Learn how Marli is living her passion with the help of a supportive community.
Location: Bellingham, WA
Business: Marli currently works at Western Washington University, where she “helps college kids navigate their universe”, but she is hoping to become an inspirational speaker and consultant who works with high school and college students to help them follow their dreams.
How we met: Through the Pioneer Nation Facebook group
Marli is in the beginning of her entrepreneurial journey, and she is getting out there by saying “yes,” and, in her words, “putting my passion and ideas out there and saying this is what I want to do.”
A friend who works in a high school recently asked Marli to present to a group of her students. Marli facilitated a workshop about knowing what you believe in and taking a stand. After the talk, one of the school leaders was so impressed with Marli’s presentation that she asked her to come in and do a keynote about bullying next fall. Even though Marli isn’t an expert on bullying in schools, she agreed to do the keynote.
In my opinion, one of the biggest barriers (if not THE biggest barrier), to building a network, is fear. We entrepreneurs have a constant stream of negative self-talk going through our heads, which Marli and I discussed.
Even though she is an engaging, magnetic speaker, which I could tell just by talking to her on the phone for 30 minutes, she has a hard time owning her own path.
Marli’s coach told her to stop saying “I might be doing this” and just own it.
So many beginning entrepreneurs, myself included, have a hard time standing up and claiming their work and their worth.
Some of the common fears I have felt or heard about include (these aren’t from my conversation with Marli):
- I’m not experienced enough to claim I’m an expert.
- I’m not doing a “real job” so I feel embarrassed to tell people what I do, because they might not understand it.
- Who am I to say that I can go out on my own?
- What if other people don’t like what I’m doing?
- I’m not good enough to be successful at this.
- What if I fail?
Acknowledging these fears is key to making them lose their power. When negative self talk creeps in, Marli tells the self doubt “thanks for sharing” and moves on.
Marli sees community as playing a key role in helping us overcome self-doubt.
She says it’s hard to see our own “innate awesomeness” and when people can reflect back specific things we are doing right, it reminds us that we really are valuable.
She says the people that keep your fire going are the people that you should surround yourself with and they are the people who help you take your next steps.
When her friend to saw something special in Marli and invited her to speak to her students made a big difference in Marli’s confidence level.
Now she is noticing what students approach her for at Western Washington U., gathering testimonials, and asking people if they know anyone who might want a similar experience.
She is getting out there and making it happen.
Read Marli’s article about this: Permission to Shine
- Self doubt can be a powerful de-motivator.
- A supportive community can help us see our true worth.
- Letting self-doubt take over is not only detrimental to ourselves, it also keeps others from benefiting from our unique gifts.
- I always thought that we had to address self-doubt before getting out there and building a community, but now I realize that it’s a continuous process – first we conquer the doubt enough to go out and meet people, and then, by meeting supporters, we lessen its hold even further. So there’s a cyclical effect.
Marli wants to connect with:
Anyone who is connected to education in any way, including teachers, school administrators, youth mentors, or advisers. She is looking for people who want to learn how to inspire and motivate young people in their lives and/or who have advice or insight into what students in high school and college need the most of right now.
Do you want to connect with Marli? Check out her LinkedIn profile here.
1 step you can take to grow your network today:
When you feel self-doubt, acknowledge it, realize that most people feel it at sometime or another, and then go out and build relationships anyway!