Have you ever realized that fundraising in itself actually involves all the components of who we are as people? And yet we look at it through a tiny lens focused on the work itself. My advice? Seek more visibility authentically.
What I’ve found in my past roles as a fundraiser and now as a fundraising consultant, is that it’s when we weave in all the components of being the best version of ourselves in all things, we become the fundraisers that we were meant to be.
But how do we find that most authentic version of ourselves and amplify it into the world?
I recently interviewed my amazing coach, Michelle Vos, about this exact thing. It turns out, I’m a pretty good demonstration of bringing the ‘whole person’ into my work. But I asked her how we can continue on this journey and be the most authentic person we set out to be, while getting out there in the public eye.
Truth is, we all want to be seen in our true form. But we don’t always know how to make that happen or what holds us back.
So, I’m sharing points from our discussion about becoming more visible where you want to be seen.
According to Michelle, someone hires a coach or visibility expert like her because they recognize there’s a lot of visibility required to achieve their vision (whether it’s in their business, nonprofit, or life in general).
We have to become the person that we need to be in order to do that.
So, a visibility expert is also a personal development and business development coach for entrepreneurs. And in Michelle’s case, it’s really about professional women who are ready to be seen and heard in a way that shows their truth while expanding their reach. .
These women are ready to be valued for who they are, so they get help becoming the person that they need to be in their life first, and then in their work. It comes down to being so aligned and spirit-inspired as well. It’s not just about business models and structures and strategy, which is important, but it’s really about who we are, how we show up and how we honor the value that we provide that grows business.
I feel like I’ve been able to share some of those teachings to my 1:1 fundraising clients to get out there more, but I wondered: what’s the difference with women who hire a coach, before and after becoming visible and what does it look like when you watch it in action?
Michelle shared her point of view, sharing the work that’s done well before seeking visibility is started. She suggests mindset work around calming the nervous system down before stepping into even the idea of visibility.
She explained that as a kid, most of us were shamed at some point in our lives for being too big, too much, too loud, too something. And cultural phenomenon sets us up as adults to resist stepping into visibility, out of a fear of safety. We protect ourselves because we are afraid of what could happen. (Fundraisers, I know you know this too well!)
Then, when that fear is pushed aside and she stands up and out, a woman will start finding her voice, not only just in her work, but in her life, relationships, etc. She begins feeling more comfortable in her own skin, and then becomes less reactive, less triggered… all these amazing results that come from – yes – putting herself out there.
What they’re really getting is an interpersonal skill set about being confident in who they are, no matter what.
This eventually leads to more success, money, promotions, and the outward validations, the ones which are why people think they want to be visible in the first place.
For fundraisers specifically, we disconnect our role as fundraisers from who we are as people. We put it in this container, separate from life. But when we learn skills like this, we need to also be infusing it into the work that we’re doing:
- What does it look like to be confident as a fundraiser?
- What does it look like to be authentic as a fundraiser?
- What are the risks that come with being visible?
So at its core, visibility is the truth of you made known.
In your work, though, visibility is your brand:
- Is your personal brand and your organizational brand aligned with who you truly are?
- And does it match the website, photos, copy when you publicly speak?
- Is everything coming from an authentic place?
So, what does achieving visibility mean to you? Are you ready to step into this, or is there fear around it for you?
In my next article, I go deeper into what Michelle has to say about getting to the next steps of visibility and breaking through the fear.
To learn more about Michelle’s amazing work, visit michellevos.com.
And to learn more about how I infuse the teachings of visibility into my work, come to my upcoming free webinar at malloryerickson.com/free.