Is marketing your biggest challenge as a highly sensitive entrepreneur?

I am very pleased to host Sana Choudary in this new guest post covering a topic of great interest to many of us who are highly sensitive entrepreneurs: marketing.  Sana has great energy and expertise in the field so I trust her viewpoints and know you’ll find useful nuggets to help you with your marketing challenges.

By Sana Choudary, founder of Own Your Sensitive Genius

Are you a highly sensitive entrepreneur (HSE)?

Do you ever notice yourself feeling intensely uncomfortable about marketing?

May be your heart starts pounding so uncontrollably you just want to run away?

Or your breathing gets so fast and erratic that your chest hurts?

Or your thoughts speed by so quickly you find it hard to concentrate on any single one? And when you do–all you can think of is your worst marketing nightmare?

Do you then find yourself doing almost anything except marketing?

Do you ever wonder why you feel this way?

Do you ever wonder why you feel this way?

Logically you know that you shouldn’t.

After all you’ve taken the time to create a business you are deeply passionate about. And you’ve confirmed, by getting paying clients, that what you are offering is not only something people need but are willing to pay for.

Take heart that you are not alone:

HSEs say marketing is the #1 challenge that holds them back from creating the money and positive impact they most desire from their business.

In this blog post I will help you understand what makes marketing so hard for you and what you can do about it.

Why is marketing hard?

Here is what other HSEs said:

“I find that I struggle in doing the marketing non-HSEs do…I just can’t get myself to market in the way it takes to succeed.”

“As an HSE I’m just not the right type of person for marketing.”

I asked them to explain each of these further.

Question. What is the right way to market?

exhaustedAnswer: Omnipresence aka–

  • being a prolific writer, Twitterer, Facebooker, networker, and public speaker
  • appealing to everyone–especially those who may not need what you offer
  • focusing almost all available time and energy to marketing, with as little as possible to actually delivering

In a nutshell you need to be marketing everywhere, to everyone, and all the time.

Not only does this way of marketing directly go against the HSE need for meaningful work, it is also exhausting.

Just writing about it is making me exhausted…

Question. Who is the right type of person for marketing?

Answer: Someone who is–


  • Exciting
  • Charismatic
  • Confident
  • Positive
  • Extroverted
  • Always on

To the 70% of us HSEs who are introverts, this seems impossible. Even for the remaining 30% who are extroverts, being an HSE means we cannot show up this way all the time. Our bodies simply require downtime.

Fortunately neither of these ideas are true

These ideas were true in the past. There were only a limited number of channels to reach your customers. All these channels were controlled by gatekeepers. And these gatekeepers only permitted the type of marketers I described earlier to advertise.

But this isn’t the case anymore. Your customers are no longer limited to channels controlled by gatekeepers. They now seek out their own information, from individual voices they trust. As a result there is no longer one right way to market or one right type of person for marketing.

I mean think about the people whose marketing you respect.

Do they all market the exact same way?

Are they all the same type of person? Probably not.

Most excitingly to me this allows you to be free to explore the most important question for HSEs:

“what is the type of marketing that I am intrinsically interested in? Passionate about? How can I make this work for my business?”

But you aren’t availing this freedom. The result is you are missing out on the money, impact, freedom your business dreams are made of.

And it isn’t your fault.

The real culprit is cultural programming

Here is how Conrad Phillip Kottak, author of Window on Humanity, defines cultural programming (also called enculturation):

the process where the culture that is currently established teaches an individual the accepted norms and values of the culture or society where the individual lives…It teaches the individual their role within society as well as what is accepted behavior within that society and lifestyle.”

All the ideas you have about the right way to market and the right type of person to market come from business cultural programming.

Here is how Dr. Cooper explained cultural programming in one of our recent exchanges:

“culture is like the water a fish swims in. The fish isn’t even aware it is in water. Similarly we aren’t even aware that our culture has imprinted on us certain notions about how marketing should be and how we ‘should’ be in order to find success. It’s not surprising considering that HSPs are probably only 1/5 or less of the species, thus the dominant group determines what is taught in general.”

Thankfully you know this now. So the next time these ideas come up, dismiss them as cultural programming. Then boldly move forward in creating the type of marketing that interests you and works for your business.

Wrap up & Next Steps

Here is what you learned:

  1. You know your struggles with marketing come from ideas that there is a right way to market and a right type of person to market
  2. You know these ideas are just no longer true in today’s world but persist because of cultural programming
  3. You are more likely to challenge these ideas next time they come up

Now that you know precisely how cultural programming is hurting you, you need to unlearn your cultural programming around marketing. Download the free 15 minute mini-workshop where Dr. Cooper and I show you exactly how to do this.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.