As I create my business, a company built on the foundations of sisterhood, it’s suggested that I show snap shots of my life, my soul sisters and friends, all of us having a good time and celebrating together. A means of leading by example and showing others how wonderful it is – and that I know what I’m taking about while I’m launching my project, Soul Sister Series.
This entrepreneur life comes with requirements and expectations of “shoulds”, “need-to’s”, even a handful of “have-to’s”.
More of those damn rules… like the ones I push against everyday as a woman, as a human, as an employee, daughter, sister and so on.
And I have to ask, why?
Why do I “have to” post like crazy about my life, my girl friends and sisters?
Why do I “need-to” share the intimate moments of my personal life in order to close a deal in my business?
I feel there has to be another way.
A simpler way.
A way that isn’t invasive on my life and the lives of my friends and family – because truth is, when I’m with the people I love, the last thing I want to be is nose deep in my phone and social media.
My grandparents and parents built their own businesses from the ground up without social media.
They didn’t have to invite clients over for dinner, into their backyards, to birthday parties and special occasions so they could prove they’re the kind of person who should be hired for a job.
And they’re successful. At least by my standards – their bills paid, roof over their heads, fed and able to live life with holidays and the things they enjoy.
I’ve always been a “private” person when it comes to strangers and folks outside my intimate circles. It’s a massive reason behind leaving home at 20 and travelling across country in a suped-up Honda Civic in the dead of winter with a boy I knew would be bad for me. I was tired of people I didn’t know, knowing what was going on in my life.
So now I’m faced with a conundrum.
A few weeks ago we celebrate my friends birthday. The very woman whom inspired the idea of the Soul Sister Series project. We celebrated with a bbq, drinks, a gathering of her friends, yard games and cards games. We laughed til we cried talking about all the topics “ladies don’t speak off”, and laughed even harder as men’s jaw hit the table at how incredibly absurd we can get when we are just our authentic selves.
I didn’t take a single photo.
My phone stayed in my purse all night. From 6pm until 3am when we left.
I contemplated pulling it out to grab a few snaps for my fb page. To “prove to my followers that I do in fact have a soul sister”.
But I didn’t want to miss the good stuff.
I didn’t want to miss the moment my partner in our game of Bones knocked down the pin we needed to hit.
I didn’t want to miss the laughter from the poop story that was so gross it had us in hysterics.
I didn’t want to miss the girl talk or the silent moments of contentment when you’re surrounded by the people you love.
I didn’t want to miss a single moment just to snap a photo for “proof” and marketing sake.
I wanted to be present.
To give them the time and attention they deserved.
I was there to BE with THEM.
If I’ve learned anything in this life, it’s that life is far too short to be worried about catching the right picture at the right angle for people I don’t know, who won’t even notice if I disappear tomorrow.
So, how do I market myself as someone who knows sisterhood, community, friendship if I’m not flooding my fb and instagram stories with photos from all our excursions?
I suppose, by today’s standards, I can’t.
So, I’ll continue to break the rules and do it my own damn way.
I do recommend that you ask yourself the following questions when you’re considering working with someone to enhance your friendships, make deeper and more meaningful connections and find your soul tribe:
Do you want to work with the person who plasters every moment of everyday on social media because they are more concerned about marketing themselves and proving they have people in their life (because anyone can take pictures with a group of strangers and call them friends – I did it for years).
Would you like to work with the person who is actually, whole-heartedly living in the moment with the people she loves the most, is regularly and actively making the time and taking intentional steps towards building those connections and creating meaningful moments that’ll last a lifetime?
There is a time and a place for everything.
Marketing is essential to business.
And being seen as a pro in your field does have a price.
I just don’t believe it should cost so much.
Put your phone down.
Love the people who are in front of you.
The rest will be there tomorrow.