You’ve lovingly created your online courses, even built some services around your topic of expertise; but at the back of your mind you always have this tiny sense of anxiety, a little niggling of fear ‘what if I’m not good enough?’, ‘What if I ever get an unhappy customer?’!
Fear of the unsatisfied customer Gulp.
It’s a fear that can stop many edupreneurs from ever getting their content out there. But it shouldn’t stop us. We can never please everyone, but it’s also not at all nice when it does happen. I know, I’ve been there.
How to Respond If the Worst Ever Happens
Sometimes – just sometimes, our biggest fears, the things we are most afraid of can actually happen.
For me, the single best way of overcoming this feeling of ‘being rubbish and not good enough’ is to over-deliver, over-help and be the kindest, most useful person anyone has ever come across. It’s true, it makes me feel much better about all aspects of my life.
If I’m feeling down about my capabilities, I try to find people I can help. In Facebook, I search for answers to questions I don’t know the answer to. I also browse forums looking for specific questions about topics I am familiar with.
You can’t do better than to prove to yourself your natural talents and have the ability to answer questions that others are asking. Then, they will thank you for their knowledge and appreciation.
My greatest successes have been caused by my self-doubt.
Chloe, my much-awaited child was born to me in 2016. As much as my husband and I had been trying to bring her into the world for 3 years and I longed for her with every ounce of my being, I was still terrified about how I was going to cope with upholding my professional castle, whilst adjusting to my new role of ‘mummy’, especially since we had no family whatsoever on the same side of planet earth as us.
My self-efficacy and fear were eroding.
There has never been a time in my life where I felt more like ‘I can’t do this’. It was then that the worst ever happened.
As I held my baby, the first time my company had ever received a dissatisfied customer in more than 10 years was just as I was. An unhappy customer went on a public, completely overextended tirade about her horrible PowerPoint presentation. It was pretty awful.
We all deal with crazy customers in business, but having one can be a real challenge for a woman.
As I was reading her hate mail, public abuse and threats (even though I gave her my full refund), this situation literally sent me spiraling into severe anxiety.).
Remember, I told the whole world that I was an expert. My self-description of myself was the greatest in business. My team, company, and I were considered to be extraordinary. My supporters were amazing and believed me, just as I believed in myself after ten years of great results.
For anyone who’s course creation and edupreneurial mojo is feeling a little distant, this experience was for me the equivalent of it combusting into a cataclysmic scatter bomb and taking my soul into hell with it’s own remains. Dramatic? Yes. True? Yes.
This is a nightmare for every educator.
But here’s where it gets interesting and why I can now look back at this situation and wish that I could thank this customer for what has turned into one of the biggest turning points to the rise of my most recent success.
I reassessed the facts after I had overcome my initial instinct to hide, run and give up.
The following are some suggestions for anyone who might find themselves in similar situations:
- Recall why you started
- Keep in mind what you are passionate about
- Think back to all the people that you helped throughout the years
- Keep in mind that there is a lot of great stuff out there that can be super useful to other people.
- Keep in mind that your positive impact can be greater than you think.
- Keep in mind that you’re a great person
These thoughts were my own reflections and led me to one conclusion.
Just keep at it. (That I am good at what it is I do).
All I need to do in order to keep it true is give, serve and help. Show them, show them everything.
“Helping others is the way we help ourselves.” – Oprah Winfrey
Everyone loves a good friend.
I was so worried that this person’s comments to others would damage my name and my work (yes I gave ONE person this much power in a time that I was weak), that I decided the only way I could recover was to show the entire world to just how wrong this customer was.
I imagined her saying to someone ‘This Sarah is a sham!’, and then imagined that the people she was saying it to simply looking at her like she was bonkers and then presenting to her a million ways that I had helped them and helped others with lots of helpful content and transformational courses.
It was much more than simply telling others that we were experts at our work.
This was more than just fighting the tirade.
It actually meant forgetting her altogether and going full-throttle into my ‘do what I came onto earth to accomplish’ mission.
She thought that discrediting someone was to say unjustified mean things about them. All I had to do to counter her unjustified aggression was to make it just that – by PROVING through the act of undeniable, factual, quantifiable evidence that I was none of the things I was imagining that she might have been saying about me in the big easily manipulated world.
I reached into my own inner wisdom vault.
I have shared, shared, and shared.
I was always there to assist and help.
It was my honor to help others.
I created streams of blog posts, articles, videos, courses, spoke at events for free, gave my knowledge and advice freely and made an absolute point of being the leading edupreneur that I’d promised myself, my team and my industry that I was.
It is true that I was initially motivated by survival. From a starting point of fear – but the real ‘happy ending’ and immense learning outcome from this story was about to present itself….
There is always a happy ending for the Edupreneur…
The messages of thanksgiving began to flood in. In my inbox, people began to flood in with messages of gratitude for how my content helped them.
My course sales went up dramatically, my following increased by more than 3,000% in just a couple of months, we couldn’t keep up with the enquiries and business and I had to hire 5 new people as well as turn business away.
My notifications of people tagging me in Facebook groups as ‘the guru’ in my field were out of control, I was being approached by podcasters and conference organisers to speak for their audiences and before I knew it, the place I thought I’d lost really was gone – now I was levels higher than before the entire debacle even started.
It was amazing to see the power of generosity in me, something I had never expected.
It was my inner urge to SHOW the World what I had and could do. I also showed them who I am and what I care about.
The results of giving my knowledge away and showing people that I could help them not only made the whole thing fizzle out and improve my business; but believe it or not also made the woman in question get back in touch a few months later and apologise profusely for her ‘unprofessional reaction’ and actually say the words ‘because it’s evident from everything you’ve been doing just how much you care about your customers and how good you are at what you do, I’m sorry’.
While I was responding with gratitude to my customer, I realized that I had a gentle mojo which is the essence of what I am.
Do you even know what Edupreneur is? It’s yours too. So if you’re afraid of a crazy customer and it’s holding you back even just the tiniest bit – remember that this is your strength – the fact that you care, the fact your heart is in the game, the fact that you show concern for the results you provide says EVERYTHING about who you are.
People who are heartfelt and generous make the most of Edupreneurs.
I always believed in ‘giving is getting’, and have always been a ‘speculate to accumulate’ kind of entrepreneur. I learned from this that you can give more than you get. Everyone gets.
Did You Create a Course, But Lack Confidence? Here’s What to Do first appeared on Addicted 2 Success.
You’re a Course Creator but lack confidence? Here’s What to Do appeared first on Addicted 2 Success.