As a blogger, we all face the boundaries we are willing to cross, or not cross, at some point in time.
Who do we talk about? How much personal information do we divulge? Who gets a name or a face to the name on the blog versus an initial or some other vague description? How many of our secrets are we willing to spill/be judged for? How open or closed will our life’s book be to everyone that reads our blog? How honest will we be?
The list of questions is endless.
And while I will never downplay these concerns (as they’re incredibly valid and tough for any blogger), I feel like those questions weigh more heavily on those who have a business that is any way tied to their blog. Maybe it’s the same name, or services are offered via the blog, or it’s used to promote the business, or the business and the blog share the same social media accounts – whatever it is, you’ve found a way to combine them.
And because of that, those answers mean more.
You’re no longer wondering if what you say will affect your page views alone, but instead if it will affect your customer base. Will you change what people think about your business/products/services by disclosing your goals, dreams, hopes, beliefs, ideas, flaws, etc? Will they judge the products or services you offer differently? Will you turn a customer away or maybe bring a new customer in?
As a business owner myself, I think about these things every time I write a post. Or send out a tweet. Or post a status update on Facebook. Or hit send on an email. Every time I correspond with someone, I ask myself these questions. And when I answer them, I weigh the answers and do my best to do as little as possible that would instill a negative connotation in a customer or potential customer.
But sometimes it prevents me from putting all of me into the blog, or even the business.
My heart, my mind, and my soul are carefully guarded as I tip-toe these fine lines of honest versus threatening. And it leaves a void, waiting to be filled by more of me. More of the real me.
When Rhi posted about deciding to implement more of herself in her business after someone copied her, it spoke to me. No, I wasn’t copied. And I didn’t face some of the same concerns or frustrations she did, but it was such a beautiful sentiment about putting so much of yourself into a business that people can’t even possibly copy all of your ideas. And that? That is exactly what I want for everything I put my mind to.
But until now … I didn’t feel like I have the right to choose my customers. And while that’s true at times, it’s not completely accurate. The way I run my business majorly influences the kind of customers I attract. Not only that, but it paves the way for the customers I’d prefer not to have to find a different place to purchase their goods. And it’s perfectly acceptable – and encouraged! – to be picky about your customers. Business owners are not required (and should not be expected) to be willing to accommodate every type of customer. Sometimes the fit is just not quite right and that’s okay – no one is meant to be able to please everyone, I promise.
So when I write my posts from now on, and when I post my tweets, and when I send out my emails – I’m dropping the big business feel. I’m getting real, raw, honest and upfront because I know that my heart is pure, my mindset is solid, and my soul is just waiting to be set free.
If that turns someone away, I’m okay with that.
And you should be, too.