Terms of Ill-Endearment

And this is where my “layers of comfort” come under siege from Cardonian business philosophy

Below is a post I created and deleted within a day of posting on LinkedIn.

Its been very difficult to work out how to continue with LI, the platform where professionals share their struggles, and their successes.

I describe this post as ill-endearment because I feel that it fails to endear potential prospects to my affordable digital marketing campaign – this is my struggle, but as yet, there is no success story at the end.

In the deleted post below, I share the character trait which, I feel, creates the main weakness in my attempts to succeed so far: Chronic Invisibility!

Deleted LinkedIn Post (15-16.7.2022)

I recently read a post outlining an authors journey over 7 years –

From low paid, direct marketing on the street – to co-owning a thriving new marketing business.

I failed to summon any kind of thoughtful response to this, but I did reflect on how, after similarly working in direct marketing, I cannot yet share the same story of tremendous professional progress myself.

In the same number of years the author became co-founder of a successful business, I developed a series of chronic health problems (some exasperated by stress), which left me unemployed and largely unemployable. BUT –

Being still more largely oblivious to the notion of giving up entirely and embracing aimlessness, my wavering ego sought instead the informed guidance of a successful other:

“What Would Grant Cardone Do?” 

Was a line of thought which asserted itself on those occasions I have felt most self-critical, particularly in regard to my professional ambitions.

American entrepreneur Cardone would, of course, have a thousand answers to how I might personally gain success in business, and as I reread his insightful series of sales books including If You’re Not First, You’re Last (2010), I can see a path ahead of me which will send me crashing through every layer of comfort I know.

“Queen Clarisse, my expectation in life is to be invisible, and I’m good at it” (Princess Mia)

I will tell you that long-term unemployment has left my confidence much in tatters. However, after a very long time without opportunities, 2021 was the year I was finally lucky enough to gain the chance to train as a copywriter.

Ironically, in came 2022 and I discovered that such training actually meant very little in view of the professional and social networks which were first necessary to build a new business, and today – I feel like I am back at square one. 

As you can imagine, long-term unemployment is not beneficial to maintaining professional or social  networks. The very networks which Cardone himself insists are essential for sharing and promoting my business –

And this is where my “layers of comfort” come under siege from Cardonian business philosophy:

Illness, unemployment and natural introversion have caused me to become a prisoner on my own island of Poor Productivity. 

“Being invisible” and choosing to “remain silent until I am successful” allowed me to hide from many of the lonely and unproductive realities of six years with chronic illness –

But now I am so used to being silent, and hidden, and without a social or a professional network, that the thought of actively (proactively) introducing myself as far and widely as possible seems insane.

But THAT is what Grant Cardone would do. And I can either heed, or I can give up on life totally…

This post is about fear, and the great responsibility every professional has to themselves of overcoming it.

I will never be a great copywriter until I can be a great communicator, and I won’t be able to do that until I break through my self-imposed barrier of fear.

It is less of a challenge and more of a life change which is necessary:

Do I have the capacity to change? 

Do you?

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“Mental Health at Work”, a summary

“You don’t need to rush. You’re doing a lot just being here with me.”

– Dad, poorly and 71

I’ve tried not to be overly personal with any of these posts because I’m here as a professional –

But “mental health at work” is a thing, and it could be deemed appropriate or acceptable for me to discuss some of the human challenges which influence my journey as a start up (and low budget) business owner.

I have once shared that long-term unemployment can leave you very isolated. Without the cash to go out and enjoy good times with friends, nor pay for presents or holidays, let alone contribute fairly to normal things like food and fuel, connections quickly begin to breakdown.

I’ve met a couple of women I’ve cared about very much, and been unable to develop healthy or equal relationships with them. The second woman I actually warned in advance that I didn’t know when I would be back in employment (and so was unsuitable for a relationship), and we had a bad relationship for a long while before mutually agreeing we were no good.

I remember my nan always told me, “Make sure you have your own money”, and I did manage that for some years before illness and mild disability struck.

And now I can choose to look at myself and see “Failure”, or I can see “Survivor”.

Either way, I’m broke. My CV is shot, my connections are mostly dead and I’m introducing my unemployed but self-employed self much like a girl shouting down a dark corridor hoping that somebody at the end might be listening.

And all of that can make you despondent, or determined –

And I’m determined. My determination is tempered (or interfered with) by such as “imposter syndrome”, but any self-appraising individual can be guilty of accusing themselves of occasionally not being up to the task at hand.

But nothing ventured, nothing gained:

None of us has the time to tell ourselves, “I’ll never be able to do this”. If we only live once, then why not put our all into our one go at life?

I can find a pit and shrivel up and die in it, or I can say, “Sod everything – I’m alive and healthy enough, and I’m going to keep fighting.”

And that’s what I’m going to do. I’ll just have to keep jabbering into the ether and trust that if I cast a wide enough net, healthy leads will follow.

I hope that whoever reads this post will not think less of me for sharing what I have labelled as “human challenges”.

Nobody has a straight path through life or maybe not even through their career, and I only have sought to share a piece of mine –

My business exists to strengthen the work of entrepreneurs similar to me: Those who are striving and who could benefit from accessible, skilled support in order to help their business be as successful as it can be.

I’m Ruth and I do digital marketing through copywriting –

Feel free to get in touch and introduce yourself and your business!

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One small business story

I am a very capable and valuable copywriter, and the only wall in front of me now represents the effort I must spend to achieve my goals.

So, I wanted to share some more of my business journey and my background.

As a start up, my small business cost not much more than £1100. Not of my money of course, I couldn’t afford it on basic universal credit –

Having been long-term unemployed as a result of a back injury at work in 2016 and the many health problems which ensued, I was lucky enough to have a few extremely kind relatives eventually support me into self-employment.

I was bought a copywriting course, a good chunk of web space, and the professional indemnity insurance I would need.

I have spent the time before and during the inception of my new businesses following different job centre instructions and initiatives, whilst all the time having to discuss many private health care matters in full view and hearing of many other, very miserable job centre attendees.

Needless to say, years of mostly fruitless hospital investigations and humiliating job centre interviews have interfered terribly with my self-confidence.

Why am I telling you this?

Because like so many others, I want to tell you that I have experienced rock-bottom, and I have had no hope of any sort of happy or prosperous future.

This admission is important because it is key to understanding my history and my motivations.

Back in 2013, whilst at university, I developed a manual dexterity problem (a problem using my hands for normal tasks such as writing, typing and using a smartphone) which had very many undesirable outcomes including an inability to complete coursework, and therefore, an inability to continue university. In years to come and alongside a back injury and other difficult health problems, I was unable to continue work, and unable to find suitable alternative work or training.

It has only been since 2020 that these health issues have become more manageable, but 2020 was not the best year for training or career building, as you will remember.

Along came 2021, and things were looking a bit better for most people. After years of relying on chronically slow and out of date voice recognition software to assist with my dodgy hands, Google vastly improved their own, free voice recognition application and fast and accurate-enough speech recognition was now available for Windows.

In 2020, with stronger hands and better software, I found myself in the surprising position of being possibly able to complete an online course.

Being unemployed since 2016 and with a variety of work-limiting health problems, my ego had been battered by long-term unemployability and the shame of having to discuss it.

But by the start of the pandemic, my own health was better than it had been in four years, and having been a strong writer since my school days, my father suggested I investigate the possibility of copywriting – something I had never heard of let alone considered studying.

In August 2021, a further relative very kindly paid the £400 I needed to enrol on a copywriting course, and an extremely generous aunt bought me web space (£200), Sheffield Chamber of Commerce membership (£400) and the professional indemnity insurance (£100) I would need to have the best chance of success.

So, after 6 difficult years of unemployment, and with the help of family members, I am now finally equipped with a saleable skill, and a platform on which to share it.

I cannot explain how lucky and how emotional I feel when I think about the position I am in now as compared to the position I had been from 2016 to 2019.

My mind still indulges in everyday imposter syndrome and tells me that I’m useless – but I know it is simply not true. It had seemed true once, and for a very long and difficult time.

But now, everything is so much better.

There is no longer an impossibly high wall blocking my path.

I am not isolated and afraid as I once was.

And although this is a new business, and although I will undoubtedly make many small business owner/ new business owner mistakes before eventually finding my way, I am filled with so much hope and belief for the future.

I am a very capable and valuable copywriter, and the only wall in front of me now represents the effort I must spend to achieve my goals.

It is not impassable as it was before – and that makes me so excited!

I’m ready now to learn the lessons I need to find my way to Victory Road –

I’m turning things around, and will support many other new and growing businesses owners on my way as we all discover our unique journeys to success.

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