tulips and coffee 

Let’s not pretend we didn’t strike lucky. Let’s not pretend it just happened. Let’s share the behind-the-scenes. Because when we stay transparent and grateful, when we share exactly how it is for us and exactly what we do, we keep no secrets behind the curtain. We don’t rely on appearances, we don’t exhaust ourselves with pretense. We have no pedestal to fall from.

Listen to me read this piece here:


 

He was pretty famous, and he’d just had lunch at my house. I was still trying to get my head around this as I drove him back to the train station later that afternoon.

I asked him, “Can you remember what it was like when you crossed that line into being successful?” He didn’t understand my question; it was now so normal for him to be recognised on the street and asked for an autograph; the world of invisibility was long gone for him.

When we reach a level of success, we can forget what we were before. But in my experience, success isn’t a place we arrive at through a swing-one-way-only door; we aren’t granted eternal security. You can undoubtedly bring to mind “celebrities” whose stars have passed, finding themselves relegated to the C-list, desperate for a career-reviving slot on I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here.

I’m a successful blogger. I get dozens of comments, likes, and shares every time I put out new content. My blog functions as my #1 marketing vehicle, inspiring £1,000’s of business every month.

But now and again, a blog falls flat. The bustling village goes quiet.

A line is drawn. I look back at the version of me who inspired engagement so easily, so effortlessly, a few weeks earlier with curiosity and envy. How did I do that? And how have I now lost the magic touch? I’m reminded of a scene in the TV show ‘Merlin’ where the powerful magician goes to incant and conjure, and finds that he has been suddenly stripped of his power. He waves his wand… nothing. His magic has gone — and he doesn’t know why. There’s a glitch in the formula, an interference in the signal.

We find this imagery elsewhere. Cinderella’s dress turns back to rags. The coach turns back to a pumpkin, the footmen back to mice. Again and again, we’re warned by our cultural stories that the magic can desert us.

Why this message? For me, the precarious companionship of magic says we must never become too complacent. We must never journey too far over the line into “success” that we forget our potential for invisibility and irrelevance.

We must also never cement that line with our arrogance, falling into smug “us” and “them” thinking. A story comes to mind: I had one place left to sell on my course; my friend and colleague, a few years less experienced, had only managed to sell one place in total. We were both focused on that one place, but for very different reasons. I caught myself indulging in the relief of not being her, thanking goodness that I was the successful side of the line.

But I wonder if we are all always just one step away from the magic drying up. One blog away from ghost town. One social media status away from invisibility. One unsuccessful course launch away from irrelevance.

And so while our magic is working and flowing and we’re holding it together and we’re projecting the gloss of success, let us stay so grateful that the magic walks with us. Grateful that we’ve stumbled upon a formula — and therefore obliged to reveal it.

Let’s not pretend we didn’t strike lucky. Let’s not pretend it just happened. Let’s share the behind-the-scenes. Because when we stay transparent and grateful, when we share exactly how it is for us and exactly what we do, we keep no secrets behind the curtain. We don’t rely on appearances, we don’t exhaust ourselves with pretense. We have no pedestal to fall from.

And at the same time, may we find a daily resting place of deep security that goes beyond our client numbers, bank balance or number of Facebook likes; beyond these outward trappings of success. Because success and invisibility aren’t that far apart. And we all have magic at our fingertips… until we don’t… and until we do again.

 

 

Corrina web 5This piece is a guest post from Corrina Gordon-Barnes. She is known as “the guardian angel for the self-employed”. She is committed to creating a world where marketing is fun, clients turn up easily, and money flows to those who do work that helps and heals. She provides support, community and step-by-step guidance through two popular online courses, Blog for Clients, and Passion to Profit. If you want strategies and inspiration for happy, profitable self-employment, sign up here for free weekly updates.