Choosing Truth Over Strategy.

Written by Denise CornellFuture You

When the folks at Do Lectures made a call for contributing writers back in the Fall of 2016 I was an immediate yes, followed by a heaping dose of doubt. I wrote my submission piece and then went to work on my introductory letter. And struggled. Who the hell was I? A complete unknown. I had no writing pedigree. I had no social standing and my then business was tiny and often struggling.

That letter got the best of me. I decided at least a dozen times to forget about the whole thing. Then on 17 November 2016 my desire grew bigger than my fears, I wrote the following intro letter and hit send.

Hello Dear Doers,

Your call for submissions went out and I was an immediate yes (followed by a lot of doubt). I have such respect for the goodness you continue to put out in the world! It’s hard to imagine the possibility of being part of Do.

I’m not famous. I don’t have a social media following. I pick my kids up from school every day, I cook dinner for my family every night and I love on my friends and neighbors the best I know how. In the precious hours of 8am-3pm I run a photography business.

Conventional sales strategy says this is where I should talk about how I meet your needs, solve your problem, ease your pain points. But this isn’t a sales pitch. It’s a letter, me to you. When I listen to a Do talk or read one of your blog post what I feel most is intent and heart. It seems that what I owe you here — my heart and my reason for showing up in your inbox.

Creating a business is hard and rewarding and it stretches you to places you didn’t know you could go. Before setting out on my own, I spent 10 years in the trenches at three enterprise software start-ups. The transition from corporate B2B to building a creative consumer facing business has not been easy. I’ve learned things (so many things) and I have things I want/need to share about this experience, things that might be of service to others.

So, here I am, taking a seriously scary step. Maybe this will be my place to land. Maybe not. Either way I’ll remember how it feels to hit the send button and I’ll crave more of that high. I’ll remember that somewhere there’s a yes waiting on the other end of send and the whole point is to keep searching for that yes.

Thank you for the invitation.

Sincerely, Denise Cornell

I was sure the lesson from this experience was to learn to take more chances, to hit the send button more often, especially when I didn’t feel ready. When the Yes from Do arrived in my inbox I was so certain there’d been a mistake I told no one, not even my husband, for 48 hours.

It’s been six months now and I still feel a little pang of nervousness every month when I submit my writing. But I’m still here — trying to be a little better than last time. I am grateful for every word I get to share with this corner of the world, grateful the good folks at Do saw past my lack of pedigree.

It’s easy to see that major life events can reveal our true character. I’m starting to realize it’s in the smaller moments that our character gets shaped and new paths get launched. We all need to pay closer attention to the small moments.

Lessons learned (from my small moment)

Choose truth over strategy.
Lead with your heart, not your fears.
Writing is my soul’s call and I will continue to heed it.
Hitting the send button can be a revolutionary act of courage.

Lessons applied

Life has taken a few unexpected turns since November 2016. My path looks different now, but new beginnings are on the horizon and I have the perfect formula for every new thing that comes my way.

Truth over strategy
+ lead with my heart
+ keep writing
+ keep hitting send
= Love, Uncontained®

Written by
Denise Cornell
Denise Cornell is a tech marketing veteran turned marketing consultant based out of Austin, Texas. She helps entrepreneurs to get cozy with their customers. But beyond this, she writes. She writes in service to the examined life, answering the creative call and her personal philosophy of Truth Over Strategy (which is also how she runs her business).

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