This post was initially part two of my 2015 recap, to include some of the business highlights of my hear and a bit of a celebration, but it has evolved into something so much more than that. A look at how this past year has been a major lesson on learning to shine in my biz.
Did you miss Part One? Check it out here.
When I decided to start my own business, I was mostly attracted to the idea of working from home. For myself. One-on-one with people I chose to work with. The idea of being a ‘solopreneur’ was a beautiful concept to my introverted soul.
It never occurred to me, amidst daydreams of sitting in the quiet writing, staying inside of rainy days, being in charge of my schedule, and working with beautiful people to help them live better lives, that I would also need to embrace the delicate art of ‘putting myself out there’ (how did that not cross my mind?!).
Putting myself out there? Me? I’d spent most of my career head down, bum up working and hadn’t considered that starting my own business would include talking myself up, public speaking, and announcing loud and proud to the world that this is who I am and what I do.
Cue overwhelming fear and dread. Anxiety. Mumbling ‘what I do’ to everyone I met.
This past year, I’ve learned some really huge lessons, as well as having some ‘OMG, pinch me’ moments. Part recap, part lesson learning, with a little something extra if you make it to the end!
So, without further ado…
My first year in business…
Early in the year, I celebrated my first year in business (and, now, can’t believe that I’m coming up on two years!). The lessons I learned in that first year set me up SO well for my second year, but also shone some light on how much I still had to learn.
Continuing to learn, grown, expand, and curiously and passionately embrace this business journey has been one of my favourite things about starting my own business.
You can check out that post here.
Becoming a coach for introverts
Probably the biggest thing that happened was that I finally worked out my ‘thing’. When I first started training to become a coach, I remember saying to someone early in the year, ‘if only people could think about me and coaching the way they think about me and cake.’
And, when I stopped trying to force it, the answer became oh-so obvious.
Honing in on working with introverts has done so much for my business, and also for my clients. It’s allowed me to get really clear on who I can help and, more importantly, how.
There are so many quirks and misunderstandings about the quieter folk, and it has become my MISSION to show the world that your success is not determined by how outgoing, social, or extraverted you are. That you should never feel bad about being an introverted soul.
This has become more than a ‘niche’ for me. It’s become a passion, and a purpose. Sharing what I learn to help others grow to understand, accept, and thrive from their inherent personality traits is above and beyond exciting for me and has helped me really find my place in my business.
Want to read more:
This year was also the year that I stepped up and got some new photos taken for my website rebrand and eBook. I teamed up with the wonderful Lauren of Sol and Co, and the results blew my mind.
In classic introvert-style, I HATE being in front of the camera. I find it nerve-wracking, awkward, draining, and about as stressful as a trip to the dentist.
I was so thrilled to have Lauren on my side, showing me the photos she was taking as we went (so no after-shoot surprises). Photos tell such a story about who you are and what you do, in your life and your business, and I can’t emphasise enough how important they are to shining in your business.
When your photos reflect who you are and what you do, people get a glimpse into what working with you is like and what to expect when they meet you in real life (which is especially important for online business peeps). They also help you feel more confident about sending your work to others, promoting your website or product, and putting yourself forward for things (but more on that in a sec!)
And with the new photos came a website rebrand. Deciding to drop my business name and run with my name took months of back and forth in my head. In the end, katherinemackenziesmith.com won the battle (who would have thought?!)
Having an online home that you’re proud of is such a huge part of stepping up and shining in your biz. It’s like having friends over to your house, you won’t invite them if you hate where you live. As with all websites, there are still a million things I want to change, fix, redo, but I always think of them as an extension of us, and we’re always changing and tweaking ourselves as well.
Want to read more:
Happiness and Wellbeing covergirl
This was definitely a ‘heart pumping, squealing and happy dancing’ moment for me. A girl who has spent a long, long time feeling like the wall flower and staying far out of the spotlight, seeing my face on the cover of a magazine was a mind blower.
The value of getting professional photos that you love is that when opportunities like this present themselves, there’s a level of confidence about putting yourself forward or taking those opportunities, wholeheartedly.
Being on the cover of Happiness and Wellbeing mag was definitely a business highlight for me, and it helped me to see that, oh yes, I can do this and am doing this (for those moments where it sometimes doesn’t feel real).
Writing and launching the Shhh… eBook
This was a HUGE one for me, I can’t even begin to tell you! The writing process took MONTHS longer than anticipated, due purely to procrastination and analysis paralysis. Oh how many drafts I wrote of Shhh before I launched it into the world.
But the relief and joy of having it out there, of sharing it, and helping others to understand and embrace their introverted side!
It made me realise how much fun creating can be, if you let it. And to let go of expectations and create for the love of it (huge thanks to Elizabeth Gilbert as well, so timely Big Magic was to my book launch experience).
The League of Extraordinary Introverts Community
I started the League community after reading Playing Big by Tara Mohr. One of the chapters made you decide on something you’d been thinking about doing for ages and had never actually done and to go for it.
So, the group was born.
And, what a beautiful group it is. We’re often quiet with little flurries of conversation, mutual understanding, and shared ‘introvert-y’ experiences. And it’s one of my favourite places to hang out.
Want to know more:
Being featured in Cleo magazine (plus a bunch of other places)
Again, it can be tough to put yourself out there. Introverts + online business actually works REALLY well, but the contradiction of wanting to be seen and, simultaneously, not wanting the spotlight on you is real.
But, there is a lot to be said about forming beautiful connections and finding your own way to do this. Something I definitely learned this year and know I have a big growth spurt ahead of me in 2016.
Hearing from fellow-introvert, Selena Soo this year was SO helpful, because she demonstrated just how easy it is to work with your natural talents, abilities, and personality to make your business work for you (so, so valuable).
This year I was interviewed for podcasts, interview series’, I was featured in Cleo magazine, Happiness and Wellbeing magazine, Inspired Coach, and Event Head Magazine, I spoke at a Beautiful You Inspiration day and a wellness event, I was a guest expert for a number of courses and programs, and I did it in a way that felt good for me (instead of what pops up on just about every extravert-preferred business site out there).
2016, we’re taking this to a whole new level. Are you excited? I am (and also a little shaking-in-my-boots.
The League of Extraordinary Introverts Podcast
And with the League came another idea I’d been toying with for months. My podcast, chatting to wonderful introverted souls who are doing extraordinary things?
Because too many introverts I’ve come across are letting their quiet, gentle nature stop them from stepping up in their lives and business so, as part of my mission, I decided to really showcase some exceptional innies to prove that you can do things your own way, and shine brighter by embracing your introverted nature than trying to compete with those wonderful extraverts we all know.
It can be tough to approach people and invite them to be part of a project you’re working on, but it can be so rewarding to nudge yourself out of your comfort zone. What’s the worst that can happen? Someone says no. Such a valuable lesson there, my friends.
Stay tuned for some more exciting guests in 2016! Make sure to subscribe on iTunes here so you don’t miss an ep (and I’d be oh-so grateful if you left a review, thank you so much!)
Want to join the FREE Shine Bright in Your Biz Masterclass?
Whoa, what a year! Again, I’m super impressed that you’ve made it to the bottom! I just realised that I haven’t even had a chance to acknowledge, thank, and be so, so grateful to everyone I’ve had the opportunity to connect with this year.
So many beautiful people I’ve coached, so many who I had the joy of helping train via Beautiful You, so many who cracked my heart wide open letting me know that they had to introduce themselves or thank me for some way that I’ve helped them to own their introverted nature or come to accept something about themselves. So many beautiful friends and loved ones who support me endlessly and show up every day to live their dreams and to encourage me and others to do the same
Connection and gratitude are so huge but also so easy to include in this business thing. So easily forgotten, as well, sometimes. But so, so important.
As a huge thank you for getting to the end of this post and for being here to read this, I’d like to invite you to a Shine in Your Biz Masterclass.
In it, I’ll be discussing, in more detail, my best tips for finding your own way to shine in your business, and how to implement them ASAP.
All you have to do is pop your details in the box below and you’ll get free instant access to the workshop plus a free workbook to go with it! Know a friend who’d like this too? Please share, this is going to be full of great tips and I don’t want anyone to miss out.