Entrepreneurship and its pitfalls for the sensitive person.
This article is cross-posted from my weekly newsletter, The Sunday Soother, a newsletter about clarity, intention, and useful tips for creating more meaning in your life that goes out every Sunday morning. Subscribe here. I am also a coach who works with sensitive people so they can stop second-guessing, make decisions confidently and live the life they’ve always dreamed of. You can learn more about working with me here.
A bit on self-promotion, codependency, sales, spirituality, and the Soother.
Hello there! I’m trying something a bit new today; this is not your typical Soother essay. I’ve targeted this email only to people who are super-engaged with the Sunday Soother, aka who open almost every email, so hello; thanks for reading so many of my thoughts and words! In a newsletter-heavy chaotic world of so much internet info, it means a lot to me that you seem to value what I am thinking about, sharing, and writing on.
The [regular] Soother is still on a tiny bit of spring break hiatus. Something I’ve had to get comfortable with over the years is the expectation that I can’t write this newsletter regularly every single week. When I’ve tried, the following has happened: I get resentful. I procrastinate. I write about things I’m not actually that excited about out of obligation. My people-pleasing comes out strong; thoughts like, “Will they ever even want to read me again if I don’t show up in their inboxes regularly?” come out in full force.
Through my own growth and healing, particularly around my codependency, I’ve gotten so much more comfortable with taking the breaks I need to re-fill my creative well. The Soother is much better about taking the time she needs now, whether it’s just here or there, or for entire seasons, too. I know when she does that (lol yes she is a she, and an entirely separate entity from me!) she is able to show up fully engaged and nourished. There is a trust that exists here now that didn’t even say, a year ago.
But one thing that I haven’t quite yet resolved yet is how or if I should use the Sunday Soother more intensely to market my business services like my coaching and courses. The Sunday Soother started out as personal essays done for fun, and as I’ve become self-employed as a life coach and online teacher, I’ve struggled internally with the fact that some people don’t want to be sold to on a platform like this that signed up to receive essays and links on, not to be marketed to. But, at the same time, the reason I am able to keep the Soother free and done regularly is that I get paid for other services. So I’ve played around with this. Generally I’ll include links here and there when I am launching a course or opening coaching spots. It feels like a happy medium but it still feels a little strange.
It’s taken some reflection though to understand that my hesitation to promote my services that cost money is actually another manifestation of my codependency and people-pleasing. I’ve refused to market more aggressively or transparently, I guess, out of the fear that people would unsubscribe; judge me; get tired of me; get annoyed of me.
When I look at those words and fears I’ve just written, that’s how I know it is my codependency. Codependency exists when you operate out of the fear of what somebody will think of you, or that somebody will leave you, if you show your authentic wants, needs, and self, or make asks of them to do something for you or give something to you.
Codependency is the plague of many highly sensitive, empathetic women, including myself. Then when you wrap in stuff like money, sales, metrics, self-promotion, and entrepreneurship, it adds in a whole new layer of potential fear and shame. (I actually have an idea in my head for a course or group coaching program called Secretly Ambitious geared toward entrepreneurial sensitive women because there is so much here!)
But I’ve made a promise to myself to no longer make decisions out of codependency, and so when I wanted to think about making final marketing efforts around my course, Practical Spirituality, I knew part of my resulting work would be including a dedicated promotional email about the course to the Sunday Soother, if only because it was something I felt too scared to do.
And now here you are, reading words that are both a self-reflective essay on codependency and a sales email. What a ride!
So this email is to let you know two things:
1. Practical Spirituality closes tomorrow for enrollment. It’s a six-week course exploring everything from life purpose to astrology to Tarot to ritual. It has an off-Facebook private community with over 60 other spiritually curious women in there, and I’d love to have you too. Use the code SOOTHER for 10% off. I’ve also done a few podcast episodes about it you may enjoy listening to if you’re on the fence; What is a spiritual awakening? Myths about life purpose; and 5 reasons spirituality can support sensitive people.
2. It’s okay to feel fear of being judged, it’s okay if you recognize yourself as codependent too, it’s okay if the line of self-promotion or self-advocacy feels sometimes muddied by fear and shame. It’s okay to be where you are, and it’s okay to also want to be someplace different, too. That’s where I feel I am when it comes to marketing and self-promotion; it’s still a complicated arena for me, and I’m willing to try to be braver in it as I grow.
Sending you lots of love; the “normal” Soother will be back next week!