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Taiwan’s most beautiful lotus flowers and FIVE great lessons for building greater online visibility

Taiwan’s most beautiful lotus flowers and FIVE great lessons for building greater online visibility as introverts

How many times have you missed an opportunity because you were too shy to open your mouth?

Or spent so long debating a picture of yourself that you end up posting nothing and going another four weeks with no online presence.

For all of us running our own businesses or starting out as entrepreneurs, the labyrinth of navigating social media can be overwhelming and the anxiety of having to post on a near daily basis almost relentless. Add in the fact that many of us are introverted and shy, and the immensity of such a challenge is multiplied many times over.

How then can we finally face that fear of visibility while gaining a visibility which overcomes both those inner fears of visibility and the ongoing need to grow our business online?

I find the answer to that question in the most unexpected yet most exquisitely beautiful of places: Taiwan’s most beautiful Lotus flowers.

Let me explain.

a key way to reach a maximum number of people is through that precise path of visibility

I may never happier than when my introverted side is melting into obscurity and away from the limelight. Yet at the same time part of me constantly cries out to be heard and for my voice to be valued.

Not because I want to be visible, but because I know that my knowledge and skills can positively help people, and a key way to reach a maximum number of people is through that precise path of visibility.

This week I was out on a bike ride. Having stayed in and worked from home for the better part of the past four months, exercise, fresh air and being close to nature are pretty much essential to keeping our rational during these challenging and unprecedented times.

The beauty of the lotus flowers was resplendent and as it started taking rudimentary form on my page, I got to thinking about what I was actually seeing.

I took a route along the river in Taipei, one I have taken several times before, but this time, cycling to one of my favourite spots for quiet reflection, I was stopped in my tracks by an unexpected sea of pink.

Suddenly, as if appearing from absolutely nowhere came a lotus pond in bloom.

As if a whole lake of water which I had totally not seen in past rides, suddenly declared its existence.

And believe me, it was completely unmissable.

So I stopped. Got out my pencils and paper. And started drawing.

The beauty of the lotus flowers was resplendent and as it started taking rudimentary form on my page, I got to thinking about what I was actually seeing.

Most of the time lotus flowers are used as that example of exquisite beauty rising from the depths of the mud. That there is hope for every one of us to rise from our darkest circumstances.

But what if we were to think about lotus flowers as an actual symbol of visibility?

What would we see?

What could we learn?

This idea that something can be completely invisible one week and totally out there the next: what can it teach us in our own pathways towards visibility? And how can it help us as introvert entrepreneurs overcome that fear of online visibility?

Let's look at FIVE lessons in visibility we can take from Taiwan's beautiful lotus flower:

1) Lack of visibility does not infer lack of value

Just because the lotus flower is not always visible does not diminish the value of the lotus plant. In fact, quite the opposite! The lotus plants emits value at every stage of its life. Did you know that nearly every part of the Lotus plant and flower is being used for food or in Traditional Chinese Medicine? So even if at times we struggle with visibility, this does not mean that what we have to offer has little or no value.

2) Visibility does not need to be 24/7

The beautiful lotus flower does not bloom 365 days a year. If it did, it would in fact become as invisible as the grass, or the daisies which decorate it. Contrary to what we may be told is necessary, we do not need to be online 24/7 to have full visibility. If there are periods we need to take a break and recharge, take a break and recharge. Sure, there may be a lapse in our visibility and SEO ratings, but for those of us running a solo business, our mental health and our tenacity in running our business in the long-term also needs to be factored in. I have tested social media on an intense level and a more periodic seasonal level, and having a visibility set up which allows you space to breathe as and when necessary, is really important to keep moving forward.

3) Do not squander your assets! Visibility is something which can and should be scheduled and coordinated for best effect

I love the concept of collaboration and setting up an ecosystem of inter-collaboration, each thing serving to support the other and so on. This is especially true when it comes to gaining visibility in social media. It is also a concept which holds strongly for many of us who identify as introverts, one factor of which can be that of always wanting to conserve action for maximum effect.

What do I mean by that?

It's the principle of efficiency of movement. Instead of, for example, going to the shop to buy one thing and come back, we plan our outing to achieve several tasks all on the same route. I share with you exactly how to do this in my new online course on Exam Strategy, particularly when it comes to learning in a far more streamlined and efficient manner.

But how does this hold true for the Lotus flower?

I noticed as I looked out across the Lotus Pond that while yes, I did see a sea of pink, most were actual flower buds rather than flowers in full bloom. I thought nothing more of it until I started to read up about Lotus flowers in preparation for this article. And I learnt something very valuable about these incredible flowers.

Individual Lotus flowers actually only bloom over a period of 3-4 days. And then they are gone. However unlike other flowers such as sunflowers or cherry blossoms which may flower for a longer period yet all flower in unison, the Lotus blossoms actually coordinate their bloom period so they do not all flower at exactly the same time. Instead this coordination and mutual collaboration can actually extend the entire blooming period to several months or more, depending on the local climate.

It is a fascinating demonstration of nature and can be hugely inspiring for us as we struggle to gain visibility. Which leads us to further lessons and inspiration:

4) Good visibility is not a single bloom: Never reveal everything on social media in one single post

Let's say you have a project you want to share with your audience. Instead of just throwing it out there, why not break it down and share it over several different posts? Some may be image based, some may be text based, some may share a motivational quote, some may share a full video, some may share extracts or teasers of that video, and some may be live video or interview based. Instead of one simple post, from the same project you now can have ten, twenty, thirty or more posts which you can schedule, giving each their own unique to 'bloom', and thus extending your 'flowering period' to potential several months. Each and every one, beautiful in their own right, will keep people coming for the whole season.

5) We do not have to be perfect to be beautiful

The Lotus flower may be truly beautiful to look at, but that flower was not born in perfection or beauty. If the Lotus flower was too fixated on its past and its muddy origins, it would never see the light of day. It is only because it chooses to push forward and up, that it allows itself a place for its real beauty to show.

It is only when we are willing to push forward past our fears, past our feelings of not being good enough, and allow what we have of value to see the sunlight, that our real beauty can be visible. Each part of our life and background has its own place, and it is not because we have online visibility that our whole life and past will automatically become visible. The Lotus plant only chooses to make its beautiful flowers and leaves visible to the world. We too share what we choose to share, that which we feel will add value to others, that which will attract the audience we wish to do business with.

Keep these elements in perspective, and even as introverts we can more easily override that fear of visibility, knowing that we stay in control of what we make visible, how we make it visible, and in a way which doesn't completely overwhelm us.

And when you have a moment, and need a short break, go and check out your local Lotus Pond. Because not only will it inspire you, it will also refresh your mind and leave you ready to face another round of online visibility.

Taiwan's most beautiful Lotus flowers have truly given us some great lessons to take forward as we build greater online visibility.

Be sure to connect, share and subscribe, and together let's grow our visibility!

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