Overcoming fear of success

Click on the image above to watch my interview with Peter Jacobson
Marketing to the “yes!” with Peter Jacobson

Fear of success, fear of failure, it’s really the same thing in the end. If you succeed, the fear is you’ll have to keep doing it, and who knows if you can do it again, and again, and again?

If you fail, people will know you are not perfect, and you’ll be exposed as human. Of course, teachers know this is a necessary part of learning in the classroom… but when it comes to marketing, we forget.

I still have these fears, to be honest, but I know that they are only one of the many risks we take in our teaching and in our businesses every day. You can work your way through fear with grace if you have an expansive framework for understanding your feelings.

Working through your fears is a necessary thrill if you want to earning a living doing what you love.

You’ll enjoy this conversation I had with Peter Jacobson of the MindBodyMusicSchool.com if you are a holistic practitioner or artist-teacher-entrepreneur. You might already be familiar with the first iteration of Peter’s business, Total Vocal Freedom. He’s expanding the school to include all musicians, not just vocalists, so stay tuned for expanded offerings from the Mind Body Music School!

Peter was one of the mentors that got me started building my Embodied Learning Systems business. We met in Jeremy Chance’s AT Success program. At the time, I was despairing that I’d be able to consistently earn a good living teaching the Alexander Technique. I’d had some success, but couldn’t sustain it. I was on the edge of giving up.

Peter asked me the most important question: What is the risk of you NOT doing what you love?

I wouldn’t be here doing the work I’m doing without this question, and his encouragement and passion for the Alexander Technique. All I needed to work through my fear of success was one other person (backed up by a group of people as well!) who understood my own passions and reflected them back to me.

That’s why I started my YouTube channel, with all of its imperfections, 9 years ago. I’m amazed that I’ve gone from 0 to almost 5,690 subscribers. I’ve been wanting to add interviews to the mix for years, and am finally taking the plunge.

In this interview, we try to simplify what marketing is. Here are a few take take-aways:

– Tell stories about your own flaws and rough edges (in service of teaching others what you learned). People don’t resonate with success; they resonate with overcoming obstacles and living to tell the tale. We don’t have to present ourselves as being super successful. That’s a boring story.

– It’s powerful to reframe sales and marketing as communication. If you reach one person with your message, you have succeeded!

– If your marketing message has pathos and meaning for you, at least you will enjoy putting it out into the world, whether people respond right away or not. You will learn what works and what doesn’t, and improve with time.

– Marketing to the “yes” is like singing or performing to the “yes” – just assume that your audience will say “yes” to your efforts and cheer you on. It totally changes your physiology (or what we call your “use” in the AT world). It will make the whole process more exciting and fun.

Our deepest human connection is found through shared imperfections.

May you find that deepest, most honest human connection in your families and communities during this holiday season. I’ve learned so much from my Alexander Technique students and business coaching clients this year, I feel full and satisfied. I’m looking forward to a quiet week of resting and digesting.

See you in 2024!

P.S. Some of the resources mentioned in the interview are:

Megan Macedo

Cathy Madden

Jeremy Chance’s AT Success

Clare’s upcoming Mastermind Group

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