What happens when you put yourself out into the world? How will the world react? Why don’t more people do it?

Two weeks ago whilst in Portugal in the Douro Valley at an Airbnb with a piano, Katie (my wife) sat down and started playing a new tune.

She composed a brand new song, which she played daily for all of us staying there.  She had the idea to record the song and put it out onto YouTube for other people to listen to. When we got home she studied articles and YouTube videos about how to record your music and get it onto YouTube.  We designed some cover art and put it out into the world last week.  You can listen to the music whilst reading the article by clicking on it above!

But why should you care?  Katie recorded something, put it out there and then what? There is magic and power in putting yourself out into the world but people don’t do it.  Why not?

What happens when you put yourself out into the world?

The magic happens when you put yourself out there!  What do I mean “when you put yourself out there?”

I mean when you open up to criticism, when you open up to the world and put what you create, do or think out there for others to judge.  Maybe you:

  • Write a blog
  • Put your music online
  • Make soap at home and then start to sell it
  • Do a YouTube video
  • Launch a business and start to tell the world
When Katie started recording her song and then put it out into the world on YouTube the magic started to happen.  She told her friends and family and I put it on Facebook for her and we started to share what she had created. (More on the saying “If you build it they will come” later!)

Katie Donegan; Marvellous Katie D playing Darkest before Dawn

Katie playing Darkest Before Dawn for the YouTube channel

You can see the Facebook post I did about Katie’s song further down the post.  One of the comments that came back amazed both Katie and me, and inspired us!  A lady called Julia replied saying that both her parents are pianists and she loved the music and she asked where could she buy the sheet music to give to them for Christmas!

Katie was buzzing.  She had written and recorded a song, put it out into the world and someone had asked to buy the music so they could play it at home!??

She looked at me and asked, “Should I say yes? I haven’t written the sheet music; I just played the song!”

You can probably all imagine what I said!?  “Could you figure out how to write the sheet music?” She replied “Yes”.  “Well let’s sell her the sheet music and figure it out.”

In that moment Katie became a professional composer! We sold the sheet music for £12 and the hard work started.  6 days later and Katie is 85% complete and will have it ready for Julia some time next week.

There is magic in putting yourself out there into the world and sharing what you do with people.  What do you do in your spare time that you have never shared with the world? What do you create? What stories do you have that you have never told?

Avoiding putting yourself out there?

Why don’t people put themselves out into the world?  When we ask people what stops them launching a business at Rebel Business School the number 2 reason is fear.  Fear of the unknown, fear of what will happen, fear of what people will say, fear.   The flip side of fear is confidence.

When you are feeling confident and full of energy and happiness, it doesn’t matter that you have fears; you get out there and do it anyway.

Many years ago I had found a marketing mentor in a town near my home.  He ran a marketing agency and I swapped training for his staff for support on my new company’s marketing.   He knew I was on my own at Christmas and invited me to his company Christmas party.  I met him and the team at their office before we headed out to the dinner.  This was the time I has just written and won some awards for a humorous speech about Brazil.  He knew this and said in front of everyone “Alan, why don’t you do your Brazil speech for us?”  The others at the party cheered and for some reason I got really, really self conscious. I was already nervous going to a Christmas party with a bunch of people I didn’t know and this made me feel very uncomfortable.

I went red, started to sweat and shifted in my seat.  The other people in the room encouraged me, my mentor pushed me to do it and the more positive they were and the more they asked me to do it the more I shrunk back inside myself. It was one of the most uncomfortable moments and I said no.  They didn’t take my first no and I had to repeat it a few times before they all looked super disappointed and we dissipated and headed to the restaurant.

My mentor had given me the opportunity to put myself out into the world and to show off my skills and talents, and because of fear and nerves I didn’t take the opportunity. I hid.

​This was the start of the end of my mentorship there.  Not because of my mentor but because my confidence took such a big hit from this that I never fully recovered.  I was embarrassed by the way I had reacted and therefore stopped engaging and being involved.

Are you avoiding putting yourself out there? What are you afraid of?  How could you build the confidence to be able to get out there and share your message, ideas, creativity, innovation?

You have a light inside you.  Share it with the world.

The battle with self-confidence

I found this quote sign in a cafe in Porto and it inspired me.  It reads “Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations”  Most people couldn’t imagine that as a child I was shy, nervous and wouldn’t talk to strangers. I have battled against self-doubt and a lack of confidence all my life and it has been a difficult road.

Alan Donegan Quote

I found this sign in a cafe in Porto and the quote inspired me. It reads “Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations”

I think the biggest thing that stops people sharing their gifts with the world is confidence.  A lack of confidence. This is what I battled with and still do at times.

I went on quite a journey building my confidence.  From crying with pain because I couldn’t make phone calls selling my business to standing on stage in front of hundreds of people inspiring them. I plan to write more about building confidence and how to do it in the future.  I want you to realise that confidence is something you have to work on, something you have to develop.

My business partner Simon and I constantly repeat,  “Spend as much time building your confidence as you do building your business”.  I don’t think people spend enough time building their confidence.  If you are stuck and not sharing your gifts, ideas and creations with the world then I want you to start building your confidence. Here are some ideas to get you going:

  1. Read the top three books on confidence and do the exercises in them. The key is taking the action described in the books!  Everyone reads them but very few people actually take action.
  2. Find a confidence coach or someone you can work with on building your confidence.
  3. Watch YouTube videos about building confidence.  Some of them are excellent.

Confidence doesn’t happen by accident, it is built and developed.  Start building your confidence today and go down the difficult road.  The difficult road can often lead to beautiful destinations.

What could go wrong?

What could go wrong when you put yourself out there into the world? Not everyone is going to love everything you do and the chances are you are going to get some abuse and some haters as you post.

I remember the first time I got real internet abuse and how much it hurt.  Jack who works at Rebel put out a post about the Rebel Business School we were running in Longmont, Colorado, with Mr Money Mustache telling people on Reddit what we were up to:

Jack told the world about the 2-week-long FREE course we were running, inviting them along.  I was excited because we were giving away what I felt was some of the best entrepreneurial and startup advice that is available and we had got sponsorship so it was all free.  I was shocked to get this response on the post:

This guy said I had paid off the FI bloggers to promote me?  That I was part of the boys club and that all my best information about how to start a business for free was an hour long advert with no value? I wanted to scream abuse back.  I wanted to fight them online, I was angry, hurt and felt destroyed inside.

Here I was giving away the advice I wish I had when I was starting my business, giving it away for free and going out into the world trying to help other people achieve their dreams and I was receiving abuse for it?  I was really hurt for a day or two and it was right before the start of that particular course.  It affected my confidence and energy dramatically.

​I did have another writer in Reddit come to my defence.

This positive message restored some of my energy and confidence and helped me get over it; but it is a human tendency to fixate on the one negative message rather than seeing the hundreds of positive messages.  This is normal and not useful at all!

If you go down the route I am suggesting and start to share yourself with the rest of the world then you will get ugly comments (which are nothing to do with you; it is the other person’s shit), and you will get abuse and negative comments.

Prepare yourself for the negative comments and abuse. My mother used to repeat to me, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”.  Mum, I am sorry to say that I never managed to really believe this one as the words people have said to me over the years have hurt way more than any physical injury I have sustained.  I have just found a way to read the negative comments, see if there is anything there that I actually need to learn or not and then move on quickly.

It is going to happen at some point if you put yourself out into the world in any sizable way.  It is something you need to expect, prepare for and work out how to deal with.

Easy ways to start putting your messages out into the world

The picture on the right is me writing one of my first articles for this blog.  Blogging is one way to start putting yourself out into the world but there are so many!

Over the last ten years the world has completely changed and there are now so many different free platforms for you to put yourself out into the world and so many opportunities!

Alan Donegan blogging. Writing for his blog alandonegan.com

Alan Donegan writing one of his first ever blog articles for Alandonegan.com

Here are some ideas for you:

  1.  Find a blog, podcast or YouTube Channel you like, contact them and offer to contribute and add value.  Offer to write an article or give support.  You don’t have to build your own platform, you can contribute to other people’s
  2. Start a blog and start writing.  At Rebel we recommend Weebly as it is the simplest drag and drop editor to create a site with!  I built this site myself using Weebly.
  3. Put videos or ideas out onto social media and start sharing them with people.  Start talking about your dream, vision or ideas.  Start communicating with the world.
There are so many different ways to put your messages and ideas out into the world now that are free for you to do.  I want to encourage you to start sharing and communicating.

If you build it they will come.


This is one of the myths we spend time debunking at Rebel.  If you build it NO ONE will come until you promote it. A huge portion of the work starts after you have created the content and begins with promotion.  If you don’t promote it, tell people about it, share it then no one will find out about it.

After Katie put her song on YouTube do you think anyone would have just organically found it?   There is so much content being produced right now that if you just build it and hope that the algorithm does it magic for you, or you hope that people will stumble across it, you will never be found.

If you have built something then you have to shout about it.

It is all very well creating cool music, blog posts, videos, patch work quilts, or recipes but if you don’t share it the world then people will never find out about it.

​Create something and then share it with the world!

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