May 4, 2017
I remember the first time I ever got spotted at a race by one of my followers, it was shortly after I started posting photos of myself, because up until that point “The Fat Girls Guide to Running” had been completely anonymous.
It was a really funny moment, I was taking part in a race (can’t even remember which one) and all of a sudden a woman run into the road shouting,
Fatty, Fatty OMG its you.
It took me a bit by surprise but was hilarious, as all of the other spectators were thinking “What the hell is going on here?”
Over the years being recognised at races has become more frequent.
When I did the Race for Life half marathon in 2016 I was just getting stuff out of the boot of a car when a woman ran over in tears wanting to give me a hug, telling me I was the reason she started running, and the reason she was running a half marathon that day.
I have real mixed feelings about these moments.
On the one hand its really nice to get feedback from ladies, to know I have made a difference to their lives, but on the other hand I always feel a little bit embarrassed, and almost like they couldn’t possibly be talking about me.
I have major imposter syndrome.
Since becoming a proffesional speaker I am now recognised even more, especially at women’s events for entrepreneurs, as often women have seen me speak at an event, or have seen me featured in magazines or on TV.
A few months ago I was at a networking event, it was a bit like speed dating and we stood in two circles meeting a new person every 3 or 4 minutes…one lady simple exclaimed “Ahhh so you are the infamous Julie Creffield” and at an event I was speaking at for International Womens Day after coming off the stage I had a queue of women asking for selfies…very strange.
I don’t know why its so strange I mean I have a big online profile, so its hardly any wonder that it rubs off in the real world, so as my business grows it is something I am slowly but surely going to have to get to grips with.
But there is one thing that happens occasionally that really freaks me out.
A few years ago we did a big meet up at the Winter Race, with women from my online running club plus a few from the wider community meeting before the race for some pictures and a bit of a chin wag.
I was expecting to see one of my clients who had flown into London from Germany, but somehow we missed her. Later on that day she posted in our Facebook group to say she had had a great race. Apparently she had seen me, but was too shy or embarrassed to come and say hello.
That blows my mind.
I mean its only me? I am just a normal person. I am really down to earth and love meeting other women, especially my clients.
Anyway, I had a massive realisation about this at the weekend when I went to see one of my role models and kind of did the same thing…well kind of.
I have been a fan of a lady in Australia called Denise Duffield Thomas, she is a coach who helps women have better relationship with money.
Someone recommended her book “Get Rich Lucky Bitch” which I literally read in one afternoon. When I started watching her videos on YouTube I thought, I need this woman and her techniques in my life. I really connected with her. she was authentic, down to earth and I loved her message that you didn’t have to be thin to be successful.
Shortly after I became a paying customer, joining her Money Bootcamp.
I have been a member for about 18 months, and over that time I have made myself known in the closed Facebook page which has 3000 or so incredible women from around the world, mostly women who are leading incredible businesses which are changing the world…it truly is an incredible online community.
So on Saturday, Denise Duffield Thomas was in London and so were 500 or so of her customers who she refers to as her Lucky Bees.
Now remember these were ladies that I only knew online.
So as I made my way to the BFI where the event was taking place I realised that as well as being excited I was also feeling really nervous, nervous about meeting these women I had been sharing my life with all this time, but also nervous about potentially meeting my role model Denise.
What if she didn’t know who I was? I mean why would she? What if I made a fool of myself? What if she thought, “What an idiot?”
So anyway, I arrived. I spotted a few ladies I did recognise and a few I even knew in real life. But every time I made eye contact with other women in the reception area I had all these strange thoughts in my head,
Oh shit do they know me?
Should I know them?
Who the hell do you think you are Julie
So as soon as I registered I went into the safety of the auditorium.
It was a really strange environment, heaps of women meeting each other in person for the first time. There was a huge buzz (well seeing we are all lucky bees, its hardly any wonder) and then not before long Denise came on to the stage.
Talk about girl crush…she was flipping incredible.
She is a fantastic speaker, 100% herself, no apologies and with a message that was so incredibly powerful. I was mesmerized. Her style of speaking was very similar to mine, a bit sweary, a bit ranty, funny, honest, inspiring….and in fact if you changed the terms “Money” and “Wealth” to “health” and “happiness” our message is not that dissimilar.
I scribbled in my note book,
I could do this
And then instantly thought, stop being a big head Julie, perhaps you are not ready for events of this scale. What if nobody bought a ticket to come to your event…that would be embarrassing wouldn’t it?
The two hours flew by, and then just as we were coming to the end there was some time for questions and I found myself putting my hand up. I couldn’t believe it. There were 500 people in the auditorium and here I was with a microphone in my hand about to speak to someone I have been listening to, taking advice from (Advice which has transformed my thinking) and I was physically shaking.
Why was I shaking?
So I introduced myself,
Hi Denise, I am Julie Creffield from Too Fat to Run
Hey Julie she said with a smile.
Wow she knew who I was!!! And by the sound that had come from the audience, so did a few others which felt a bit weird. Oh the pressure.
How do you deal with being visible in your business. Going from the online to the offline, coping with people knowing who you are and you not knowing who they are, people wanting photos or wanting to spend time with you based on your online presence
Great question she said in response, and she spoke about how she manages fame as a bit of an introvert. She said its OK to be a figure head for a movement, and to remember why your movement needs a figurehead and what that means to people.
After the event there was a drinks reception, and Denise came out to meet and greet people. In fact there was a massive queue of people patiently waiting to have photos with her and to exchange a few words.
I felt really strange about doing this, so avoided the queue and went to mingle over canapés and wine instead. Asking a question was one thing, being up and close was another, far too many opportunities to look like a dick!!
But now I understood. Now I understand.
Now I realised how women sometimes feel meeting me…and actually it wasn’t too long a go that I read a post about Denise meeting Oprah and feeling exactly the same…wow if I was nervous meeting Denise…god help me if I ever met Mrs O.
I learned a lot about myself over the weekend. I had a great time meeting lots of new women, and sadly missed a few who were having their own issues with visibility and connecting in the real world.
Why is it as women we have these strange inferiority complexes, where we put people into boxes according to their popularity, public profile…their FAME.
I don’t feel any more special than I did before I started all of this, and I think women need to remind themselves in these situations that “I am enough”, we all are.
To check out what Denise Duffield Thomas is all about have a look at her website, she runs an awesome FREE manifestation course, which I do every few weeks as a reminder of where it is I’m heading and what I want to bring into my life.
Next time I see Denise I will find the courage to go up to her and speak, and perhaps give her a hug…who knows