Are You Hiding Out?

I often talk about how entrepreneurs need to stretch outside of their comfort zone and embrace the limelight in order to raise their visibility and grow their businesses.  Many small business owners, especially women entrepreneurs, are really shy about promoting themselves.  One thing I’ve realized over the years is that even folks who think they are doing all they can to “get their name out there” are often really hiding out.

Here are 5 signs that you are hiding instead of confidently sharing your gifts:

  1. Not telling people about your business and what you do. Be on the look out for people who may be interested in your services or know someone who may be interested in your services.  Be able to clearly and succinctly communicate who you are, who you help, how you help them, and the benefits they get as a result of your work together.  If you leave the house without business cards, you’re hiding out.  If you say bland things like, “I am a business coach” when people ask you what you do, you’re hiding out.  If you suspect someone could use your services and you don’t tell them, you’re hiding out.
  2. Allowing busywork to eat up your day instead of actively pursuing clients.  Do you find yourself behind your computer all day doing things like checking emails, posting on Facebook, trying to build your website, formatting newsletters, and other technical and administrative tasks (and you aren’t a VA, web designer, or developer)?  If so, you’re hiding out.  Spend your time doing things that bring in the cash, like finding new clients. Use the majority of your time connecting with prospective clients, current clients, JV partners, referral sources, etc.
  3. Waiting for opportunities to fall into your lap.  If you’re sitting at home wishing you had more visibility, you’re hiding out.  If you want to speak more, decide where you would like to speak and then contact the person in charge of programming.  Successful people don’t wait for opportunity to knock on their door, they go search it out.
  4. Not asking for the business.  Do you have conversations with people about your services but never tell them exactly how you can work together? Or,do you say things like, “If you’re interested in working together, give me a call sometime?” If you truly think you can help someone, tell them that you would love to work with them and then make an offer.  I understand if you don’t want to be pushy or salesy, but beating around the bush is a form of hiding out.
  5. Undercharging, bartering, and/or trading for your services.  Do you get a lump in your throat when you quote your fees? Do you discount your prices habitually? Do you practically give away the goods?  If you’re not charging what you’re worth, you’re definitely hiding out.  You’re basically saying you and your services are insignificant.  Many business owners discount and give away services  because they can’t fathom someone actually paying them more. They’re letting fear, scarcity, and a sense of “unworthiness” reign.  Anytime you do this, you are hiding out. Remember, if you aren’t confident in the value that you provide, no one else will be either.

Look at areas were you may be hiding out in your business and commit to coming out of your shell in at least one area.  The more you get outside of your cocoon, the better the outside world feels.

© 2012 Tiffany deSilva

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5 Response to “Are You Hiding Out? ”

Sue Painter
March 12, 2012
5:12 pm

Comment :

Hi Tiffany,
Hiding out – what a great term! The one I like the most is “busy with busy work instead of marketing.” These are great “warning signals”, thanks for sharing.

Linda Pucci
March 14, 2012
10:11 am

Comment :

What a great post, Tiffany and one that should be required reading for every business owner and entrepreneur! I in the 29 years I’ve been in business I’ve been guilty of all of them at one time or another! And I appreciate the reminder right now as I’m in the middle of a lot of changes!

Kristina Shands
March 14, 2012
9:35 pm

Comment :

Serious slap on the forehead for me! I’ve been so busy with client work that I’ve been hiding out and using that excuse to avoid marketing myself and getting out there in a big way. Thanks so much for the swift kick in the rear:)

Heidi Alexandra Pollard
March 16, 2012
12:56 am

Comment :

Awesome post – I will be sending this on to some of our Leading ladies members – you are spot on – we can all do with a wake up call now and then. Sent from the desk of a woman hiding out tweeting when she should have delegated it! point taken.

Jeff Brunson
March 16, 2012
8:35 am

Comment :

I love the term you’ve given in this great post … “Hiding Out.” It has sure made me take a look at myself. Thanks!

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