A Beacon for Success: How to Shine Your Light of Expertise

How to shine your light, Lisa Jacobs

On my first visit to Camp #OMHG, I shared how to find your true north and claim your expertise. You see, I’ve come to understand that we’re each made to be brilliant at something, and it’s too often a greatness most of us never realize we’re living. Sadly, people don’t always go inward to find their true north. Instead, we try to think about what would be right, rather than do what feels good.

Therefore, I issued an exercise and a challenge: Name what you’re good at and claim your expertise! Today, I’m back to show you how to show off your individual brilliance. It’ll go a long way in creative business, because most of us are waiting to be discovered. And oftentimes, we don’t even realize it we’re doing it!

How many of you are politely waiting for someone else to shine the spotlight in your direction? Where are you hoping to finally be “featured”? Who are you secretly hoping recognize you + your amazing talents already?

In my coaching business, I often refer to the 3 stages of creative business growth. The first stage is the novice business owner, and this is where everybody begins (and hopefully everyone grows out of). In this stage, a creative sees their business as a gamble – a lottery ticket that could win! It is in this beginner stage that you operate on a Field of Dreams mentality, believing that “if you build it, they will come.”

The next stage is the amateur, and this is where the creative starts looking for a “big break.” While your focus and business mentality are improving, you probably still spend most of your time seeking instant gratification. This stage is where most business owners get stuck, waiting to be discovered.

And when you get stuck at this level, you will fully feel the stall, as if time is standing still. You will find yourself having “if only …” thoughts, such as “If only Esty would feature my shop on their homepage, then I would get sales.”  Or, “If only WordPress would share my article on freshly-pressed, then I would gain readers.”

I mean, who wouldn’t want that kind of exposure? I get it; I’m a creative business owner, too. However, that attention does not produce long-lasting success. In order to claim your expertise and become a beacon for success, you must stop seeking approval and permission from an outside source.

Enter the final stage of growth: Become a professional.

This is my hope for each of you. At this stage, you are all in and taking full responsibility for your business’ success. It is at this stage that you finally realize: Nobody is going to hand you a top-selling Etsy shop, popular blog, or social media maven status! You have to build it yourself!

The fastest way – the absolute best hack – to get to this last stage is to realize that making this business a success is your job. Once you take responsibility for your success and realize that it is up to you to make your dreams come true, you’ll be on your way to achieving them.

At the professional stage, you take ego + entitlement out of the equation. Your business needs you to run it as an objective CEO, and a professional business owner will happily assume that role.

Start with a blueprint on paper: Where do you want this business to go in the next three years? And then, work backwards. What are the milestones you’ll need to achieve to end up there? Which goals will you have to reach each year to stay on track toward your destination? And what do you have to do today to get started on your journey?

The career of your dreams is yours for the building, but you have to lay the foundation, the bricks and the mortar. Add your unique brilliance at the top, and it will become a lighthouse; a true beacon for success.

What does the career of your dreams look like?


  1. Alison Cronk says:

    Absolutely! I couldn’t agree with you more. Your advice really resonates with me. For those of us waiting for others to shine the spotlight on us, I believe the root of the problem is the challenge of loving ourselves and having self-confidence. Self-love and self-confidence are often perceived by society as “selfish” and “cocky” and we fear we will be portrayed that way. Not wanting to share our talents and success with the world and instead wait for someone else to recognize our fabulousness, to me, sounds selfish and cocky. Your article gives us permission to value our talents and not be afraid to share them because then we can shine and be successful. If we don’t do this for ourselves, why would anyone else want too? It is our responsibility; its empowering to know our own success in our own hands. Thank you for pointing that out!

    • Lisa Jacobs says:

      wOw, Alison! What a comment & hear, hear! You had me at:

      “Not wanting to share our talents and success with the world and instead wait for someone else to recognize our fabulousness, to me, sounds selfish and cocky.”

      Makers too often see themselves as taking the “high road” by not sharing their talents freely in self-promotion. But who wins in that scenario? It’s one more way of feeding into the starving artist’s myth, and I just won’t stand for it!

      I loved every word you added here. THANK YOU <3

    • Thank you so much for this beautiful comment Alison! One of the things I’ve noticed after years of working with creatives is that at the root of all our hiding is a fear of someone throwing dirt on our shine. I think that is why we need communities and cheerleaders we can rely on-they remind us that our shining gives everyone else permission to d the same. That isn’t cocky, it’s brilliant! Thank you Lisa for sharing this wonderful post with us and being the reminder that if we don’t value our gifts we’ll struggle to find others willing to recognize them.

    • Cody says:

      This is such a wonderful comment. I struggle with sharing my successes because I don’t want to “offend” anyone or come off as cocky or self centered, but this post helps me realize I should own every success and let my talents shine!

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