I’ll be honest, June has been a shit month for me, confidence-wise. A combination of my own insecurities and a personality clash and I can start to doubt whether all the work I put in to Wise Old Owl is actually worth it.
You are warned that when you stick your neck out to promote what you are passionate about, you’ll always attract some criticism. Actually, I haven’t experienced direct criticism (yet) – it’s the lack of return for the effort that I put in that has felt like an uphill struggle this month.
When I feel like this, I spend far too much time procrastinating on social media. Which is both good and bad. Bad, because when I did a search on Mumsnet for speech and language therapy, I came across a thread that basically slated my profession: “rubbish, patronising, torture, useless, wishy-washy, inadequate.” Woah – kick me while I’m down!
I’m passionate about my profession – in fact, I’ve known I’ve wanted to be a speech and language therapist since I was about 10 and my next door neighbours’ kid stuck her face through the letterbox and yelled “a’i, oo oo wanna ay wi me?” [obviously translating as “Catherine, do you want to play with me?”] I used to do her speech therapy homework with her and I knew then that that was what I was going to do when I grew up.
So I really took the internet onslaught as a personal criticism. Until I realised that there are crap speech and language therapists as well as great ones, just as there are shite teachers and fabulous ones. So I was wondering......have I helped you at all this year?
The positive result of procrastinating on facebook, is that I came across 3 motivational pictures that all suggested that June was the perfect month to look back on all that you’ve achieved this year, what with it being half way through the year and all that.
So I did. And I’m quite chuffed with what I’ve achieved:
- I’ve written a weekly blog since January and since March I’ve emailed once a week to my email list to support early years practitioners
- I presented a seminar at the ChildCare expo in Olympia, London in March and became their Brand Ambassador – such a great free event for early years practitioners – I’m looking forward to the Midlands event, where I’ll be presenting again.
- I made my first appearance in Bulletin – the UK’s Speech and Language Therapy monthly magazine.
- I was asked to talk at the Clinical Excellence Network for Speech Sound Disorders at Strathclyde University to 100 colleagues about my app.
- I have built my email list up from nothing to 400 recipients. I was concerned that the %age of people who opened my emails was low, until someone told me to compare it with others in my industry, using mailchimp, which I did and was delighted to see that my open rate was double that of others in the health/education field.
- I have sold some apps J Admittedly, not as many as I had hoped [closes eyes and visualises sipping cocktails in Bora Bora]
- I have made links with my local pre-school, offering free training and joining their board of directors
- I have been approached by a publisher to write a book.
- I walked all 84 miles of Hadrian's Wall in 4 days and raised over £2500 for the British Heart Foundation [I added that one in later as I forgot all about that!]
All in all, I should be pleased with everything that I have done. So, I suggest that you do the same. Spend a little time reflecting on what you’ve been up to these past 6 months and where you want to be by December. I’ll meet you then and we’ll see if we got there! I'd love to hear if you've found my emails useful and if you would still like to receive them next academic year? All feedback gratefully received about what you would like and how I can help....