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How interacting with people who scare you will help you to grow your business (and yourself)

How interacting with people who scare you will help you to grow your business (and yourself)

As someone who works in online writing, blogging, and business, I look up to a lot of amazing bloggers and business owners. For a long time, I’ve been scared to interact with those people—and I’m not even sure why. Am I afraid of looking stupid? Am I afraid that they won’t like what I write and then I’ll be hurt? Am I afraid they won’t reply at all? My boyfriend tells me that I have an irrational fear of authority figures, so maybe that’s all it is.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been thinking about how this fear of getting more involved with people I admire holds me back, and I’ve been trying to rebel against the fear and start interacting more.

And it’s paid off, so far. I’ve felt more confident—like I’m going somewhere instead of just watching other people go somewhere—and even gained email subscribers from it. This week, after tagging them in my tweets, Trello shared two of my blog posts. So far, those two tweets from Trello have sent hundreds of visitors to the Hedera website and have even resulted in some more email subscribers.

In fact, I don’t believe I’ve had one negative experience come from interacting with people I admire. Sure, sometimes they don’t reply or don’t retweet or whatever, but even then I’ve still gained something by interacting.

So, what do I mean by interacting, anyway? I mean:

  • replying to tweets
  • commenting on posts (Facebook, Instagram, etc.)
  • tagging people in tweets (if they’re relevant, of course, like if you’re sharing one of their posts or if you’ve written about them in a blog post)
  • replying to emails
  • sharing content.

I’m sure there are plenty of other ways of interacting, too—those are just a few ideas. (If you have other ideas, please let me know in the comments!)

So, to the point: Why should you interact with people who scare you?

 

To destroy the pedestal

If you’re scared of someone you don't know, it’s probably because you’ve put them on a pedestal—you've turned them into someone who is more than human in your mind. Why? We're all human, right? Interacting with them, having them use your name and speak directly to them, helps to remind you that they're just the same as you.

 

To remind yourself that nothing bad is going to happen if you do

Sometimes I build things up in my head and make them a lot, lot worse than they actually are. And then, when I actually do whatever I’m worried about, it’s never a big deal. I find that consistently doing these things that scare me a little bit—interacting with people I admire or giving a talk to a group of people—helps me by reminding me that nothing bad is going to happen just because I’m doing something that I’m not 100% comfortable with. I’m not going to die; my business isn’t going to collapse—in fact, it will probably be the opposite.

 

To build your confidence

Taking yourself out of your comfort zone and achieving goals (even if it’s just for one of your heroes to like one of your tweets) reminds you that you can do anything. Start by taking small steps like sharing articles and gradually build your way up as your confidence increases. Who knows what you could end up doing?

 

To build your network

If you’re reading this article, you’re probably working or writing online, and if you are, then you will know that building a network is important for so many reasons. The only way to build a network is to interact with people. 

 

To remind people (and yourself) that you exist

Am I just shouting into the void? Does anyone even know that I exist? I know you know what I mean because I’ve read it about a million times in other blog posts, and I’ve also felt it myself. Sometimes working online can be lonely and thankless. You spend hours creating something for it to be received by crickets. It sucks.

How do you replace the crickets with cheering fans? When you interact with people, you increase the chance that they are going to notice when you do something. People notice when you interact with them—they notice when you retweet them; they notice comments; they notice likes—especially if you’re doing it consistently.

 

To show appreciation and help people

I bet you appreciate it when someone shares or comments on one of your blog posts, right? I bet it makes your day that bit brighter, knowing that someone enjoyed your work enough to interact with it or you. Do the same for someone else.

 

To stand out from the crowd

So many people are afraid to interact with the people they admire—especially if they’re big names—that if you just start doing it, you’ll stand out from the crowd. Who knows how that could help your business? You might increase your own following, or build a friendship with the person, or eventually collaborate with them. And all you have to do is interact a little bit, because most people won’t.

 

To make other things less scary

Being in business is scary. That’s one thing I’ve learnt from my five-ish months. It’s scary. You have to do so many things that are out of your comfort zone—asking people for money in return for your time, sharing your ideas, putting yourself out there ... if taking the small step of just replying to someone’s tweet can remind you that you can do it and help you to take other scary, necessary steps—go for it.

What do you think? Do you interact with the people you admire? Has it helped you? I’d love to hear about your experiences—let me know in the comments.

@@How interacting with people who scare you will help you to grow your biz (and yourself).@@

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