Hey Brooke! I’m quickly moving forward to launch my coaching biz. I now realize I have the chops to help A LOT of people and that is incredibly exciting to me. However, there’s one little thing that’s a bit of a worry.
In my previous biz (the one I’m winding down), I did a lot of speaking and working with people. I was married at the time and had a daughter – and so it was easy to tell stories about my life to connect with people. About 13 years ago, my brain decided that the feelings I had since I was 6 weren’t changing – and finally let me realize I was gay. So with the help of a therapist, I came out. Fast forward to today – I’m divorced, have a great new partner, and a wonderful relationship with my 14-year old daughter. So life is good.
While I’ve been “out” personally, I’ve never been out professionally. My past clients and business friends all just think I was married, got divorced, and have been single since then with zero dating prospects. (They’ve finally given up asking, thank goodness.)
Why hide this? Because I don’t want people’s perceptions of me to keep me from helping them. I know this is going to sound a bit weird – but I’d rather “be in the closet” professionally and help 1,000 people … than “be out” and helping only 100. So I guess I’m saying I want to serve and coach people who might actually hate me if they knew more about me. Hmmm…
I want to be authentic and “me” – but I believe that if I am … and let people know my “partner” is another dude … then my reach may not be a great as it could be. And my coaching has zero to do with who I love. But I know there’s still large swaths of people who would think twice about coaching with me if that became a known thing. Or – as I scale my business – might think twice about attending an event, buying a book, etc. (I mean… would Tony Robbins BE as big as he is if he were gay?)
I wonder what your thoughts are on this. I don’t want to hide – but I also don’t want to cut off my reach by being me. Reading this back this feels like a really weird question – but as I move forward into my new venture, it feels like a choice I’m going to have to make. I don’t think I can get away with telling non-pronoun specific stories to my clients forever. 😉
Thanks, Brooke! 🙂