The truth behind the social media gurus who don’t want you to know
I’m sure we all have. We compare ourselves to seemingly successful people showing their achievements on social media.
But … it sure can be a dangerous slippery slope …
You start to question yourself.
I wonder if you are doing the right thing.
Guessing their business and marketing strategies and thinking that the grass is definitely greener on the other side of the fence.
Then the snowball builds up and starts to affect the way you show up in your business.
You’d rather be doing housework than facing your to-do list.
You lose your enthusiasm for building a business.
You start to think of yourself as a failure. It is not worthy of success. Something must be wrong with you. Why even bother?
All because you compared yourself to the children’s poster of the success of fairy tales on social networks.
The truth is, every business owner has trials and tribulations.
Everyone fights in one way or another.
They just don’t allow you to see that darker part of running a business.
They want you to see nothing but their successes, so your impression of them will always be favorable.
Heck, I certainly don’t air out my dirty clothes! And it’s not because I want to hide any truth from you, or be genuinely transparent, it’s because it’s really not newsworthy.
It is not newsworthy because it is common.
Building a business has its ups and downs.
We all have challenging clients who will not pay their bills for services rendered or products received.
We all have challenges with people who don’t show up for scheduled appointments and then cheat on us.
We all have a hard time hiring new team members, struggling to find the perfect balance of skill, enthusiasm, and alignment with our values.
And yes, I often ask myself, especially in the hiring department: Am I asking the right questions? Am I digging deep enough to be able to foreshadow what awaits me if I hire this person? Am I paying enough to keep them motivated to stay? Am I communicating in a way that inspires them to want to do an exceptional job with each assigned task? The list goes on.
But I don’t broadcast these questions on social media. It is simply not something that you want to bring up and receive hundreds of opinions from people who do not know anything about our business model and our situation.
However, I have consulted HR professionals because this is their area of expertise.
My point in all of this is to warn you not to compare yourself to others on social media.
You will never get the full story of what they are going through just by reading their posts. Even the ones that claim to be completely transparent? Believe me, they are not sharing everything.
At the end of the day, all business owners are trying to run a business and make enough profit to be sustainable. They are not going to air their dirty laundry for everyone to judge.
In fact, there are some “gurus” who are downright misleading in what they reveal on social media. I know this because some of them have hired us to work with them. And it was not pleasant.
They present a false face of being rich, living the good life, having a successful business that allows them to travel often, and enjoy the epitome of who an entrepreneur aspired to be.
But that is not what is really happening.
From my experience working with such gurus:
- They always want to pay less than my current rate, citing that it should be a privilege to work with them and the exhibition alone will get me more clients. No.
- They rarely pay their bills on time. Some don’t pay for months. Some end up filing bankruptcy and pay nothing.
- They often operate a “launch” business model in which there is a feast or a famine. They spend a lot of money launching a new product or program and rely on its success to be able to pay the pile of accumulated bills.
If you were successful, they happily pay and feel good about your generosity. If the launch didn’t deliver the desired results, then they won’t pay their bills and blame everything and everyone else except themselves.
And throughout it all, they brag on social media about their latest achievement and offer “wise” advice on how to run a successful business.
Now, not everyone is as sinister as what I just described. There are others who seem to have amazing and successful businesses, and they most likely do!
But comparing yourself to them is also a futile exercise because:
They are not revealing all the hard work it took to get to this point of success. They can’t do this, or it would be a full time job to just report!
Countless hours have been spent working hard long before they could call their business successful. It didn’t happen overnight for them and you shouldn’t think it should for you.
They have a team that supports them. Whether it’s a trusted advisor, employees, and other resources in specific areas of expertise, they’re not building a successful business on their own. I guarantee it.
So I warn you, before you start comparing your business to someone else’s, keep in mind that you don’t know the whole story. You don’t know the trials and tribulations they’ve been through, the lawsuits they might be facing, the threat of bankruptcy affecting them, or anything else they choose not to reveal on social media.
But what you can do is:
- Compete with yourself. This is how I have always operated. Every day I ask how I can be more efficient. What can I do to attract more of our ideal clients? How can I serve my team so that they feel valued? What do I need to do today to make sure all the bills are paid? (Remember that I am the Achievement Badge Winner It is in my DNA to be competitive and the best competitor is me.)
- Have a plan. Running a business without doing your due diligence and planning first is like building on a foundation of quicksand. Make sure your business vision is viable by having a business and marketing plan that shows that your vision is also profitable.
- Spend wisely. The number of options that exist today when it comes to setting up your business systems is overwhelming. There are dozens of newsletter service providers, hundreds of social media management systems, thousands of web servers, and so on. Before jumping into what seems like an incredible deal, ask someone who knows that space first for qualified information based on your individual needs.
- Don’t try to go it alone. You will be setting yourself up for disappointment if you do. The more you try to do things that are outside of your area of expertise, the longer and more expensive it will be to achieve your business goals.
And if you are thinking that you will spend some money now to learn what you need to know, that is a perfect example of what I am talking about. (By the way, it’s often these gurus who sell these programs on how to build a successful business that I mentioned earlier.)
There is a lot of hard work to run a business. And the last thing you need to do is be disenchanted with all the positive posts and great images you see on social media.
Sure, use it as inspiration for yourself if that’s what you want to achieve, but know that there is always more lurking behind the curtain that will never be revealed. Right fans of the Wizard of Oz?
For the success of your business,