Heather here 🙂
It’s been another crazy week!
Firstly, how is it November already? I swear it was September, like, yesterday. That might explain how I ended up panicking about my first university assignment of the academic year. The nasty little 1.5k word piece on Othello just snuck up on me from behind a guise of pumpkins and autumn leaves and BOOM!
Needless to say, there have been a lot of late nights this week. And tears. And possibly some colourful language aimed at my poor Toshiba Note which is trying its best to pull its weight with a tiny hard drive!
Confidence in general has been a big theme for me this week (alongside romance, death, love etc. thanks to Othello and co.). I’ve realised that second-guessing myself is holding me back from moving forward on projects and ideas. Not only that, but it’s creating a bottleneck where I rely on others to validate my actions.
I’ll try and expand on what I mean below:
Responses to our testimonial outreach have really taken off this week. I spent a lot of time learning to format a case study for tools that we’ve used. Initially, I found this very daunting and would find myself waiting on Deepak for his feedback. However, as I developed a better understanding of the kind of metrics we’d need to provide, as well as what the tool developers themselves were hoping to see, I was able to become more independent.
This is where the issue of confidence has come into play. The idea of scheduling calls with marketing directors is mildly terrifying on a day when my hair decides to cooperate – let alone when I’ve come home from work and look like I’ve been dragged through a bush backwards. Looks aside, I’m always worried that I’ll sound ignorant and vague, and end up letting down our side as a result.
As it turns out, those behind the sharp headshot and impressive email signatures are people, too. They appreciate a well-timed joke, an honest statement and a smile as much as the next individual. They also genuinely appreciate that we are taking the time to promote their tool, and are eager to support that process however they can!
This deserves its own section. I have finally conquered my fear of this tool!
A logical individual will be asking why on earth it took me so long to stop being intimidated by such a simple system. You’d be right to ask, of course. For some reason, I have a phobia of anything remotely technical (remember spreadsheet-gate?).
This week, however, I decided it was time to face my fears. Again, it’s all been part of the confidence-building process. So I grit my teeth, got the logins from Harry and gave it a whirl.
I literally swear by Ahrefs now. It’s such an amazing, user-friendly tool that works wonders. I ran several spreadsheets worth of websites through Ahrefs, and by the time I was finished, I was addicted!
I’ve also realised that a lot of my processes are unnecessarily time consuming. Being able to streamline things is vital, especially when you have a day job, are working through a part-time university degree and have children (and a slow computer…and an inability to get up at 4 AM, unlike Deepak).
If you ever feel intimidated by a tool, a process, or a task, my advice to you is this: reach out and ask for help. Just make sure it’s the right kind of help! Don’t rely on others to handle it for you.
It’s one thing to offload a task because other people have more time to dedicate to it and can do it faster. But handing over the reins because you don’t fully understand or aren’t confident in your ability to tackle it is a mistake. It will stunt your growth and ultimately the company’s growth as well.
I got that university assignment off at the eleventh hour. Words cannot express how much of a relief that was.
Also, we launched the email campaign thanking our exert round up contributors, and began building lists for the next one!
Struggling the way I did with this assignment, after pulling an average of 80 percent marks in past modules, was a wake-up call, for sure. It taught me that a:) I can’t rest on my laurels, and b:) I need to manage my time better.
Next week, I hope to drastically improve my confidence – and allow this to naturally boost my productivity as a result.
Also, I should probably stop laughing at the local neighbourhood Facebook posts from people whining about all the fireworks….in November. When we celebrate Guy Fawkes. And Diwali….