Naomi finds her authentic self
As you may know, I recently underwent some MASSIVE rebranding for my business which was previously called New Heights Wellbeing. (I'm not going to link to my old site as it is being phased out - and I'm a little bit embarrassed about it). Although this business was successful, I struggled attract new customers and to engage an audience but I had no idea why. In my mind I was doing everything *right*, but what I've come to discover is that I couldn't have been more WRONG!
Everything about New Heights Wellbeing was inauthentic. Instead of being true to myself, I was trying to create an image of what I thought my audience wanted AND I was trying to attract the wrong kind of people. Double bad!
I thought that my ideal customers would be middle aged and would expect me to be "appropriately qualified" and experienced. I took this ASSumption to the extreme. I listed all the qualifications and training courses I'D EVER DONE on my website. I crapped on about my background in the corporate world and how it was relevant to my therapy offerings. I even dressed up for my website photos with the intention of looking at least 5-7 years older than my actual age (I'm 30 now by the way).
And what was the result? Well my photos looked nice (but not "me"), my website looked nice but a bit "try-hard" and I came across as someone who was desperate for love and acceptance....
Not the best look for someone that was trying to help people get over their own desperation for external sources of love and acceptance.
I had been disillusioned by my own exposure to "therapists" of all kinds. They had pretty much all been middle aged, with years of experience and credible, high level qualifications in their field. That's what I thought that I had to be. Even though I was only 27.
Although I knew in my heart that I had something of value to offer my clients, I still believed that I wasn't worthy of the title of therapist due to my lack of traditional training and experience. This belief made me crazy! I practiced what I would say to clients so that I didn't sound too "young" and unprofessional when I met with them. I edited my blog entries meticulously to ensure that my writing sounded formal and academic. I chose clothes to wear when I met with clients that made me look older. And all this effort didn't get me very far at all...
In fact, it wasn't until I took on some clients that already "spoke my language" that I realized that I even COULD be myself in my business. I checked in with my reality:
I am a Gen Y (yes one of those) and I used to look a lot younger than my actual age. I realized that when I met with clients that were under 40 (or young & playful at heart) we had a deeper connection because we were speaking the same language, we understood each other. They weren't judging me on my experience or (lack of) university degree. They were just grateful to be able to have a connection with someone that really got them.
I finally realized that I didn't have to kiss-ass just to make this therapy thing work. I just had to find the right crowd to offer my services to - and this meant that I had to change my approach and find my true self.
This process, although liberating and exciting was filled with fear and apprehension. Even though I desperately wanted to be authentic in my business I was nervous that no-one would appreciate me for me. I found inspiration in other young, successful, authentic (and many un"qualified") entrepreneurs and their stories fueled me and convinced me that it could be done!
So here I am, the bullshit has been stripped away and the censorship is (clearly) gone but I'm still getting used to speaking my truth here so it might take me a while to show you all of me (which I intend to do).
I am forever grateful for this journey, for the opportunity to do what I love with integrity and honesty and for you, my tribe, my supporters and companions.