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Five Things I Learned My Third Year of Business (Part 5)

On May 5 2021 I registered my business and committed to building … something. I had no idea at the time what it would turn into. One thing I discovered early on: the experience would allow me to grow in ways I never thought possible. Now, every year from May 1 to May 5, I share the top 5 things I learned about myself and my business in the past year.

Lesson #5: You Can’t Outperform Your Own Self-Image

I first heard this expression at a speaking event with my coach and mentor (and client) Hina Khan. She was on a panel speaking to the sales reps for Allergan. As soon as she told the room “You can’t outperform your own self-image” there was a murmur of agreement in the room, followed by a rustling of papers as a roomful of sales reps wrote this down.


I knew this intellectually. This was the year I put it in practice.


My three-second pitch (which you can find on LinkedIn and Instagram) is “I get you on TV”. For years this meant “I book you on morning shows”. I had the self-image of a former TV producer who knows how to come up with good segments ideas and I can lean on my connections to get people booked.


The more I started to work with clients, the more I realized what I do is far more than sending emails and coming up with pitches.


Getting on TV often means creating a more credible media profile. Creating thought leadership that supports editorial expertise. It’s about going beyond your business brand and creating a personal brand everyone needs to hear from.


Getting on TV can also mean creating your own TV show and pitching it to networks.


Getting on TV requires elevating every piece of media you create and publish.


This is also what I do. It was not the self-image I had a year ago.


I felt like I was at odds with my own marketing. So much of it focused on getting on TV, but what I do is more than sending emails to producers.


I launched a bunch of things this year because it felt right, even though it didn’t make sense.


I launched Speaker’s Agency while still building connections in this space.


I launched a Social Media Agency where people can get support on their digital marketing.


I started pitching a show to networks.


Every time I launched, I had this lingering question in the back of my mind: am I the person to do this?


Who am I to pitch speakers? I don’t have the connections in this space.


Who am I to run a Social Media Agency? I only know my own brand.


Who am I to pitch a full show? I’ve only ever pitched segments.


Every launch felt at odds with the self-image of someone who books people on morning shows.


So I changed my self-image.


For the past year, I’ve been curating and strengthening the self-image that draws all of these launches together and makes sense of them all.


Who am I to pitch speakers? I’m an award-winning producer who knows how to capture and keep an audience’s attention. The speakers I represent are TV-calibre speakers and an asset to any event.


Who am I to run a Social Media Agency? I’m an award-winning producer who approaches my own brand and content strategy like a television production. We generate continuous, consistent content that connects with an engaged audience. Our approach to brand strategy is powerful, effective, and impactful.


Who am I to pitch a full show? I’m an award-winning producer. I create excellent content and attract the best talent to collaborate with.


If your self-image is rooted in your past, it will be limited to what you’ve created in the past. But if you recognize your past history is the foundation you’re building on, now it can fuel your future.


I was an award-winning producer when my self-image was getting people booked on morning shows. I’m an award-winning producer delivering all of these other services that make sense when you’re booked on TV. The details and specifics are the same. I’ve simply expanded the meaning.


One book really helped me create this future/present self-image: “Be Your Future Self Now” by Dr Benjamin Hardy. I highly recommend reading it, doing the exercises, and re-reading it whenever you feel like your goals are at odds with how you see yourself.


You can’t outperform your self-image. But you can expand what you believe you’re capable of doing.


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