likely to feel in the long run because you will never be able to make those numbers big enough to keep proving what they never proved in the first place—that your worth is measured by the number ONE. That is, it is entirely about the ONE who offers whatever you are offering because YOU appreciate it, YOU respond to it, YOU care about it.
You are ONE with All That Is, and any gift you offer expands, moves, enlarges, delights, thrills All That Is and makes the Universe you inhabit bigger and brighter and better . . . and has nothing to do with anything you will ever find on a sales ledger or a site report or a royalty check.
Look for the true value that you bring to your world by joyfully offering you to that world, the you that no one in your world can effectively or truthfully tally, but that Heaven and Earth applaud you—and reward you–for being.
Well, I bet none of that makes it into a bestselling How To book. I both love—and am usually somewhat mystified by—the Team’s take on most of what passes for collective savvy in this ever challenging time/space reality.
I’m sure many—myself probably included—would argue it’s easy for them to pooh pooh marketing and promotion when they don’t need those subscribers or sales or royalties to expand what’s in the cabinet or refrigerator or to light up the rooms in one’s house with electricity. Still, I hate it when I can’t just pooh pooh their pooh poohing.
Do the numbers deceive us? Do we not need what we think we need ? Are we just myth mongers—misguided sheep following a herd that believes the grass is actually greener over there where that grinning guru of a shepherd is waving his state of the art staff?
As usual I’ll leave the answers to The Team and see how long I can go without seeing how many “Likes” I just got on Facebook.
Parting aFLOWmation: “Value what you most appreciate, and it can’t help but appreciate.”
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“Start with what delights you that you can’t help sharing because that is the joy that no one can really resist.”
Passion and purpose are words I see and hear a lot in the ever-expanding literature of self-development. I don’t know a life coach or a spiritual advisor or self-help guru who hasn’t included some mention of these concepts in his or her book or seminar or blog or speech.
I read those books and blogs and listen to those tapes and get as caught in the notion of a passionate and purposeful life as anyone. Who doesn’t like the idea of living his/her dream, following one’s bliss, etc.?
But when I take off the reading glasses and look in the mirror clarity sometimes seems to scurry out the door, leaving me with a lot of questions about where I put my passion and purpose and how to retrieve them, assuming I ever really had them to begin with.
I look at what at I’ve done and what I’m doing and I wonder things like, does any of it really matter? Does anyone really care? If I continue—or stop doing it—or do something else, will anyone even notice?
So I asked the Shower Team: “Where’s the value in what I do or in what I have to give? How can I know that what I have to offer or if what I regard as my passion or purpose has any real value?
It’s a tricky question you’re asking, not because the answer is difficult or even all that complicated, but because there are some powerful false premises attached to the way that you’re asking it.
The simplest and purest answer to the question, How can I offer something of value?” is to just decide that you’re going to offer yourself something that you value. That is, you should always start with you. Start with what lights you up or makes your heart sing and your feet dance and your smile beam. Start with what delights you that you can’t help sharing because that is the joy that no one can really resist. That is the gift that your world most needs and that will be most appreciated because there’s no way not to appreciate a gift offered from such a sweet, honest and joyful place.
But, this notion trips you up because it seems to conflict with your longstanding and oh so seductive perspective about ‘service’ to others and the only honorable route to such service being to put your own desires and dreams and “selfish pleasures” in the backseat where they supposedly belong.
You have a hard time believing that anything that feels too good can be a good thing for yourself much less for anyone else. So rather than making your passion—your bliss—your life purpose, you dig around in the dirt for something that looks nobler or feels like more of a sacrifice because you’ve trained yourself to believe that if it doesn’t hurt at least a little—preferably a lot—if it doesn’t cause you to suffer or to give up something you really like, then it can’t much use to anyone else. After all, how can something you truly adore and find absolute joy in doing possibly bring any value to anyone if there’s no evidence of what it cost you?
The other tricky part of your question is that embedded in it is the notion that someone other than you gets to decide the value of you. And while we can se how this notion arises from the conditions you observe of others placing price tags on products and services and creations, when some ‘they’ out there appears to be deciding how much this or that is worth . . . while we can see why you might conclude that you not the ultimate authority on how valuable your gifts may be, we still say to you that from the broader perspective, no one else decides this for you unless you let them. You may be one who sells some creation of yours for what some would call an obscene amount of money and never really believe that your creation was worth the paper or canvas or plastic or wood or whatever other material on which it was rendered.
If that offering had no real value to you, the price tag dangling from it or the dollars flowing into your bank account from the sale of it will mean next to nothing to the one whose opinion of it matters most—the one who created and offered it. Without your agreement on its value, any quantifying of that value is just economics, and economics continues to be one of the most persuasive illusions to which most of you ascribe.
So, you ask how can you know what is in you that is of value? What gifts do you bring to the world you inhabit and the people who inhabit it with you? And we continue to say that you will never sacrifice or suffer enough to improve the world you inhabit or to make a difference to those who agree that your only worthy option is to sacrifice and struggle.
You will only see reflected back to you the light that you allow to shine through you—and the only real way to be that light is to be who you truly are, to identify and express the most passionately selfishly true joy of your being, whatever that might be . . . and to offer that as your gift first and foremost to yourself, and then to offer it to those (and we promise you there will be plenty) who are able to recognize and receive the incomparably unique value of that perfectly offered gift.
It’s curious to say the least, how much easier it seems to just join the clubs whose creed is that nothing worth having-or giving—comes without sacrifice or suffering. Membership is open 24/7 and never stops growing. You see their flyers everywhere.
Could finding and living with passion and purpose really be as simple as just being myself? Am I even truly willing to belong to a club that would have me as a member? Far be it from me to argue with The Shower Team, but don’t be surprised if you see me tripping over that truth a few more times before it really sinks in.
Parting aFLOWmation: “Be the gift to you that keeps on giving.”