As I sit here staring at a blank sheet of paper with less than a dozen words on it, I quickly find myself overwhelmed with emotion. Being an introvert wallflower is not as easy as it sounds. Especially when, to grow a successful business, you need to be seen and heard.
When Reuben and I first started this business in 2001 I was 24, and absolutely convinced that the opposite was true.
‘Of course it’s possible to grow a hugely successful business while hiding behind a fancy computer screen, carefully crafted social media accounts (later), and an extrovert husband and business partner – ooof cooouurse it isss!’
A girl can dream, can’t she?
I wanted to remain anonymous and impact lives, but I didn’t necessarily want people to know it was me doing it. I wanted to swoop in – under the radar – make a quiet splash, and continue going about my quiet little life, with my beautiful little family.
And I got away with it too. For about five years I was able to fly under the radar. But, truthfully speaking, so did the business.
Until 2006, when everything changed.
No longer content to follow an antiquated rule book, Reuben and I made a choice to change the direction of our company entirely. And along with a new name came a new email address; and you guessed it, the FlyDuoTM at Fly Media Productions was born :)
I swear, it’s those perfect, happy little mistakes that end up being some of our most creative!
Shortly after that, we joined twitter for the very first time as @FlyDuo, and a new chapter began. To the people, we were no longer Fly Media Productions, we were simply the FlyDuoTM.
Being perceived as a duo instead of a faceless media company, meant I could no longer safely hide out behind a logo. People all of a sudden wanted to know who we were.
They wanted to speak directly with the designer (Oh shit, that’s me!). They wanted to make sure that I knew, that they knew, that I did the design work (gotta love ‘em for that).
And now, they wanted to meet us too. BOTH of us. OMG, what the hell was I thinking?!
I’ll tell ya what I was thinking; being forced into the forefront by something as innocent as an email address and a twitter handle, may not have been part of the original plan, but it could certainly open up a lot of doors for us, and allow us to reach people like never before. Who was I to back out now?!
And besides…why shouldn’t I want people to know me?
‘Yeah, my work is dope, but so am I, damn it!’ - she said to herself reassuringly.
‘Irrational fears aside, I’m pretty damn chill, open-minded, and extremely empathetic – like, I’m a sympathetic crier level empathetic – ain’t them the makings for good people?’
Fly Media, is what we do. FlyDuoTM, is who we are.
We were ready for people to relate to us not as a company, but as people. As people who have walked in the same shoes, faced the same challenges, and overcame the same obstacles.
We wanted people to know that people who look, and sound like us, can not only be business owners, but be hugely successful business owners at that. #DoYou
We were, and still are, determined to take the whole hood to the top of the world with us! No one gets left behind.
But, for me, an introvert wallflower, to be a face behind such a movement (at any level) has proved to be more than challenging to say the least.
And as the internet matures, and more sophisticated social media platforms emerge, including live video streaming – HOLY SHIT!!! LIVE!?! VIDEO!?! - it has only gotten more difficult.
Which, my friends, brings me to the ever loving point of no return that I find myself at today. I fear the time has come for me to make an even more difficult choice: remain a wallflower and give up on taking this dream any further, or step out of the shadows, make my presence known and have a much more meaningful impact.
Reuben, my wonderfully supportive, loving, and somehow still patient husband and partner tells me all the time that I’ve got the talent, and the personality, I just need the guts. And he’s right, I got zero guts to give. My guts are not > than my fear ...yet.
Never mind being afraid of the spotlight, I’m petrified of the light, period.
And by petrified, I mean I have an irrational fear of said thing.
There are people and organizations that I’d LOVE to work with, but I’m petrified they may actually say, YES! There are events and conferences that I’d LOVE to attend, but besides my crippling anxiety (which we can talk about another time) I’m petrified to be seen…as a fraud.
“Imposter syndrome is very real with this one.” - Yoda
But, you know what? I’m no longer content to watch from the sidelines as my peers and the generations behind me take major leaps to freedom and happiness. I wanna use my gifts to the full. I too, *gulp* wanna shine bright like a diamond!
So, I hope you’re ready to see and hear more from me, because starting right here, right now (on my birthday!), I’m stepping out of the shadows. I want you to know me the way I know all of you. I wanna give you the same strength you give me every day – it’s time to give courage a try.
“Don’t try. Do.” - Yoda
I know Yoda, I know!!!
I mean really, where did he come from anyway?!?!
This right here - being vulnerable, isn’t easy. But, pretending I’m not an introvert wallflower with enough anxiety to keep an elephant down, is wreaking havoc on me - both creatively and personally. And while I’m incredibly proud of how far we’ve come - while basically hiding in the shadows, it’s not only time to end this chapter and start a new one, but guys, it’s time you got to know me, got to know us, and I can’t wait!
Thanks for listening :)
For my fellow introverts and wallflowers: The Power of Vulnerability: Teachings on Authenticity, Connection and Courage, by Brene’ Brown ...6 ½ hrs of AWESOME!!!