Ok, I’m just going to say this outloud. Starting a business is awkward, or it can be.
I would say that I am generally a pretty private person. Not a put yourself out there kinda gal. I like to keep to myself. I like to fully form and successfully launch my idea before I make it known to the world.
When you start a new business to get it up off the ground you can’t do that.
If I waited until I had fully launched and formed my idea to make it known to the world it would go nowhere. I have to let people know what I’m doing to get any kind of momentum. Sometimes I find that uncomfortable.
In the last week I’ve reached out to a few select family and friends that I think would be interested in either having a site built by me, or that I feel are well connected in the market that I’m trying to enter and would be willing to share my name to help me gain some business. I HATE doing stuff like that. To me it feels awkward.
But here’s the thing. If any of my friends or acquaintances started new businesses (or are currently running a business and are trying to do some ground level marketing) and reached out to me in that way I would be on board and trying to help them grow their business. I’d be all over it because I want to support my friends in doing what they love and help them to follow their dreams and passions to the extent that I’m able.
We have close friends who are Physiotherapists. Anytime someone we know mentions that they are looking for physio we ALWAYS recommend our friends. I’ve gone so far as looking up their office number and sending the link, or even connecting the two people (when appropriate obviously) so that the person seeking the physio is more likely to hire my friend. Why? Because I think they’re awesome and want them to be successful.
So if this is my natural and immediate reaction to supporting my friends businesses why would I think that their reaction to supporting mine would be any different? Truth. It wouldn’t. They’ll be ecstatic to pass my name along or happy to hire me and have me build their sites where appropriate, because they like me, and they want to see me thrive.
Now, I’m not saying go forth and harass all your friends into advertising your business, but I am saying that sometimes we need to suck up our pride and make a tactful ask. Put yourself out there. Those people like you for a reason and what you’re asking is nothing more than you would happily do for them.