When Social Anxiety Meets Online Business

First of all, I’d like to say if you are thinking of starting an online business, congratulations! It is a very courageous endeavour with many upsides once you get into the swing of things.

It is everyones dream (at least the people I know) to work from home, filling their days with things they would like to do. Running an online business is kind of like that, except a lot of your day is filled with little working tasks, like writing a blog post – making content – taking pictures – client calls etc.

Most of my time is actually spent replying to social media messages and emails. Networking is THE biggest part of an online business.

I’ll stick to that despite what anyone else says.

So, how do you run a business when you have social anxiety?

Luckily the online world is pretty cool about that sort of thing. When you interact online through the computer, typing on profiles, it’s a lot easier because you have some time to think about the responses that you are giving. You can take a moment and generally, for myself, feel little to no anxiety.

When you have to network outside of “the profile”, by FaceTiming or Skype, it get’s a bit harder but it is still doable. When I first started using FaceTime to interview people I was nervous. I was so nervous I actually sabotaged a few meetings and hated myself for it afterward.

Now, I see that as a serious learning opportunity. Each time I sabotaged because of social anxiety I felt regret. I had this huge hanging question “what if?”. What if I had just completed the interview, what if I had been courageous enough to meet someone new today.

After you do it so many times that feeling kind of simmers down. It is always there in the beginning, but a bit smaller and it has a weaker hold on you than before.

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My only advice would be to ask yourself: where is this feeling coming from? Is it because I’m worried that no-one will like me? Do I feel inadequate? Will hiding away help my business?

Slowly step out of your comfort zone. Try to meet one new person a week, you will generally find the world to be a pleasant place and the people you meet will do most of the talking anyway. All you have to do is ask a few questions now and then.

Take it from me, or Mark Metry host of Humans 2.0 Podcast, social anxiety can be conquered and a full-time online business can be developed.

You have it in you, I believe in you.

If you ever want to chat simply drop me a comment or send me a message on one of my social media channels, I’ll be happy to chat.

 

— Carlee xx.

 

You are Loved. You are Worthy. You are Blessed.

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Why Customer Service Is Just A Sh*tty Sales Job.

I’m talking about low pay customer service jobs here. I currently moonlight as a coffee shop girl and let me tell you, it’s not as easy as it looks.

First off, last night we had to call the cops because some gentleman was jerking off in the parking lot.

Second, you are there to serve so you are pretty much acting the whole time unless someone you genuinely like comes into the store.

That’s not really a bad thing, but having had a brief “real” sales job at a newspaper previously (before it went out of business, hello social media) this job feels a LOT like sales, minus the great pay and incentives.

Here’s Why:

  1. You are to have a smile on your face at all times and greet everyone with an overzealous hello. *This one makes people’s day, especially in the morning… so it’s a positive*
  2. If you’re good at your job you will remember their order, name, kid’s names, work, hobbies, kid’s hobbies, dogs name.
  3. Up sell. Up sell. Up sell.
  4. Look nice. Arrive early. Do your best every, single, day.
  5. If you’re lucky — or cursed (depending which way you look at it) you’ll have opportunities to advance up the ranks. Head barista, shift supervisor, assistant manager, with about a .10 cent raise.
  6. You’ll laugh a lot, or cry a lot, but you’ll never fail to meet interesting people along the way.
  7. You will definitely get yelled at and talked down too should something go wrong and you piss the wrong customer off.
  8. If you are aware, you’ll gain valuable skills… mostly the ability to smile back at someone who is screaming their order at you asking for “less foam”.

 

Is it worth it in the end?

Of course.

Let’s not knock anyone for earning an honest wage, but let’s call it for what it is at the same time.

The reason for this post?

Dude, someone was jerking off in the parking lot…and we are earning minimum wage to make them a coffee.

Onward and upward my friends. This is just a shoutout to the men and women in customer service and the real sh*t they have to put up with. It’s okay to love the job and it’s okay to use it as a stepping stone as well.

From the bottom of my heart, I see you out there working away and I salute you.

Love always,

Carlee.

Finding Support In Unconventional Places

Maybe unconventional is the wrong word in today’s social media fuelled society, but I wanted to share with you something I have found to be true in my own life.

Sometimes we start businesses, or go to school, or try out for a sports team, and we look for support from friends and family. It can be really nice when you get that support. It’s an amazing feeling when you have your tribe cheering you on from the sidelines, but what happens when you don’t? What happens when you thought you’d have support but everyone is simply too busy, tired, or uninterested?

My own family is not very supportive when it comes to entrepreneurial ventures or anything too risky really. I have watched as they paid for services from another business when I offered the exact same thing at mine. That’s okay, everyone has their own preference.

What I’m getting at is that when you don’t have that close knit support system where do you turn?

I found my tribe online and I’m not ashamed of it. I use LinkedIn almost everyday and the connections I have made there are some of the strongest relationships I’ve had in my life. They have withstood months of me battling depression, trying new ideas, and taking a 3 month social media break. My online tribe is who I turn too when I want to talk open and honestly about ANYTHING.

It is okay to find support in unconventional places especially when you feel you aren’t receiving it within your friend or family circle. It is okay.

That’s it. This is the whole blog post today.

I just wanted to share in case anyone else out there has experienced the same thing.

We are all in this together.

 

Love to you all,

Carlee.

Dealing With Heartbreak While Running A Business.

I thought of the idea for this piece last night while lazying around in the tub. Sometimes it’s easy to find things to write about, sometimes it feels like the ideas are right there at the tip top of my brain but I can’t access them. Isn’t it strange? Now I know why so many writers before me tried vodka or whiskey to loosen up a bit and get over the keyboard jitters.

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dramatic photo for a dramatic topic?

Don’t worry. I don’t drink, anymore. Enough of my rambling though. Dealing with heartbreak is never fun, ever. It’s always messy and you end up on your bed at 2 am with  melted chocolate smothered on your pajama bottoms; crumpled up tissues littered across the comforter.

“I loved him” … “How did this happen?” … “It wasn’t suppose to turn out this way”.

All things I’ve sobbed into the phone while my best friend says “He was an absolute ass hat.”

 

It’s tough, it’s really tough if you’re heartbroken over a lover. It can happen for any reason, perhaps you simply weren’t meant to be or perhaps something more tragic happened and someone you loved dearly passed away.

It’s even harder when you have a business to run and you’ve got to stay strong. You are the last line of defence, employees come to you, customers come to you, your dog comes to you looking for comfort. It can be even harder when you’re just starting a business and your only employee is yourself.

You have to keep pushing on through the grief. You must keep putting one foot in front of the other despite the black glob of grief that has lodged itself in the centre of your chest.

It can be a great for a few brief moments to distract the mind and it’s even better to dive into something and use all of that emotion to fuel you and fuel the business. Growth can often be seen in times of struggle.

Don’t let anything stop you. Sure, you may have just been dumped by who you thought was the “love of your life” or maybe you did the dumping (you powerful goddess you). Your business, the thing you are passionate about, that thing you’ve been working so hard for… it’s still there and it needs you. Take life’s challenges and be vulnerable, get real, help others through the same damn things.

The things in my life that I thought were terrible misfortunes always have a way of ending up to be huge blessings in disguise. It might take months, it may even take years, but one day you’ll be glad it happened and you’ll be glad you put all that fierce energy into your business.

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This isn’t really a “how-to” blog post because I believe everyone processes grief differently and what might work for one person won’t necessarily work for the other. So do whatever you have to do in order to get back to grinding, to step back into that hustle and focus.

Have a personal talk with yourself in the mirror, you are a badass after all. Listen to music, put your headphones in and drown it out. Go for a long walk and just breath. Do some yoga and read something spiritual. Do what you have to do.

This is more of a reminder blog post… reminding you that you won’t feel bad forever. That the business is there for a reason. That you can and will hustle through it and your competition should be scared. That you are a badass goddess and should treat yourself as such.

Cry, eat the chocolate, feel the grief, inhale deeply – exhale it all out and focus baby, focus.

 

Love to you from the bottom of my heart,

Carlee. xo

Find me on Instagram @theselfcareenthusiast 

Write me an email on anything you’d like me to write about: theselfcareenthusiast@gmail.com

 

 

Gossip Is Not A Form Of Connection

I just read Lauren Evarts Instagram post about emotional intelligence and the last indicator of EQ was that those who have emotional intelligence do not view gossip as a way of connecting.  

THAT has to be one of the best things I’ve ever read. I’m going to be straight up honest with you, for a long time that’s exactly how I connected with people, especially other women. Gossip was just an accepted form of communication amongst high school girls and even later in office settings.

Wherever I have worked it hasn’t mattered the age or gender of the person there has always been gossip.

The truth about gossip though is that it never comes from someone who is on their A game. When you are the one giving out the gossip you immediately put yourself at a disadvantage. You are showing weakness and plain bad character.

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Why is gossip so bad? 

Aside from ruining someones reputation or day, you will NEVER be able to build a relationship of trust from gossip. Immediately it puts you in a place of distrust and any relationship built with it will have no solid foundation.

Your leverage is gone, you have no credibility and you are choosing to communicate with literally the lowest form of communication there is. Why would anyone want that?

We all saw the movie Mean Girls and it was called Mean Girls for a reason. The movie might have been okay to watch but in real life everyone just thinks you’re a bitch.

Positive, successful people all share traits of kindness, empathy, and optimism. Truly successful people help each other to succeed and give positive feedback. It is necessary to be truthful and straightforward and sometimes that’s going to mean saying something abrupt, but it will never be deliberately gossiping or spreading falsehoods about someone else to get ahead.

To close this short, but important piece I will say anyone who is striving for more in life will do themselves a huge favour by focusing on engaging – thought provoking – inspiring conversations and cutting the gossip out completely.  When you go to sleep at night at least this way you will feel good about who you are as a human being and so will many others.

Carlee Lloyd

*Connect with me on LinkedIn, seriously it’s awesome over there.

What Attempted Suicide Taught Me About Living & Thriving In Business

I had been in bed for 3 consecutive days only getting up to relieve myself and grab more alcohol from the fridge. After the third day the liquor was getting scarce and I was left with my own thoughts. I had moved away from my family for a man. Adventure, excitement and  love were all things I thought would be speeding into my life, just as I sped down the highway away from everything I once knew. After only a few short months it was apparent that I had made a gross misjudgment of the situation…it had been a long standing joke that I lived with “rose-colored glasses” and this time was no exception.

 

I had been an alcoholic since the age of fifteen. The moment I had taken my first drink I felt alive, more alive than I had ever felt before and any self-conscious  limiting beliefs seemed to melt away. I felt invincible. Of course, that too only lasted for a brief moment before the drink took over my life and consumed my every thought. Naturally, as any alcoholic would, I found a partner that wouldn’t be turned off by the whiskey glass glued to my right hand.

 

On the morning of my attempt the air felt heavy and I couldn’t stop crying. It felt as if years worth of emotions were coming to the surface and spilling over the top uncontrollably. Trying to explain depression to someone who doesn’t have it is challenging, if you haven’t experienced it there’s no way to truly grasp the feeling. It is like an emptiness,  the most empty feeling you could possibly imagine, there is no happiness or joy or positivity. A void as dark and grim as any monster in any fairy-tale we read as children.

 

The details of the event aren’t at all spectacular, in fact for something as pivotal as suicide they are actually quite boring. I thought taking an entire bottle of acetaminophen would do the trick but I was only able to get a handful of them down before resting for what I thought was only a few moments…  hours later I awoke to myself vomiting all over the bed. I was cold, achy and felt like I couldn’t move. The goodbye letter I had written before lay crumpled into the sheets, dripping of guilt and shame and “I love you’s”.

 

To make what could be an incredibly long and tumultuous story into a nice little article, I’ll move right along in telling you later that evening I checked myself into the Woodstock General Hospital – Psychiatric Ward. I was given an exquisite psychiatrist and stayed there for three weeks in a small room, like the movies go it had four white walls and a window that overlooked the dumpster.

 

So, what did I learn from this experience that can be transferred to business? What did one of the lowest points in my life teach me about living authentically?

 

  1. Knowing what you stand for is easier than knowing “who you are”

 

I fell into the trap of trying to “find” myself instead of just sitting down and figuring out who I wanted to be and what my values were. Not having those things narrowed down made me open to making unwise decisions like moving across the province of Ontario in pursuit of love. The business world is full of strong personalities and unless you know exactly what it is you stand for, unless you have a solid set of values and a strong conviction to those values, you’re going to get pushed around. I had to take the time to ask myself “okay, who do I admire, how did they become so successful, and what values do they have?”. The people I most admire hold values of kindness, consistency, authenticity, compassion and work ethic. It was then a matter of holding myself to a higher standard than before and emulating those values in my own life.

 

  1. Everybody has a story, everybody is trying to make it.

 

Rich Cardona, CEO of Flybys Media, actually said this to me a few months ago and I immediately remembered the moment I too came to this realization. “Everyone’s just trying to make it. I’m trying to make it, you’re trying to make it, Claude is trying to make it” he said.

 

It’s true, it’s so very true. Even Steve Babcock, Chief Creative Office of VaynerMedia posted on his Instagram yesterday: “want your life”, meaning everyone admires all of these amazing people, everyone wishes they could be someone else…but someone out there is wishing for your life. YES, this is another “be grateful for what you have” paragraph, but until you truly grasp what that means you’re going to be so deeply unfulfilled that nothing will ever be good enough. That emptiness I spoke of previously will consume you and you’ll be fighting to hold onto any amount of happiness from any direction (drugs, alcohol, food, porn) until you are simply depleted.

 

Alternatively because everyone is simply trying to make something of themselves in this world, we can be a little kinder, judge less, thank often and help whenever we can. Be kinder to yourself too, someone out there sees you hustling, grinding, putting in the effort and if you just keep going despite any setback things will come together for you.

 

  1. Strength comes from within. You were probably born with it, you just didn’t know it.

 

Can you think of a time when you were strong? Perhaps as a child when you stood up to a bully or found the courage to do something daring. Perhaps it was a few weeks ago when you overcame fear and spoke to someone new for the first time in months. Whatever the case, you probably realize you have had moments of being strong for quite some time. It wasn’t until after I had overcome addiction that I realized no one is weak, no one who is actually trying for something greater is a weak person. We all have strength, true grit, determination. How we put that determination into action is what matters. Many successful individuals have the burning desire to win…they feel it in their bellies, the fire consumes them so greatly that it is all they can think about. Their nature and fierce will makes them strong enough to overcome any obstacle in their path. And so this too brings us to the realization that strength cannot be from any outside source, to truly stay consistent in our strength it must come from that vulnerable and fierce place within.

 

Mark Metry, host of Humans 2.0 Podcast spoke with me yesterday and said “We all have the Humans 2.0 Version inside of us at all times, it’s just a matter of accessing it. I can look back in my own life and see moments where I was that version 2.0 as a young child. At 6 years old I would collect and trade baseball cards and Pokemon cards, and that’s how I got money to buy food because I didn’t want to ask my parents for money, we were very poor.”

 

You can come back from the lowest point in your life and make something out of it. You can inspire other people and create a lasting change in the world around you. And if nothing else, you always have a cool story to tell.

As my friend Wayne Mcleod once said “Don’t forget, everyone likes a comeback story”.

 

Carlee Lloyd.