“I know now that I was largely unconscious in my 20’s. I was simply living, like most of us do. And then I was plunged into the abyss at 32 when my partner died, everything changed. I was in therapy for a year. I moved away from the city to be near the water. I slowly began to piece myself together; I began to emerge from the cocoon I had spun around myself to heal. And I can see that who I became was forged in that fire”.
Like many of us, Susannah’s Next Chapter began from anguish and the soul-searching that results. She had no awareness at the time that a business, a glorious, wholehearted, connected business was going to be the result.
“I found a blog online, in the US. And I loved it. I left a comment and the writer reached out to me – we’re still in touch today. She encouraged me to express myself online, and I did. For me blogging began as a purely creative exercise – I spoke to the world through the lens of sadness at first, but I focused on moving forward, not using it as a memorial to the past. I started to build a tribe, a following over several years. I simply shared me. I wasn’t pontificating, I was simply sharing my life experiments. In 2008 I moved back to the city and was ready to begin my new life”.
And that new life unfolded in ways Susannah could not have imagined! An in-person photography course she taught moved online when her increasingly worldwide audience let her know her less-technical-more-soulful-expression approach to photography resonated deeply with them. Word of mouth saw this original course attract more than 100 participants.
“That’s when Imposter Syndrome kicked in!” she laughs…”but I’ve now run that original course 18 times”.
Her Next Chapter had truly begun.
From the modest beginning of her simple blog, Susannah now inspires an international audience of more than 26,000 people who receive her fortnightly “Love Letters” newsletter and regularly participate in her rich and expansive programs and free products. Susannah helps you to harness your creative expression and to ask the questions that unravel the layers, revealing deep truths about yourself. Her work is beautiful, honest, emotional and intuitive.
Key points from this episode
- Your business evolution is a gift – it allows you to weave your life experiences into its heart
- Ideas often need months of “composting” before the seedling of an idea breaks through the soil – allow yourself time to grow
- You really need to do something you give a toss about!
- Getting older and wiser is wonderful – enjoy having the wisdom of the years behind us and the resilience and confidence that provides
- The gurus out there don’t have the answers – only you do. Look inside before you look outside
- You can just figure out how – ask for help for sure, but trust that you can and will, figure out how to pull this business thing together!
- Talk to your audience – don’t have a one-way conversation. Start a dialogue, invite comments and ask what they want. Then provide it. Authentically, from your heart.
- Wrap your business concept around a central theme wherever possible – it will give continuity to what you create. With Susannah, it’s unraveling the layers of yourself. With me, it’s increasing your self-belief so you can create Your Next Chapter. What is it for you?
- A personal brand that shows the real you, not the polished Instagram ready you is what your audience craves – real connection, real stories, real struggles and triumphs.
Marketing under your own name is smart – it allows scope and breadth and depth
- Follow your inspiration and allow it to take time.
Links and key resources from this episode
Visit www.susannahconway.com/unravel to download your copy of the delicious “Unravel your Year” workbook. I love working with this at the end of each year and have spent a few hours on my own deck in the sun over the past week digging down into the lessons the year has delivered to me and setting my intentions for 2018.
I also recommend www.susannahconway.com/word to receive the wonderful 5 days email course helping you to define your core word and supporting words that will help to anchor you in the new year. Another favourite activity of mine!
And my gift to you, as this is the final Podcast Episode for 2017 (I’ll be back with a new one in early February) – access to the Success Summit interviews and transcripts – simply click here.
About Susannah Conway
Susannah Conway is a writer, photographer and teacher who’s been sharing her heart online for over a decade. Dedicated to helping people trust, know and express themselves better, her work is steeped in self-compassion, kindness and practicality. Susannah’s creative courses have been enjoyed by thousands of people from over 50 countries around the world and her first book, This I Know: Notes on Unraveling the Heart, hit bookshelves in 2012. Her most recent, LONDONTOWN: A Photographic Tour of the City’s Delights, was published in 2016.
Connect with Susannah Conway
Support Your Next Chapter Podcast!
We hope you liked this episode and found it useful to your business (and you!). If you loved what you heard, we’d love your support. Here are 3 super easy ways to do that right now:
They’re greatly appreciated and super helpful in spreading the word to other Next Chapter women. Thank you!
Not sure how to leave a review on iTunes? It's easy and only takes a minute - Learn how here.
2. Share it using the social media buttons below