Be a better cheerleader

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A little known fact about me is that I was a cheerleader at university.

Yep, you read that right. I had the whole sparkly get-up and sometimes I even tried to stand on people’s shoulders.

If you’ve met me in real life, you’ll know how ridiculous this sounds. I am the antithesis of bubbly, and I have absolutely zero rhythm or hand-eye coordination. So, it’s no surprise that I didn’t make the competitive team… (yes, competitive cheerleading is a thing). Unfortunately all photos of me from this time have disappeared from the face of the earth... Funny, that.

Anyway, this is a tenuous link to this week’s newsletter topic. This issue is dedicated to those people who are always cheering me on and have my back.

I got you, babe

Hopefully, you know what I mean, and you have a cheerleader or two in your life, too. Whether that’s the family member who always comments on your social posts, shares your business updates, that friend who would pick you up at any time of the day or night (hi, Brooke and Jemma), the fellow business owner who lets you rant at them about a pain-in-the-arse client (Lauren, Elly - it’s you), or even the hero who organises a big F-OFF party for all of us freelancers who don’t have an entertainment budget (Katie Thompson 👑) - I’m sure you can think of at least one person who always has your back.

And finally, we all have that one person in our lives who is the greatest cheerleader of all. It could be a parent, a partner, a best friend or a Twitter friend, having someone to egg you on and tell you you’re actually pretty great is really a priceless thing.

It goes without saying that my own personal cheerleader is my other half and business partner Craig, who has stood by my side through the hardest times of my life and still wants to be around me.

And if you don’t have a cheerleader yet, or are looking to find some new ones, then feel free to join our Discord server for freelancers, where you’ll find 130+ other business owners waiting to cheer you on.

Cheer not fear

This week on the podcast, we watched (and reacted to) some of the internet’s most popular motivational speakers, most notably Gary Vee. A man who needs no introduction, Gary is a pioneer of hustle culture. With Gary and other motivational speakers, it often boils down to working harder and never giving yourself any slack.

This attitude doesn’t speak to me at all, in fact, I personally find the hustle culture lifestyle to be pretty toxic.

Let’s just talk about dogs for a second. Research shows that positive reinforcement is the best way to train a dog, while negative punishment simply creates a breeding ground for bad behaviour and all-around unhappiness for your dog. So, if our canine cousins don't react well to negative reinforcement, then why are we still allowing people on the internet (and in our lives) to beat us down?

Criticism is probably a topic for another time, but I do want to touch on it here as I think it can fall on both sides of the fence. Criticism delivered in a positive and constructive way is something all cheerleaders should master.

Being a better cheerleader

Do you consider yourself a cheerleader for others? For those of us who create content, there’s nothing quite like knowing at least one person will always read your blog article or watch your vlog.

Being a cheerleader for others isn't difficult, in fact, it’s as simple as tweeting a response to an article you enjoyed, replying to a newsletter or commenting on a YouTube video that resonated with you.

So, next time you see something you like - tell the person who made it!

Who are your cheerleaders? Tell me on Twitter @ContentByTheSea or reply to this email for a chat in confidence.

📚 Waking Gods (#2 Themis Files) by Sylvain Neuvel

No surprises here as the first in the series was on my list last week, and I am already a good chunk of the way through the third as we speak. No spoilers as it’s the middle book of a trilogy - I wouldn’t even recommend reading the blurb. Dive into it blind and enjoy all the sci-fi madness as it’s served to you.

📺 The Urban Rescue Ranch is a YouTube channel run by a wildlife rehabilitator in Texas and I am obsessed. I can’t put into words how much I love this guy’s videos, he is absolutely hilarious and the editing is on-point. I highly recommend “How to Survive a Rhea Attack.” I’m watching it again as I type this and mentally preparing myself for 0:49 😂

🎧 Podcast #11: Reacting to hustle culture and motivational videos

It's no secret that we don't agree with hustle culture... we're much more about the slow life than rise and grind. You won't catch us up at 3.30am for a tasteless protein shake or hammering at the emails until midnight.

In this week's episode, we take a closer look at two of the most famous and popular motivational speakers, Gary Vee and David Goggins.

You can also listen to this episode on Spotify.

Or watch on YouTube (recommend for full effect):

That’s all from me this week! We have an exciting few days ahead including some podcast recordings and a brand photoshoot. Looking forward to sharing the results next week!

Ellen x

Enjoyed this? You might like these past issues:

21 April: The power of procrastination

14 April: How to sell without feeling icky

7 April: Am I a bad feminist for wanting to lose weight?

31 March: The rescue dogs that rescued us

24 March: Feelings are meant to be felt

17 March: I sent a newsletter every week for a year

10 March: I’m triggered

3 March: Balancing creativity and getting paid

24 February: The day I lost a client

17 February: How to talk to someone who is struggling

10 February: Learning to say no and other lessons from two years of self-employment

3 February: Learning to find joy in the mundane