How to Create Your Own Opportunity
Does this sound familiar? You see an “expert” out there doing TEDtalks, podcasts, workshops and you know you have way more experience in that same area. And you wonder why you’re not the one being asked to get on stage, give the talk, share your knowledge? I sat in this space for quite a while and it is frustrating! This article will teach you how to step into your visibility and why it matters
You’re Always in the Right Place at the Right Time!
As you know, I've done a lot of work on myself: a lot of courses, a lot of therapy, a lot of workshops, and a lot of training. I’ve worked hard on both my business and personal growth from spirituality to nutrition to running a successful business. For years, I felt like I had so much to offer but nobody was seeing it. I felt it keenly when I noticed those summits other women were throwing with panelists and teachers and I would think, “why don't they ask me?”. Or I would see speakers scheduled on topics I knew well and I’d wonder why I was never asked to present. This can apply to every aspect of business whether it’s being passed over in the boardroom or missing out on new meetings or opportunities.
And it’s painful because you start to think, well, why don't they see me? There are two paths this thinking can take you down:
Option One: I’m not worthy of the attention
I’ve felt this way! And I would catch myself thinking, “well, maybe I'm not worth seeing”, or “maybe I don't really have that much to offer as much as they do” or “maybe I’m just not good enough”. You convince yourself that the world simply does not (or cannot) see your gifts. We’ve all been here but you can see where this thinking leads: anger, victimhood, giving up. None of those are productive and will definitely not help build your business or achieve your dreams!
Option Two: Stop waiting for someone to see you
I’m now firmly in Option Two and let me tell you how I got here, how this really shifted for me. I was living in Switzerland and was a member of the American women's club (as an expat living abroad, it's always great to have these clubs to connect with others). I was sitting with my friend, Ellen, and having hot chocolate at this great hot chocolate cafe. She told me that the American women's club was going to be offering their yearly workshop week again.
This is a week where they have lots of different workshops for other women to attend. And she told me that they contacted her and asked her to offer a workshop on writing because she was a writer. As she was telling me this, I don't know if there was more steam coming off the hot chocolate or more steam coming out of my head because I felt, here we go again, why am I not being asked? Why didn't they reach out to me? Why aren't they seeing what I could offer? Why, why did she get asked instead of me!
You Can Toot Your Own Horn!
I was going down that ugly rabbit hole of “poor me. victim”. I remember leaving, getting on the train, and feeling miserable. And then a little light bulb went off in my head and it went like this:
Why don't you, Leslie, offer to give a workshop? Why don't you offer to do a workshop? And in that moment, I was like, oh my God, that's exactly it. And within an hour, I had a phenomenal workshop on how to make money on Amazon. I had so much experience and success in this area that I knew I could teach this!
This workshop ended up being the most attended workshop of the event and the most praised workshop with reviews afterwards. That moment and that workshop is what set me on the path to doing more videos, to doing more workshops, to start offering a course, to basically start stepping into my own visibility.
You are Your Best Advocate!
So what is the bigger lesson behind it? The lesson is yes. You may feel unseen and, yes, you may not be asked to do things like you want to. But you have the power to step in, to lean in, to take your own action, and to create your future. The only way to do it is to take action and make something happen.
Just like my workshop, that one action will roll into other things. For me it opened up opportunities for other workshops, for more speaking engagements, for building an entirely new business. I was no longer waiting for someone to call me, email me, or ask me to do something! It was me making the decision that I'm going to take control of this and stop feeling like a failure. I’m going to make sure I’m seen! And once you take that first step, it becomes so much easier to take the next. You are beautiful, you have so much to offer the world! Now get out there and share your gifts!
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Who is Leslie Kuster?
I became a 7-figure woman entrepreneur in my 50s -- with my successful Back from Bali clothing brand! It took some getting real with myself to finally say, “Damn it, I want money!” Now I am here to ignite women entrepreneurs -- like you -- to experience the empowerment, independence and joy of creating a business that brings you both money and freedom. Read more about my story here.