April 28, 2017

Why You Need to Stop Trying So Hard in Your Business

First and foremost: the title of this post is not clickbait, and I am not telling you to stop trying to grow your business. Whew. Now that that’s out of the way… I’m here to tell you to stop trying so hard. It’s too tempting to throw yourself into everything, and when you do that, you may be half-assing projects instead of giving each your full attention. I read a post last month about why hustling is overrated, and I couldn’t agree more.

Everyone loves to share quotes about hustling and talk about what they’re doing to hustle. Creative business is saturated with this mindset, something I learned quickly even before my soft business launch in December (and something I knew intimately by the time my hard launch rolled around in February). But the big reason why you need to stop trying so hard is not that you’re spreading yourself too thin. That’s valid, but that’s not the big reason. The big reason is this: people can tell.

Nobody likes a try-hard. 

Sorry if that's harsh, but it's true. It’s true with writing, and it’s true in everything else in life. People can tell when you’re trying too hard— to make friends, to impress others, to be someone you’re not. And people can tell when you’re trying too hard in your business. You might be thinking to yourself “well, I don’t care what anyone else thinks. I don’t care whether people think I’m trying too hard because I know what I’m doing.”

Do you, though? Will someone want to hire you if they think you’re fake? The mindset around here is to fake it until you make it, which I completely support… in moderation. If 100 people are reading your blog every day, write your posts like 10K people are reading them. If you have 250 Instagram followers, pretend that you're sharing your pictures with 2500. But...

Do not pretend that you have more experience than you do. 

If someone asks you a question in a Facebook group, on social media, or in an email, answer it honestly, or don't answer it at all. Don't pad your résumé or embellish to try to make your brand and your services more appealing. If the hype isn't legitimate, don't create it because when someone reaches out to you looking for expertise that you claim to have, and you don't have it... not only do you lose a potential client, but you also lose their trust and their recommendation/endorsement. 

There's something even worse that could happen. What if our hypothetical client does hire you, and you can't make good on your claims because you have no clue what you're doing?

On that note, don't do something that you don't want to do just because you think that you need to. When I was brainstorming what to publish today, I went through my mental list of "how to" and "x reasons why you should y" and "what to do to x" posts and felt uninspired to write something that fit into any of these "templates." Then I realized. "Alexa, you're trying too hard." 

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