This week I posted a short video on IG, talking about an awful piece of visibility advice I see people giving out all too often. It’s what I call the scattergun approach to visibility. The logic is this; pitch yourself to as many people as you possibly can and eventually someone will say yes.
Statistically I’m sure that’s true, but wow, what a waste of your precious time and energy.
It’s deeply unstrategic and leaves you pitching to people with audiences who are in no way aligned with your own. Which means you’re actually worse off than when you started because you’ve not made a dint in terms of being more visible, and you’ve lost time showing up in places that are never going to yield results.
I’ve been reflecting lately on how deeply embedded the notion of productivity for productivity’s sake is in our collective psyche. Patriarchal capitalism has us all convinced that doing more is always preferable to doing less and has us wasting so much time pursuing more for more’s sake.
This isn’t a new thought. (In fact there’s whole course inside Women Speaking Up dedicated to breaking down this way of thinking and being in favour of a new form of leadership and business development.) Rather, I’ve been thinking about how this approach informs so much visibility advice I see being handed out.
And it’s so unhelpful. It has people overwhelmed, exhausted, feeling alone and like their efforts are getting them nowhere. Or worse, that it’s not even worth trying to be visible.
So my suggestion this week is to do less. Much less. Human beings achieve greatly when they focus their enormous talent and energies in one direction.
Trying a bit of this and a bit of that certainly creates a good many experiences, but we miss the pleasure that comes from making a real commitment to something. (Think of it like dating lots of lovely people but never knowing the joy that comes from being in a long term relationship.)
Instead, when we’re conscious, intentional and make a commitment to one form of visibility, we’re able to elevate that approach beyond the norm into something truly memorable. And that’s a great thing for visibility.
You might decide to pull back by:
you’ll find that slowing down, making conscious choices, and letting yourself be visible in that way is more fulfilling and reaps much greater rewards.
I know it’s easier to try a bit of everything. But I assure you friend, there’s likely a visibility block in there somewhere. Because while we’re doing a bit of everything, we’re visible for nothing much. Which feels safe, for sure, but as the popular aphorism goes, ‘A ship in harbour is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.’
Side note, that saying has been attributed to a few different people including pioneering computer scientist and U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper. Look her up, she’s seriously impressive.
Check out the video here and let me know your thoughts in the comments. I love chatting with you.
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