When you are considering the work others are doing, you may find yourself feeling left out. I remember that feeling well. Early on in my entrepreneurial career, I saw myself as “on the outside, looking in.” And feeling a little left out. I never considered that this was my choice, until one day, I found this:
Source: Seth Godin
(Thanks again, Seth).
It literally made me laugh at myself! Who says I am not invited? Who says I can’t share my voice? All of the mundane messages that exist in the world are shared by people that aren’t asking for permission! They are merely refusing to believe that their ideas aren’t good enough. And, who’s to say their ideas aren’t good enough? Good enough for what, for whom?
At this point, it was like I gave myself permission to look inside for the first time and see who I really am. I realized that my gifts — shining light, and caring more than the average person (which isn’t that hard, unfortunately), makes it possible for anyone to make a place for themselves. If you’re looking for a way to get your foot in the door, I suggest you turn that idea on its end and just start contributing as if you belong there — because as long as you have something valuable (aka the gifts you’ve been given from up above) — you do. All it takes is the willingness to step forward, and pick yourself.
Here are some of my favorite ways to invite myself.
- Providing a thoughtful comment on a blog post of a friend, community contact.
- Applauding the efforts of organizations and individuals who are doing something good.
- Volunteering to show up at an event when it seems like not many other people are going.
- Sharing someone’s post on Facebook or Twitter, to help them reach more people.
- Saying you’re going to be there, and then, being there.
- Serving on a board for a local non-profit.
- Buying a ticket to an event that you cannot attend, but want to support or that someone else might not be able to purchase, but would be a good opportunity for them to attend.
- Sending a thank you note, or a private message to someone who took the time to support something you were involved in.
- Posting a “shout out” to a community partner, or vendor talking about the great work they do.
- Writing a review on Google, or other channels that will help others discover a business doing excellent work.
What are some ways you have found that make a meaningful contribution and allow you to start getting stronger at inviting yourself to the conversation? I would love to hear some ideas from you that I can add to my list!
Because, if you can begin to see what we see, you’ll begin to understand how much we need you!
Also published on Medium.