Mentioned in this video: Christine Kane (Go to her site NOW!)
Hey, I’m Laura Roeder, and today, I want to tell you a story. It’s actually kind of a sad story about facing your worst fears in your business and how it can turn out to be a good thing, or how it turned out to be a good thing for me.
So, I’m young, if you can’t tell, younger than most people who start businesses, and I was only 22 when I started my business, very young, even younger than I am now. So, I would always go – I actually built my business, my Web design business when I started off going to networking events, because I didn’t know anyone in Chicago and I needed clients, so I went to networking events, which by the way is actually really great way to build your business.
So, I would go to networking events and I was always, by far, the youngest one there. I mean, I stuck out like a sore thumb. And often these events are predominantly men. So being a woman, being really young, looking even younger than I actually am, I mean, I definitely stuck out. And sometimes people will make comments to me. Sometimes, they were nice, encouraging comments, and sometimes, they were rude comments, to be honest, about my age and about my being so young in being there.
So I was always a little bit self-conscious and I would try to dress and do my make-up and do my hair in a way that made me look older and tried to make people think that I was at least a little bit older than I was. It was always kind of this hang-up that I had. And I went to the eWomenNetwork National Event, and I guess it was in 2008, 2007 – it must have been in 2008. I went to their national event, which was actually a really good event in Dallas. I met a lot of great people. I had a great time, and they had these laser coaching booths set up where they had this professional coaches and you can sign up for which coach you wanted, then you got like a 15-minute session with them for free.
So I was looking through the coaches and I saw the one who’s a sales coach, and I thought, “Okay, well, I need some help with selling. Let’s go and see the sales coach to see what she has to say.” So I went in this little booth with the sales coach, and she immediately just started [0:02:22] [Inaudible] the shots, and it was all about my age and how I looked and my voice.
She told me – and I am not exaggerating, I’m not joking – she told that what I needed to do if I wanted to get better at selling, and if I wanted to grow my business was everyday I needed to practice in front of the mirror speaking in a lower voice, like I was supposed to look at the mirror and speak in a low – I don’t know what she wanted me to do. That’s ridiculous, right? But she told me that my voice sounded too young. No one was ever going to buy anything from me, so I need to change my voice. I need to change everything about my appearance. I need to change my hair. Apparently, I touched my hair when I was talking to her, and she told that my mannerisms made me look too young, so I kept – you know, I kind of tried to steer in the conversation being like, “Okay, but what about selling?” But this was all that she was fixated on.
She told me basically that I looked young, I sounded too young, my appearance was terrible, and everything was wrong with me. So as you can imagine, I was – you know, I’m laughing about it now, but I was holding back tears while I was talking to her. I mean, it was terrible. It was literally – it’s like imagine all your worst fears of what you think everybody is saying about you, and then imagine someone actually saying those things to your face. That’s kind of what happened to me.
So, I – you know, the whole time, I was holding back tears. I, immediately after I was finished, went up to my hotel room and just cried and just kind of, “Oh, my God. Do I have to lower my voice? Everything is wrong with me.” I was really upset. I mean, I could, even at the time, kind of see the ridiculousness, but I was very upset. And I actually remember Christine Kane, who I met at that event, ended up coming up to my room. I don’t remember if I called her or if she just came by, but she came up and I was really upset. And I remember she told me very genuinely, and she’s like, “That really didn’t even …” She was talking about my age. She said, “That really didn’t even cross my mind at all when I met you,” and I believe her, because Christine’s the type of person that kind of doesn’t care about those stuff, a.k.a. the type of person that I like to associate myself with.
So it happened and it was terrible, but I guess the moral of the story is I soon realized that my worst fear had come true and it was okay. You know what I mean?
Like all these things that I were afraid, people are thinking or saying about me behind my back, someone had said, someone had – they had said it. It was true. You know what I mean? My worst fears had come true. They were confirmed and I survived, you know, like my life went on. And I soon – and what she was saying was such an outrageous example, especially the stuff about practicing everyday to lowering my voice. Seeing it come true made me realize how silly it was, and of course now, I’ve built my business around doing these videos and doing a lot of webinars where I talk and you hear my silly, high-pitched voice that’s mine and that’s how it is.
So I guess what I want to say is when you think about the very worst thing that could happen to you or your fear of how people are judging you or what they’re saying about you, what if it actually is true? You know, I mean, when your business crash, would you die? What’s kind of the worst thing that can happen? The worst that could happen in my mind happened to me and it was okay. It really was, and so I just want you to think about, is the worst really so bad?
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