Lessons From My First 2 Years in Business - Social Media, Authenticity & Relationships

What have I learned over the past 2 years as a full time entrepreneur? Well a lot! But it mostly all comes down to relationships.

What have I learned over the past 2 years as a full time entrepreneur? Well a lot! But it mostly all comes down to relationships. In this episode I share some big updates at The Courage Blueprint, such as closing down my facebook group, moving away from social media and into deep relationship building. Since the pandemic has eased, life has changed dramatically and business is changing with it. I share what’s next for me, how you can connect and work with me in the rest of 2022 and beyond. I also invite you to stop chasing money, check in with yourself and create a business that feels good!

Let me know how this episode landed for you via email, paula@thecourageblueprint.com or in her DMs!


(01:28) Why I left my corporate job after 2 years and decades in corporate America.

(03:00) My experience with business on social media.

(05:10) Why money will not bring you happiness.

(08:35) Why expectation might be harming your business.

(10:15) Moving on from business after the pandemic.



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Paula Shepherd

Paula Shepherd 00:01

Hi, I'm Paula Shepherd, I went to college to get a good job and make a lot of money. Back then, no one talked about doing what you love. And while I successfully climbed the corporate ladder, I felt like there was something missing. So I left the seemingly comfortable corporate world at 40 years old for the freedom of full time entrepreneurship. Today, I get to help ambitious women go from entrepreneur to competent CEO of their lives and businesses. I created this podcast to share what I've learned with you to make your journey just a little easier, and to connect you with other incredible business owners who took a chance on themselves and who they are becoming. So whether you're just getting started, are all in or just when you hear friendly voice, come on in and sit with us. Now, let's dive in.

Paula Shepherd 01:02

Hello, everyone, it is another episode of the competence sessions. I'm here solo today. Because it is officially two years that I have been in my business full time. And I have learned so much in the last two years. And I want to just reflect on that with you over the course of the next 10 minutes or so about where I started, what happened along the way, and where I am right now, some big changes have happened in the last two years. I mean, first of all, I was in a corporate job, I had been there for almost two decades. And the last job I was in I was with that company for almost 10 years, literally about a week shy of 10 years. And when I left that job, I was feeling invigorated about what was to happen and what was to come and, and embracing uncertainty were during the pandemic, everyone had a different sense of what was happening course there was fear. I had kids that were going to be schooling from home. And for the first time ever, I didn't have to drive to an office, which felt like such a freakin thrill, to not have to be there to be able to be at home, to not be upset on the way to work to not be away from my kids.

Paula Shepherd 02:48

And yet, things have changed as the last two years have gone by. I built such an amazing community online. And there were definitely times where it felt really, really, really good to be on social media. And there were times that it felt really, really bad. And it wasn't until probably the last maybe six months or so that I realised that so much of what I was seeing and consuming was business related. And I loved hearing other people on I love seeing other people succeed. That is why I do what I do. And even if those people aren't my clients, I genuinely love to see people being successful.

Paula Shepherd 03:49

But what I saw an absence of was genuine connection. So a lot of surface level stuff. And I asked myself, where was I participating in this? Where was this happening for me? Why was my joy for showing up in that capacity gone. And I stopped forcing myself to do what people told me was the right thing to do. And I stopped listening to people who were telling me that referrals were not a great way to do business, or that I needed to run my group in a different way. And I started listening to myself. And that is the number one thing I really want to share with you right now is that if something doesn't feel right, even if someone else is telling you, this is how you have to do it.

Paula Shepherd 04:43

This is what you need to do. Listen to yourself. First. Give yourself the space to take a walk without the headphones and explore it. Take a social media sabbatical. Now this isn't just for people who own businesses. This is let's say you want to change your career and someone else thinks that's risky. This is your opportunity to ask you what you want. Because what I have learned in the last two years is that money is not the driver of happiness.

Paula Shepherd 05:20

And the reason I say this, I'm gonna say that, again, money is not the driver of happiness. And the reason I say this is because I spent the better part of my life and my career, attempting to climb the corporate ladder, to raise my hand for trainings, to put myself in a position where I would make more money, where I would be at a different place on the org chart. Because when I reached that level, then people would respect me. And to be honest, that's just not how it works. You have to respect yourself, before other people respect you. And just because you respect yourself, doesn't mean you need to write amazing content online, just to call in the right people. And I started feel really uncomfortable, to be honest, online.

Paula Shepherd 06:22

And this isn't to shame anybody who loves being on social, who that's their way of connecting, who's seeing great success doing things in a certain way, it just didn't feel ethical and good to me. And I slowed myself down. And I started making real connections with people, I started taking the connections that I had, and deepening them, I made sure that instead of maintaining and deepening relationships, and what I mean by that is staying in touch with people. Because not everyone's good at that maybe you're not good at that. But I'm really good at it. So staying in touch with people in a way that fills your soul, and supports them without giving too much of you away. That felt really good to me. And what didn't feel good to me were the random conversations that I was having, that had nothing to do with me as a person or them as a person.

Paula Shepherd 07:28

So if something doesn't feel right to you listen to that, explore it. And remember that just because it got you to where you are doesn't mean that that's how you have to keep doing it. I've released a lot of things in my business. And honestly, in my life that didn't serve me anymore. It took a really long time for me to let go because I realised I put myself into another box and a comfort zone. And I can't grow from that space. And so you'll see things if you're part of my I am becoming Facebook community, that was a really difficult thing to say, I'm going to release that. And that's actually going to be archived here, August 5. But the right people will stay. And I'll maintain connection with the people that I enjoy being around and that the relationships will exist in the way that brings me joy, and not based on a specific number in a space. I also realised in this that when I never expected anything from anyone ever, ever,

Paula Shepherd 08:43

I always felt so much better. When I gave of myself without having any expectation when I put out a call to action or reached out to someone. I never felt bad. I never felt attached. When my expectation was just to give I also never felt taken advantage of because it doesn't mean not to have standards, you must have standards for yourself. And when you do anytime you give, it will come from a complete state of alignment. And you'll stop doing the things that don't bring you joy, you'll stop doing the things that don't matter. You'll take the time to evaluate what pieces and parts of my life of my business or my relationships, whether it's friends or family, neighbours. That place that you volunteer. What piece and part of me do I need to release so that it I can give freely without expectation and still uphold my standards and my values.

Paula Shepherd 10:10

Now, the whole point of this is that times have changed, and people are starting to get out into the community. And as a as an extrovert, I love to get to know people. And being behind the screen is really exhausting. There's zoom fatigue, which is a real thing. If you don't believe me go look up the studies on mental health and zoom fatigue. And there is a distinct difference between being behind a screen and being with someone face to face. Now, that's not always possible. And I've met some amazing people and supported some incredible clients, who I never would have known without the power and the reach of social media.

Paula Shepherd 10:59

But the only reason we're still in touch two years later, through social is because of these other things that I mentioned. releasing any expectation and knowing that every person, every, every client, every referral, every partnership is a result of a deep relationship, not a wide one. So as I have traversed these last two years, what I genuinely realised is, it's easy to get caught up in the hype. The belief that doing what other people are doing is the right way for you. And not approaching everything as an experiment. And knowing that it is okay to release it, even if it got you to where you are. So, with that said, I would love to hear from you. I would love to know how you feel about reaching out to people in real life, about having conversations that aren't just on social media posts, about doing more than just reading people's blogs, but actually telling them how you feel about them. Sharing creating opportunity. When somebody asks you to reply to an email, do it reply, give them your thoughts, your voice is so important. And if you don't like getting certain emails, even if it's mine, unsubscribe, declutter your life.

Paula Shepherd 12:52

Give yourself space, to hear your own thoughts, and to take the steps that feel the very best for you. And if you would like to stay in touch with me, this podcast is a great way if you are on social, screenshot it and share it texted to your friend. Send it to your spouse. Just stay in touch in a way that feels really good for you.

Paula Shepherd 13:25

And, if talking to people feels really scary for you, I also have a really great option and just a complimentary resource for you on my website. And you can get that at the courage blueprint.com You can sign up to receive a copy of my genuine connection prompts. And what that's going to do is give you the chance to start getting curious in your relationships and asking questions and getting out from behind the screen. And really, truly building sustainability in relationships that will profoundly affect your life and your business. Thank you for sticking with me over the last two years if you've been with me in the eye and becoming community. Thank you for being a part of this podcast for the last year and a half and sharing with people and subscribing and rating and reviewing. It's because of you that I continue to do this and to share the real real truth of what it looks like to be in business and also to have really tough navigational parts of your life. If you want to reach out to me if you need support. My email is Paula @the courage blueprint.com I am looking forward to stay in touch with you. I am still coaching I am still consulting and I am still training. So I look forward to hearing from you Staying in touch and hearing how my thoughts over the last two years of my business landed for you. Until next time.

Paula Shepherd 15:10

thank you for listening to this episode of The confidence sessions. I know there are hundreds of 1000s of podcasts and I'm so grateful that you chose to spend your time today with me. Head on over to the courage blueprint.com forward slash podcast to check out the show notes from today's episode, and grab links to all the amazing goodies mentioned today. If you love this episode, as much as I loved making it, make sure you don't miss out on any future ones by hitting the subscribe button right now. See you next time.

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