Be Willing to Put Yourself Out There

When I was fourteen I was falling fast

For a blue-eyed girl in my homeroom class

Trying to find the courage to ask her out

Was like trying to get oil from a waterspout

What she would’ve said I can’t say

I never did ask and she moved away

But I learned something from my blue-eyed girl

Sink or swim you gotta give it a whirl.

– John Michael Montgomery, “Life’s a Dance”

I’m surprised sometimes by business owners who turn down opportunities for promotion. We can all feel intimidated by the thought of putting ourselves or our ideas out there, but whenever that happens to me, I stop and ask myself, “Are you serious about this?”

If there’s one thing I’m figuring out, especially lately, it’s that you have to be willing to make the approach. You have to be willing to ask for what you want. Ask the person to be a guest for your blog or podcast. Ask to be covered on another person’s site or radio show. Ask someone to join you for lunch or coffee. Just ask.

Maybe they’ll say yes. Maybe they’ll say no, but who cares? There are a million other people to ask.

It’s nerve-racking, spine-numbing and absolutely intimidating to get out there and tell the world about yourself and your business, but at some point, you have to ask yourself just how serious you are and how willing you are to let go of your fears and inhibitions and just do it.

The point is, you’re not going to get anywhere by staying holed up behind your computer screen tweaking, thinking, lurking or waiting. You have to take the initiative. Marketing, promotion and publicity — it’s all intimidating, and very few people are comfortable with it. That’s OK, though. If you admit that you’re nervous, people will be quick to support you and will actually see you as a real person who messes up and has feelings and is just like them, and that’s what you want — to make a connection with others.

What’s the best thing you ever accomplished by putting yourself out there?

Image from Flickr by geeknerd99

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