2020 flung our already intolerant world into a minefield of polarizing topics. Divisive issues came one after another, like those Russian dolls, but in reverse size and minus the charm.
The climate crisis, the lockdown measures, the ongoing fight against systemic racism, the U.S. presidential election, J.K. Rowling, China — you probably feel strongly about some, if not all, of these subjects. And if you’re an entrepreneur, there’s an ironclad guarantee that once you express what you believe in, you’ll ruffle the feathers of those who disagree with you.
Good. (Slightly cupped hand doing the ever-so-polite Royal wave goodbye.)
As that famous line from an old Ricky Nelson song goes: “You see, ya can’t please everyone, so ya got to please yourself.” I’ll double-down and say it with a twist. You can’t please everyone, so you may as well attract your ideal clients.
There’s no glory in being vanilla. And this week, I’ll show you how to create the professional visibility you need by slowly moving the dial +1 to honor your truth and build the business you love.
What You’ll Learn in this Episode:
- The “would you rather” game
- Who’s talking behind your back
- Mastering your BBO (Big Bossy Opinion)
- Fear of rejection behind the “V” word
- Where most coaching schools fail
Listen to the Full Episode
Featured on the Show:
Join a team of professionals that reflect success off each other. Level-up your entrepreneurial game and gain credibility, visibility, and advocacy for your business. The doors are OPEN for Expat Coach Coalition, so apply right here, and let’s finish 2020 with a win.
- For aspiring coaches or coaches who want to serve expats, don’t miss: Expat Coach Secrets.
- To transform your confidence, coaching practices, and bank accounts, don’t miss: Expat Coach Coalition.
- Expat Happy Hour EP 196: Not the entrepreneurial type – Listen now
- Expat Happy Hour EP 197: Dual-career couples – Listen now
- Sundae’s Facebook Business Page – Sundae Schneider-Bean LLC
- Sundae’s Facebook Group – Expats on Purpose
We’re delighted by our nomination to the global Top 25 Expat Podcasts!
Full Episode Transcript:
Hello. It is 7:00 am in New York, 1:00 pm in Johannesburg, and 6:00 pm in Bangkok. Welcome to the Expat Happy Hour. This is Sundae Schneider-Bean from www.sundaebean.com. I am a solution-orientated coach and intercultural strategist for individuals and organizations. I am on a mission to help you adapt and succeed when living abroad and get you through any life transition.
My eight year old loves to play this game with me, “Mama, would you rather eat someone’s toenail clippings or a bowl of oatmeal someone sneezed in?” “Mama, would you rather break your leg from a dramatic fall or get hit by a car when you’re on your bike?”
Okay, who likes being forced with these two kinds of choices? I know I’m not the only one and I think this is how many people feel when they’re considering running their own business, right? I’m looking at you, if you are a coach who wants to work with expats or if you are thinking about having a service-based business you might be asking yourself, “Well, gosh, would you rather put yourself out there publicly or make zero money, right?”
Both options can feel painful. So listen up if you have a thing and you’d like to be making more money from it, this is exactly what I’m talking about in this six week series behind-the-scenes. I’m especially talking to people who are interested in serving expats. Listen, don’t let my son trick you into thinking you only have these two options and don’t let yourself trick yourself into thinking that you can’t do what you love, be authentic, and make good money.
I really believe that this is hard for us to accept. We feel like we are stuck with these two yucky choices in the game that my son plays “would you rather” because we’re fed so much from the internet on what it takes to run a successful business, especially those of us who want to run portable businesses around the world. People are coaching across continents. Everything is so polished and promotional and everything seems to be done with so much ease and then you’re over here struggling or if you’re not all that, you think that you’re not cut out for it.
If you believe this, if you think it’s either that way or the other way, then guess who loses? You lose because you don’t get to do that thing that you’re actually made for, that thing that you studied for, that thing that you invested, you know, tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars to do. You know who else loses? Your potential clients lose out, the people that you are perfectly poised to support.
And honestly the ones that people don’t usually think about are your loved ones because you’re probably a lot crankier if you’re not doing the thing that you love. And take it from me, I know, I pushed away doing my own thing for many years. I was employed and things are going great. But I pushed away this idea that I could have something for myself because I felt I was also put into a forced choice situation.
You can either have security or you can run your own thing. Which is not true. You can actually have both. So if you missed episode 196, “Not The Entrepreneurial Type” check that out because I share some really honest truths that might surprise you about what it took for me to become the entrepreneurial type. Episode 197, we had a really honest conversation about challenges of dual-career couples.
Holes and the detriment that can happen to the relationship and to the individual if you don’t do some careful thinking about your own thing when you say yes for your partner to take that assignment abroad and now we’re here we are week 3, I’m so excited. So thank you for being here. And guess what? We are going to talk about the scary “V” word.
No, another V word, let me explain. Many of you, wrote to me and those who have applied for Expat Coach Coalition have asked me about how do you get started? You want to know how to get started. Maybe you just got fresh out of your coaching school. Most coaching schools don’t do a very good job at helping you know what to do with your business. They are great at teaching methodology of coaching, but they’re not very strong on the business side. It’s usually like a quick class or two.
Some of you might be really clear on what you would like to do, but you don’t know where to begin because it feels like there’s so much to do and that terrifies you. But the “V” word that I’m talking about, when you say you’re wondering how to get started, what you’re really scared of and what you’re really asking about is about how to become visible. The big bad scary “V” word is visibility, people.
People can usually take steps once they have a clear path on what you should do first, second, and third, but they hit a wall when it comes to one of those steps that are to be visible. So if that’s you, you are definitely not alone and I can tell you it was absolutely me. I even have evidence of it documented. If you go back to an article I did in 2015, it was one step to conquer fear and I shared how I made the transition from blogging to doing video and let me tell you I’m going to share this and I know it sounds so silly in hindsight.
If you’re like, “Seriously Sundae, you were scared of doing video? You were living in West Africa where there was malaria risk, you had gone through political uprisings, transitional governments and coup d’etat and that was the thing that you were scared of but I’m going to be really afraid of?” But I’m going to be really really honest here. So blogging felt safe because blogging was writing and it was around my ideas and having an academic background, I felt solid in my writing skills.
And I also felt solid in my ideas because you know, I can do research, I can support my ideas, etc. So if you are going to attack my article, then it will have to be on criteria around, proper English language, good vocabulary, idea, support, etc. etc. Which I felt, “Okay, I can defend myself with these sort of very academic principles.” So I was blogging for a long time and I started to get the feedback, “Sundae you come off different in person than you do in your blog. We like your blogs but there’s more that comes out in video and you should do video.”
So I was willing to try it because I knew it was a part about growing my reach with my audience and I was super committed to growing my business and it scared the living daylights out of me. And if I’m really honest it scared me, even when I sat in it, I notice there’s emotion that comes up in my throat. So weird from seven years ago, I’m feeling something come up right now.
So seven years ago it was around, if I put out my video then people don’t judge my ideas are my writing. They actually judge me. Ouch. And I’m someone who has come to learn that part of the default that I had for a while and still work with is, you know, everybody just wants to be liked. Who doesn’t want to be liked? So what if you don’t like me, what if you don’t like the sound of my voice, what if you don’t like how I look, what if you don’t like the way I come across?
Because now you’re not rejecting my very well-thought-out researched ideas. You’re rejecting me. And I’m saying that because we have got to put that on the table. If you do not put that on the table. We are not talking about business because part of being visible is dealing with the crap that comes out when you think about putting yourself out there.
And that came out of me in 2013 in my process. I have watched client after client after client courageously overcome this very similar process and I don’t want to hide it from you. Right? That’s why I’m putting it out there. This is why visibility is part of the behind-the-scenes series in these six weeks. Okay, and I’m warning you, if you are a natural and you just love putting yourself out there, you love, you know, creating visibility for you and the things you believe in this is perfect, but you’re not like 99% of my clients. Most of the people that I work with feel called to do something. They are creative. They might be artists. They might be writers. They might have a social justice heart.
They want to put the thing out into the world, but they’re feeling blocked on how to do that. We gotta go deep to get in there so that you can get over it and actually start making the change in the world or in your community or in your profession or with the people that you want to impact. So that is a really important thing. I wanted to say the “V” word, visibility is scary for people because you don’t want to be judged, you don’t want to be rejected and you want to be liked. There you go. I said it.
It’s true. So many people feel this way. And if you’re really honest with yourself listen inside to see if that’s you too. It’s okay, it’s totally okay. And what’s crazy about this is, you know, 2013 me, I mean I taught public speaking. I taught at the University, I’ve danced in front of thousands of people. You wouldn’t think that I would have resistance to moving from blogging to video. You would think it would have been a natural transition for me.
But now I had to confront my crap to get there and I say that because there are people listening who everyone around you would say you are super confident and you’ve actually presented confidently in public spaces. But when you’re forced to show up in new ways, let’s say creating visibility with an online business or whatever the new thing that you’re creating. Yeah new things might come up and if it’s coming up, don’t worry, you’re normal. I’ve got some really basic steps for you today to help you create visibility. Some are basic and simple, some are tough love.
So get ready. I’ve got three main tips for you today when we’re talking about visibility.
Tip 1 is simply start with the very first dictionary definition of visibility and that is being able to be seen so when you’re asking me, “Sundae how do I get started?” with your business. If you know what you want to do then the first step is to ask yourself, “Are you hiding?” Can people see you? Do you have an online presence? Do you show up in person where your people are? So are you able to be seen? So before we even make elaborate communication plans, you know over the next three months and you know pick out Instagram blah blah blah. No, let’s just get basic. Are you hiding?
If the answer is “yes,” then really ask yourself, “why are you hiding” and then the second step is, “in which spaces?” Is it important for you to step out and be seen? And maybe that’s just having a Facebook page or maybe it’s creating your LinkedIn profile, or maybe it’s just starting an Instagram account or maybe it’s changing, and adding to your personal account.
Whatever it is just allow yourself to be seen. It’s like pulling the band-aid off, just get established, get a simple website. Whatever it is, think offline and online. Are you allowing others to see you and I keep in mind. This is not like a big thing, this is just establishing a minor presence, physical ability to be seen, baby steps. Okay, good step one done.
Okay word of warning. Once you do that, please do not compare yourself to the highlight reel of someone who has been doing this for five, six, seven, or ten years. You’re going to look at your thing, and you’re going to compare it to someone else who has been doing it for a decade. And then you’re going to feel like crap. Do not do that. You don’t know what that person looks like on day one of their thing, do not compare your day one with their day 10,000. Okay. I have caught myself doing this. So that’s why I’m telling you.
I remember I was working with a coach and she’d been around for over a decade and her business is really successful. And I don’t know how many years I was in by that time, maybe five, and I thought to myself. “Oh, she’s doing that and oh my God, I should be doing this” And I was like, wait a minute, she’s like five years ahead. Who knows where I can be in five years and I don’t even have to be where she is. But why was I comparing myself as someone who’d been in the game twice as long as I had. Okay, so tip 1, most basic, start with the definition, one of visibility, being able to be seen.
Tip 2 is try you plus 1, you plus 1 and this is what I mean by that. When we’ve got our platform set up and we’re going to announce to the world we’ve got the thing, most of us are going to stay safe. I know I did so I’m so sick of vanilla. I’m so sick of everything that blends in with everybody else. We know right now that attention is the hottest currency on the internet. We need to capture attention.
And if you’re like most people I work with you are not attention grabbers, you’re like people who are really authentic, laid-back, natural folk. You’re not the attention grabber. You’re not the neon lights and bells and whistles. But the problem is if you stay completely in your comfort zone, you’re going to mistake authenticity and you’re going to conflate comfort zone and authenticity. Comfort zone is vanilla. It’s safe. Authenticity is allowing people to see you. So when I say you plus one that is a step outside of your comfort zone and allow that rich authenticity of you.
And this is where you’re asked to stretch yourself. I know I’ve had to do this and I promised you guys behind-the-scenes stuff because I said I was going to tell you all the behind-the-scenes stuff. So I guess I had to tell you. Oh fine. So here’s the deal. Why do I run myself into the stuff? You guys literally like my face is pink right now. I don’t know why this is making me go pink but when we think about images that you put out when you’re trying to create visibility again, we’re not trying to be attention-grabbing, you’re trying to be authentic. Not the safe vanilla boring version of you, but you plus one, the one that’s just a step out of your comfort zone. This sort of high-definition you.
I’ve had to do this journey myself, so you can go back and look on my own social media feeds and see it for yourself. But for me, what I had to do is I started really safe and I’ve even made fun of myself with this but in Switzerland to be considered like a respectable leader. I noticed that all the women that it was working with, I was head of intercultural management, I noticed all the women I was working with wore gray blazers.
So what did I do? I bought a gray blazer because I also wanted to be seen, I can’t believe I’m telling you guys this, I also wanted to be seen as a respectable leader right. It was hard enough being a woman in a leadership position in this context because there were a lot of men in leadership there. I was young, you know compared to some of the other women that were leading and I wanted to be seen as credible. It was so embarrassing and the gray blazer you guys. Oh, man. I have to put that on social media so you can see it.
But I stayed safe and I kept that when I left corporate and I started my own company then of course the photo shoot that I did was also very safe. And what it actually did, and this is what I found out later for my clients, was on some levels it pushed people away because they felt like I was too corporate, that I only worked with like CEOs. And this one client in particular, she was a stay-at-home mom, and she was amazing and she told me later, she was like, “actually I didn’t even know if we would work together because it looked like you only worked with like corporate executives.” So I wasn’t in you plus one. I was safe.
I was gray blazer Sundae, don’t ruffle any feathers. God forbid if you wear color, you know what I mean? And that was actually repelling some potential clients. And I was just on the phone with a woman who’s followed me since then. She’s like, “yeah, I’ve really watched how things have changed with you. You used to really be corporate.” And I think what you really meant is, “You used to be really stiff with that gray Blazer.”
But for real so this is the thing I really want you to think about what would you plus one look like? If you are going to be visible, being able to be seen now pragmatically, what kind of images do you select for your Facebook cover or your profile? Is it safe, vanilla? It’s not attention-grabbing bells and whistles unless that’s you then you do you
and we do not need to have this conversation.
But most of the people that I work with are more like would rather be on the safe side, want to put themselves out there but are hesitant. I get that. Every image you consider putting up there and wanting to put through the lens of you plus 1, ”Is this me?” Authentically, not safe, authentic. Maybe you’re laughing. Maybe you’re in that reflective mode. Maybe you’re being playful. Maybe it’s super serious whatever it is. Maybe it’s kind of sexy, like whatever that is for you. Is it safe or is it authentic? That means you plus one. I would encourage you when you’re developing your visibility to have that. What are you doing on your videos? Think about your opinions that you share?
I always tell my clients. I want your BBOs. What are your Big Bossy Opinions. Share from your heart what lights your fire, and that is you plus one. And then watch what happens? When you put something out there, you hit send on you plus one. Watch what happens. You know what will happen, one of two things, either absolutely nothing because it wasn’t as scary as you thought it would be and nobody really thought that was so bad or you’re going to get a positive response and people are going to resonate with it.
So just try that. This is baby steps. Invite yourself to go away from safe. Just go you plus one to reach more authenticity, right? That’s tip 2, you plus one.
Tip 3 is fall in love with your business, fall in love with your business. If you know me, you know my philosophy is to love the crap out of your people. And I know that’s not very eloquent. But really, who do you want to love on in terms of helping them solve a problem. Whose life do you want to make easier? What if you’re a product-based business then what product will improve someone’s life. Make them have more joy or reduce their stress? This is important. This isn’t about you.
This is about them and this is really connected to visibility because when we feel scared putting ourselves out there, we quickly make it about us, but it is not it is about them. So I get sick of seeing my face online when I’m doing a sales campaign for something and when I’m sick of that I always think, “Sundae just put this message out there because if you reach one woman today with this, one woman, it will be worth it.”
This is not about you. It’s about them. So this is the chance for you to embrace the second sort of dictionary definition of visibility and that is to attract general attention but it is not attention on you. It is attention on them. Their attention to their problem. Or their attention to what they crave. Because a lot of people are terrified of the spotlight, but honestly our job, most especially coaches, especially expat coaches our job is to serve.
We put the spotlight on how we can help. One of my coach training is with Dr. Martha Beck and she talks about how the ultimate goal of coaching is to reduce human suffering. Like if you boil it down completely it’s to reduce human suffering. And we might be suffering because we’re trying to reach a goal and we can’t or we’re struggling with bigger issues of self-worth or we’re trying to create something and we want to go faster. Human suffering.
So think about how you can put their attention on what they want. Okay start there. That’s you loving on them. Right and now the visibility is not about you. And this helps you fall in love with your business because you care about these people, you care about their outcomes, even at a corporate context. It’s like I care so deeply about people’s lived experiences, how their stress levels are at work. How are they connecting at home? How confident do they feel connecting across cultures? I care about that for them.
And so that helps you have a love affair with your business. Remember it’s about them and it’s not about you. So this is a love affair in a sense of a labor of love. In the beginning it might be hard and you have to invest and you need to be intentional. In the hard days you need to remember why you said “yes,” and that’s why it always goes back to them.
So just a side tip for those of you who are still stuck on how you want to serve. And you don’t know exactly like who your ideal client is. Maybe you’ve done all those avatar exercises with marketing, you know gurus and you’re still stuck. Here’s one little side tip to help you. Who do you want to be talking behind your back? And what do you want them to say?
That is your ideal client. That is the impact you want to have on them. Right start there. Remember, this is about loving who you serve, loving the impact that you make. Okay, so tip 3 is fall in love with your business. The first part is this isn’t about you. Guess what the second part, this is all about you. “You’re like, wait a minute. Sundae, you just told me it’s not about me.”
No for real, it’s both. Okay, what are you here to do? Why are you here doing this? What is you creating visibility, you creating visibility on the problems that you can help solve. What is that going to enable you to create in your life? Maybe it’s more time with your kids. Maybe it’s more money, so you can afford those vacations.
Maybe it’s going to help you invest in that high dollar program that you want. Maybe it’s going to be that flight to go back home when flights are finally unblocked. What is that and that sense of purpose will help you show up every day to do what you need to do to put yourself out there.
So I invite you to hold that duality when you fall in love with your business. Remember, it’s not about you and this is all about you. Keep what you’re trying to create in your life via your business visible to you. All right, everyone, I’ve been on fire about the “V” word today, visibility. And this is my answer to people who ask me. Well, how do I get started?
You are so smart, you know how to go and you know, figure out your corporate structure. Should it be an LLC should it be you know self-employed? Get a website, landing page etc. But it’s really about how are you going to establish presence? Be in love with who you want to serve and start sharing value with those that you care about. That you’re uniquely suited to serve to call their attention to what they need. You’re being of service and helping them. Remember this isn’t about you and this is all about you.
All right, you have been listening to Expat Happy Hour with Sundae Schneider Bean. We’ve got a lot going on over here behind-the-scenes at SundaeBean.com. There are two things that are really important to me that I wanted to make sure I mentioned before I share something special with you at the end.
The first one is if you aren’t already signed up for Expat Coach Secrets don’t hesitate to go to the show notes and do so because we’ve got five weeks of amazing workshops from Expat Coach Coalition graduates and really sort of authentic transparent truth-telling power sessions from me. We’re dishing out the details about some of the real life challenges of running a successful business online and serving expats. So join us because we’re going to dive into the things that some people think are taboo, and we’re going to share tested strategies that work. You can check that in the show notes.
And if you are an aspiring coach or an expat coach and you know, you would like to be by my side so that I can help you elevate your business and the way you show up for your clients and also not have to recreate the wheel and develop your own tested tools for expats. I’ve got a decade of resources for you at my fingertips. I would love to share with you in Expat Coach Coalition. So check it out, apply now spots are filling.
All right, I’ll leave you with the words from Barnard Calvin Clive: “Visibility without value is vanity.”