Autumn is my favourite time of the year. There is something so beautiful about the falling leaves, the way they gently float to the ground in the wind, and the beautiful colours that lay scattered beneath your feet. There is so much beauty. I look up to the trees and see their wisdom and how they are always changing and always moving. I would say the last year and a half have been an Autumn season for me metaphorically. A slow changing of the leaves as things started to shift and change inside of me. It was slow at first, hardly even noticeable, but as time has gone on the change is starting to feel more dramatic and I'm at the point where most of my leaves have fallen or are about to fall.
Does that make sense? I feel as if I have been in this slow transition phase and I am finally ready to surrender and give in to the natural rhythm of Autumn and give into the change of the season in order to move forward into this new cycle of life.
As we pivot our business and try to create something that feels right for where we find ourselves at this stage of our life, I can feel the crumbling all around me. There seem to be more things that don't fit, don't quite feel right and more questions than answers. I keep questioning the narratives & stories I have been telling myself for years, and wondering if any of these are even true or just stories I have been telling myself to avoid the unknown. To stay “safe”.
The next question I found myself asking myself this week is how do I tell people about these amazing new services we have created? Obviously my first thought was I need to get back onto instagram, start posting regularly and start to try and get people to understand what our new services do and how they could potentially help. BUT I couldn't, I would stare at my phone with the cursor willing me to say something, anything just for the sake of ”getting the message out there”. But the truth is I have felt so disconnected on that app. A place where I feel emotionally drained, full of comparison and doubt, and just something I would love to avoid entirely (if I were brave enough to make a change). So it got me thinking, why was this the first place that I thought of when wanting to speak about our new offerings? And are there any other ways I could connect with people? And to be honest when I took Instagram off the cards, there were actually a ton of creative ways I could still connect with the right people in ways that made me feel excited.
This got me thinking what if I did an experiment, and gave up Instagram for an entire year! And relied fully on referrals, repeat customers, connecting with others, Word of Mouth & Offline Marketing instead? What would our business & us the humans behind Molly & Tom feel like within a year of no Instagram? The truth is I have no idea, but I am freaking excited to find out. Am I scared, hell yeah! Am I still going to do it? Another hell yeah!
What helped me make this final decision - a conversation with my daughter about her pink Dinosaur Pants. She loves dinosaurs but like most children her age she seems to be trying to find her place in the world, she is noticing how people are different, and she is trying to make sense of it all, while people seem to want to put her into a neat little box / category / label so she can find her “place”. She thinks that dinosaurs are only for boys, so when she found a pink pair of dinosaur pants she was so excited. It was a little affirmation that dinosaurs could be for boys and girls. I can see her wanting to be different, embrace her weirdness but like me she is scared. Scared to do something different, scared of what others might think, if people will still “like” her. She wanted to wear her pants today but was scared of what other people at her swimming class might think - my advice to her was to wear the pants because she loved them, and they might even start a conversation with someone else who really loved dinosaurs too. And so I have decided to be as brave as my daughter and embrace my own weirdness too. Call me crazy but I want to do business differently, to value connection with a few people over the likes of many.
So I am committing to this experiment, to find other ways of connecting with people, even if it takes longer. I want people to come to us because they value the work we do, rather than me trying to convince them of that value. I don't want to point out people's pain points, add to their doubts, worries or fears or feel they have something to compare themselves to. Because those little squares & 60 second snippets are not the whole story, and I want to know the whole story (or the parts of it that people are willing to share).
So from the end of the week I am going to truly disconnect from Instagram FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR. I will have a notice telling people of our decision and sharing our little experiment. From now on the main way I will share will be through this newsletter, Pinterest (as I feel it's not harmful to my mental health, or others, and is purely a creative search engine). I will also rely on referrals, reaching out to existing customers and perhaps doing something so different that it gets shared / spoken about. I will focus on nurturing existing relationships & making room for new ones to emerge.
The best part is that I plan to share my findings on our blog & in this newsletter in the hopes that it only enhances the work we do, and leads to me stepping out of my comfort zone and finding other ways to connect.
I hope you follow along with this experiment, and if you love what we do, and think a friend would love our approach too please pass this newsletter on.
And as always if this resonates with you please feel free send us an email. We always love to hear from you!
What's Inspiring Me?
This book by Cait Flanders - Adventures in Opting out
Anything written by Cal Newport - Currently reading Deep Work
Green Renaissance - Especially this video
And my coach - Kayte Ferris who has helped me navigate these changes & continues to inspire me to do things my own way