I’m excited to share today’s post with you from guest author Marisa Goudy. I had the privilege of interviewing Marisa Goudy & Corinna Rake earlier this year when they rolled out the intriguing concept of “online empowerment” – click here to check out that episode of the Creative in Business show. I’ve been a huge fan ever since and am so honored to be part of their Connection Without Overwhelm series. Hope to see you there! ~K.G.
By Marisa Goudy
As a small business owner, the to do list is almost always too long. When there’s client work that needs to be completed and a marketing plan that has to be followed, relationships are often pushed to the edges of your life.
Squeezing out the family that you love, the friends who make you laugh, and the colleagues who offer their support is a sure recipe for turning overwhelm into a full-blown crisis. The next thing you know, you’ve lost track of why you’re an entrepreneur in the first place and your business isn’t living up to its fullest potential.
You’ve heard the stories about how the internet is rewiring our brains, making us less social, more paranoid, and certainly splintering our attention spans. At the same time, all of these online connections are incredibly empowering – think of the cultural revolutions that have been sparked, the new businesses that are launched, and loving relationships that have been born.
Yes, there is a lot of good mixed in with the bad when it comes to our digital lives, that we can agree upon. But what would you say to the idea that building online relationships can actually beat back that sense of constant overwhelm?
Huh? Aren’t the relentless newsfeeds full of endless chatter the essence of overstimulation and distraction? They certainly can be, but you have to look beyond the social media platform and deafen yourself to the babble and focus on what’s really important – the relationships that are being created and fostered in these online spaces.
Try out these four strategies that help you consciously build online relationships. When you create a strong, supportive network so much of the overwhelm that comes from pushing to be more visible and attract more clients will vanish.
1) Stop “doing social media.” Forget about the platforms and the strategies. Prioritize the people and the message, not the timing of Tweets and whether posts with pictures reach more people.
2) When you visit a social media site, be sure to make at least three comments on posts by people you’d like to to know better. Don’t take this as a free pass to lose yourself in YouTube for hours – make these interactions strategic! The goal is to strike a balance between being a generous reader, as well as a dedicated contributor.
3) Take time to “remember your why” when you’re connecting to people. Don’t just gravitate to the internet superstars. Develop relationships based on shared values and interests and because you see how this can benefit your business.
4) Leave room for some relationships that don’t seem to have a direct impact on the bottom line. Yes, this means that you need to continue to make time for your family and friends, but it’s also about meeting folks who aren’t necessarily part of your target audience. Place value on the relationships with people who inspire you and make you think – who knows what magic a real friendship like this may spark down the road!
Overwhelm comes standard with just about any smartphone contract these days. Just remember, you can use your digital devices to develop real relationships that nurture your business and your greater mission, not just improve your Klout score.
So much of what I’ve learned about building relationships, finding balance, and doing the work that matters has come thanks to the inspiring entrepreneurs and visionaries I’ve met online. Eleven of these inspiring business owners will be sharing their insights at the free Connection Without Overwhelm teleseries. Please register to join us: www.OnlineEmpowermentSeries.com
About the Author
Marisa Goudy is the writer & communications consultant behind Online Empowerment. She partners with creative entrepreneurs and holistic business owners to create a websites that the foundation of a delicious online presence.
An energy healer for well over a decade, she brings her passion for wellness and her intuitive skills to all of her work. In 2010 she took the leap from a career in academia to embrace entrepreneurship and to be home with her daughter in New York’s Hudson Valley. www.OnlineEmpowermentFormula.com