Welcome to the Business Counterculture
by Theresa Ceniccola
You know, you really should be blogging. Forget that! Blogging is out….you should be podcasting. And if you don’t have a Facebook Page for your business, you are going to fail. But if you really want to attract customers, you need to be on Instagram. And Pinterest. And Periscope. Oh, and did you know you need to host a live event? And create a passive revenue stream? And monetize your blog? And raise your rates? And hire an assistant? And publish a book? And get a high-paying speaking gig?
WHAT?! If you really listened to all the well-intentioned business advice out there on the Interwebs, you would drive yourself crazy! And drive your customers away. More importantly, you would be an emotional disaster—wondering why “everyone else” is able to keep up with the fast-paced world of entrepreneurship and you can’t seem to figure out how to sync your calendar on your iPhone.
I’m a huge believer in lifelong learning, and whenever I want to make a change, I always look to others who have gone before me. But—and I say this with gobs of respect and appreciation for my many mentors—sometimes you have to do your own thing. There comes a point when all the advice, predictions, guidance, and instruction become counterproductive. Like we tell our children, just because it’s popular, doesn’t mean it’s right—at least, not for everyone.
You’ve probably been there before. You get so immersed in what other people think you should do that you lose sight of your own goals and plans and dreams. You spend all your time trying to “figure stuff out,” and you don’t actually make any meaningful progress.
What if you followed your own instincts? What if you talked with one trusted mentor and soaked up the advice and then made decisions based on what you feel is right for your business? What if you stood up for what you believe is right and said NO to what everyone else is doing? It would be liberating! And probably more successful than the constant struggle to keep up with the confusing and evolving “expert” recommendations.
That’s what my client Beth did when she decided not to open a Facebook page for her business despite warnings of doom. And it’s what Jim Mischel of Electric Mirror did when he insisted on manufacturing in the United States. And that’s what I did years ago when I made the conscious decision to keep my business “small” so that I could spend more time with my family.
It takes courage and conviction to go against the norm in business. But as Malcom Gladwell points out, it’s necessary:
“Society frowns on disagreeableness. As human beings, we are hardwired to seek the approval of those around us. Yet a radical and transformative thought goes nowhere without the willingness to challenge convention.”
—Malcom Gladwell, David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants
If you run your own business, blog, or ministry, then you have the ability to make decisions that are in alignment with your beliefs. You have an obligation to yourself and your clients to challenge convention—and chose the direction you feel is best at the moment. So . . . what are you doing in your business that might be considered countercultural? How are you rising up against society’s pressures when it comes to your business or ministry?
Theresa Ceniccola is The Christian Mompreneur—a Mentor to Moms Who are Running a Business that Supports Faith and Family. She empowers entrepreneurial moms to build profitable businesses with wisdom and grace through the Christian Mompreneur Mastermind program and her professional Marketing services, which include copywriting, marketing, and strategy consulting and private coaching.