Today I want to share with you one of the biggest lessons that I have learned in my business in the last year or so, and one that has really helped me tame my mindset about the role I can play in the world, and how we can all best show up for our communities.
The year that I turned 37, I did a post about 37 lessons I learned from becoming a self-made millionaire. Number 35 blew peoples’ minds:
“You don’t have to be a guru, you can be a contributor. If you really care about a topic, be a contributor. You don’t have to know everything.”
It was just a little throw away comment, but the response was really unexpected. I had people taking screenshots of that section, posting it everywhere, and saying what a relief it was to hear that they did not need to be a guru.
Today I want to expand on that because when you really get this, everything in your business can change.
You will give yourself permission to show up exactly where you’re at right now.
It’s going to help you feel more excited about offering your work to the world now, not when you’re like the Oprah of your industry.
You’ll also become a lot less precious about your own work because you’ll know it doesn’t have to be the most original or the most unique.
You’ll stop worrying about competitors because you’ll realize that your overall mission is one that you’re contributing to, so that’s how I feel.
I don’t care about competitors now because I know I’m contributing to the conversation around women and money.
Here are some more thoughts for you…
Your movement needs many voices, especially yours. So if you really care about your mission, maybe it’s for more people to do yoga, or to increase the market for sustainable clothes, or for women to have more self-love, stop thinking that the market is too crowded for you.
There can be more than one in your field. You don’t have to kill everyone and take their power. In fact, you can embrace the fact that there are a lot of you, and yours might be the voice that tips your passion into the mainstream, and that’s going to be good for everyone. More customers for everyone.
Worried that you’re not standing out in the crowd or that you’re not super original? Guess what? If you’re a contributor, you can keep your eyes on your own work. There are many parts to the same outcome, and many industries have their own niches within niches, and different price points, too. And every industry needs diversity. Especially now, more than ever, customers are looking out for role models who look and sound like you. So, you’ve got to show up and inspire them.
Gurus want people to follow their particular business like a religion, right? And you don’t need all the followers in the world. You just need the people who want to hear from you, and then you can share other peoples’ voices, as well, and not be resentful of other people contributing, because guess what? There are many different personality types. Someone might want to hear from you, or they might want to hear from someone else, but the movement needs your voice so you make sure you show up.
The next thing is to empower people to find their own answers. Gurus think there’s just one answer, and they want people to be reliant on them alone, but contributors let people find their own answers so you can help people follow their own intuition, develop their own self-awareness. By giving them tips, you don’t need to have all the answer.
And here’s the other important thing, contributors ask good questions. Part of helping people find their own answers is not being the only source of information. If you’re a leader of others, asking them questions helps them find their own answers.
For example, in my Money Bootcamp, I could be answering questions all day long, just giving people the answers. But instead, I always ask people to go within. “Well, what stories are you telling about the situation? What’s coming up for you?” There’s no right or wrong. “How do you feel about that? What do you want to change?”
You can’t tell people how to think and feel. You can only help them dig deeper into finding out what’s happening for them and the choices that they want to make instead.
One of the things I love to ask in Bootcamp is things like, “Well, what’s your origin story? When did that first come up for you?” You don’t need to have all of the answers to be a contributor. You can just get good at asking questions. Start conversations, welcoming differing opinions in your industry.
Now there is a tendency in our world at the moment to count the amount of followers that you have. But if you’re a contributor, you’re building a community that you are a member of, as well. That doesn’t mean you’re the only one who has to have all the answers. You curate answers for a lot of different things in your community.
One of the other aspects of being a contributor is creating safe spaces for people to explore that topic. You might have a free or a paid Facebook group or you can have some sort of way that people can come together, and together you can think of the answers yourself, without you having to be the guru of everyone else. It can really be exhausting if everyone’s looking to you for the right answer, and if you’re trying to be everything to everyone. You can’t do it, but if you’re a contributor, it’s okay for you to build a community, where there are lots of different voices.
The last thing is to chill your ego. I know this sounds bad, but when I thought I had to be a guru, I made it all about my thing. I had to find the right answer. And the truth is, there’s nothing really that’s that original. You don’t have to come off with the complete unique take on something. You could recognize the teachers who have come before you, and know that other people are going to come up with their own ways, as well.
Again, it’s that ego thing of having to feel like you have to be everything to everyone.
Feeling like you have to be the expert, and you absolutely don’t. I know it feels good sometimes to be the go-to guru for things, but it’s also really liberating when you don’t have all the answers for people. It takes the pressure off, right.
Okay, the last thing I want to say on this, is that people need to hear the basics. You do not need to know everything about everything. So you got to think, people need the basics, again and again, and they need to hear it from different people, and in different flavors, in different industries.
So for example, like how many articles are there about getting your baby to sleep, right? So many. But there’s always new moms Googling it at three a.m., trying to find a reassuring voice in a language that they understand by someone they resonate with. I have been that mom, all right. So there are so many different takes on that, and you might think, “Well, everyone knows how to do that.” No, they don’t. Some topics never go out of style, they just need to be refreshed and customized to a new audience.
Then lastly, don’t feel like you have to be perfect. Be honest. You don’t have to be this untouchable guru, who is perfect all the time, because a lot of people don’t even try and put themselves out there because they worry that people are going to think, “Well, I’m not perfect. I can’t be a guru.” The best way to avoid that is just to tell your truth. No one can copy your particular story, and if you just care about contributing to the conversation, yours is just one more story.
My behind the scenes posts are always the most popular, and they’re never from like a guru perfection point of view. They’re always like, “Here’s all the crap that I’ve done. Here are all the mistakes that I’ve made.” But other people love that. It tells them that they’re not alone and you can just again be one of many contributing to that conversation.
The best thing about being a contributor and not a guru, is that you can just start now.
No one’s going to anoint you or tap you on the shoulder and tell you, “You’re a guru.” You can start contributing right now.
Just find your voice and start sharing it with other people. That’s the best.
Okay, so that’s why I wanted to expand on this guru contributor conversation. I want you to take this one step further. I really believe that this whole perfectionism thing is a massive money block that is impacting women today. I think that’s where this guru thing comes from.
So I really want you to explore if this is a money block that you have in your life, as well.
Go to DeniseDT.com/Blocks. This is where I’m going to open up this whole conversation about money blocks, and you can discover exactly where you are sabotaging yourself in your life and business right now. It could be the perfectionism thing, but it actually could be any number of six other money blocks that you might be using right now to sabotage your business.
Go to DeniseDT.com/Blocks and I’ll see you on the other side, Miss Contributor. No more gurus here. All right. Have fun.