Alan Donegan: PopUp Business School Co-Founder, Entrepreneur, Financially Independent Pizza Lover, Marvel Movie fan and soon to be Script Writer
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She composed a brand new song which she played daily for all of us staying there. She had the idea to record the song and put it out onto YouTube for other people to listen to. When we got home she studied articles and YouTube videos about how to record your music and get it onto YouTube. We designed some cover art and put it out into the world last week. You can listen to the music whilst reading the article by clicking on it above!
But why should you care? Katie recorded something, put it out there and then what? There is Magic and Power in putting yourself out into the world but people don't do it. Why not?
What happens when you put yourself out into the world?
The magic happens when you put yourself out there! What do I mean "when you put yourself out there?"
I mean when you open up to criticsm, when you open up to the world and put what you create, do or think out there for others to judge. Maybe you:
You can see the Facebook post I did about Katie's song further down the post. One of the comments that came back amazed both Katie and I and inspired us! A lady called Julia replied saying that both her parents are pianists and she loved the music and she asked where could she buy the sheet music to give to them for Christmas!
Katie was buzzing. She had written and recorded a song, put it out into the world and someone had asked to buy the music so they could play it at home!??
She looked at me "Should I say yes? I haven't written the sheet music I just played the song!"
You can probably all imagine what I said!? "Could you figure out how to write the sheet music?" She replied "Yes". "Well let's sell her the sheet music and figure it out"
In that moment Katie became a professional composer! We sold the sheet music for £12 and the hard work started. 6 days later and Katie is 85% complete and will have it ready for Julia some time next week.
There is magic in putting yourself out there into the world and sharing what you do with people. What do you do in your spare time that you have never shared with the world? What do you create? What stories do you have that you have never told?
Avoiding putting yourself out there?
Why don't people put themselves out into the world? When we ask people what stops them launching a business at PopUp Business School the number 2 reason is fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of what will happen, fear of what people will say, fear. The flip side of fear is confidence.
When you are feeling confident and full of energy & happiness it doesn't matter that you have fears; you get out there and do it anyway.
Many years ago I had found a marketing mentor in a town near by my home. He ran a marketing agency and I swapped training for his staff for support on my new company's marketing. He knew I was on my own and at Christmas and invited me to his company Christmas party. I met him and the team at their office before we headed out to the dinner. This was the time I has just written and won some awards for a humorous speech about Brazil. He knew this and said in front of everyone "Alan why don't you do your Brazil speech for us?" The others at the party cheered and for some reason I got really, really self conscious. I was already nervous going to a Christmas party with a bunch of people I didn't know and this made me feel very uncomfortable.
I went red, started to sweat and shifted in my seat. The other people in the room encouraged me, my mentor pushed me to do it and the more positive they were and the more they asked me to do it the more I shrunk back inside myself. It was one of the most uncomfortable moments and I said no. They didn't take my first no and I had to repeat it a few times before they all looked super disappointed and we dissipated and headed to the restaurant.
My mentor had given me the opportunity to put myself out into the world and to show of my skills and talents and because of fear and nerves I didn't take the opportunity. I hid.
This was the start of the end of my mentorship there. Not because of my mentor but because my confidence took such a big hit from this that I never fully recovered. I was embarrassed by the way I had reacted and therefor stopped engaging and being involved.
Are you avoiding putting yourself out there? what are you afraid of? How could you build the confidence to be able to get out there and share your message, ideas, creativity, innovation?
You have a light inside you. Share it with the world.
The battle with self-confidence
I think the biggest thing that stops people sharing their gifts with the world is confidence. A lack of confidence. This is what I battled with and still do at times.
I went on quite a journey building my confidence. From crying with pain because I couldn't make phone calls selling my business to standing on stage in front of hundreds of people inspiring them. I plan to write more about building confidence and how to do it in the future. I want you to realise that confidence is something you have to work on, something you have to develop.
My Business partner Simon and I constantly repeat "Spend as much time building your confidence as you do building your business". I don't think people spend enough time building their confidence. If you are stuck and not sharing your gifts, ideas and creations with the world then I want you to start building your confidence. Here are some ideas to get you going:
Confidence doesn't happen by accident, it is built and developed. Start building your confidence today and go down the difficult road. The difficult road can often lead to beautiful destinations.
What could go wrong?
What could go wrong when you put yourself out there into the world? Not everyone is going to love everything you do and the chances are you are going to get some abuse and some haters as you post.
I remember the first time I got real internet abuse and how much it hurt. Jack who works at PopUp put out a post about the PopUp Business School we were running in Longmont, Colorado with Mr Money Mustache telling people on Reddit what we were up to:
Jack told the world about the 2 week long FREE course we were running. Inviting them along. I was excited because we were giving away what I felt was some of the best entrepreneurial and startup advice that is available and we had got sponsorship so it was all free. I was shocked to get this response on the post:
This guy said I had paid off the FI bloggers to promote me? That I was part of the boys club and that all my best information about how to start a business for free was an hour long advert with no value? I wanted to scream abuse back. I wanted to fight then online, I was angry, hurt and felt destroyed inside.
Here I was giving away the advice I wish I had when I was starting my business, giving it away for free and going out into the world trying to help other people achieve their dreams and I was receiving abuse for it? I was really hurt for a day or two and it was right before the start of that particular course. It affected my confidence and energy dramatically.
I did have another writer in Reddit come to my defence.
This positive message restored some of my energy and confidence and helped me get over it; but it is a human tendency to fixate on the one negative message rather than seeing the hundreds of positive messages. This is normal and not useful at all!
If you go down the route I am suggesting and start to share yourself with the rest of the world you will get ugly comments (which are nothing to do with you; it is the other persons shit), you will get abuse and negative comments.
Prepare yourself for the negative comments and abuse. My mother used to repeat to me "sticks and stones may hurt my bones but words will never hurt me". Mum I am sorry to say that I never managed to really believe this one as the words people have said to me over the years have hurt way more than any physical injury I have sustained. I have just found a way to read the negative comments, see if there is anything there that I actually need to learn or not and then move on quickly.
It is going to happen at some point if you put yourself out into the world in any sizable way. It is something you need to expect, prepare for and work out how to deal with.
Easy ways to start putting your messages out into the world
Here are some ideas for you:
There are so many different ways to put your messages and ideas out into the world now that are free for you to do. I want to encourage you to start sharing and communicating.
If you build it they will come.
This is one of the myths we spend time debunking at PopUp. If you build it NO ONE will come until you promote it. A huge portion of the work starts after you have created the content and begins with promotion. If you don't promote it, tell people about it, share it then no one will find out about it.
After Katie put her song on YouTube do you think anyone would have just organically found it? There is so much content being produced right now that if you just build it and hope that the algorithm does it magic for you, or you hope that people will stumble across it you will never be found.
If you have build something then you have to shout about it.
This is the post I wrote sharing Katie's latest song
It is all very well creating cool music, blog posts, videos, patch work quilts, recipes but if you don't share it the world will never find out about it.
Create something and then share it with the world!
Update: Free Financial Independence Workshop
Talking of creating something and putting it out into the world I have decided to create and run a Financial Independence Workshop. As part of our PopUp Business School in Westminster London I will be doing a workshop with Barney, The Escape Artist and Ken from the Humble Penny teaching everything I have learned over the last five years about getting to FI, investing, saving and early retirement. If you would like to come then visit the Facebook Event for more details and click going to show you are going to come along!
Thanks for reading the blog. I have got so much more to write and share with you. In the mean time you can:
Get out into the world and start sharing your ideas, creations, innovations and more.