To create a business you love, make it as reflective of you as possible. Why? So that you’ll never feel like you have to do or be someone or something different in your business. The path to this type of business is through designing it so that it maximizes the activities you love doing and attracts the customers you love working with. This requires that you learn and embody what is authentically you. Spend time figuring out every little part of you and your personality and showcase it so that you have fun in your business and attract like-minded people.
Your business is a reflection of your interests, and is built on your likes, skills, talents and very importantly, your personality. So whether you have a product or a service based business, let your true style and personality shine through your brand and your business.
Uncovering the real you
Peel back your layers, explore your genuine personality, your thoughts and opinions, and your perspective on your area of expertise. Let these be the basis for your business. This is an eye opening experience, and one that not everyone is fortunate enough to go through.
Give yourself the permission and the space to define who you really are. This is your business, so you get to set the rules. You absolutely don’t have to be professional in the traditional sense if that’s not who you are. Similarly, you don’t have to be super casual either, if that’s not in line with your personality. Figure out what makes you who you are, and magnify it.
Being “on brand”
Yes, this is a business, but it is also your brand. Your brand. Yours. Your brand has to be authentic and true to who you are. You shouldn’t have to think about whether what you’re doing is “on brand”. If it doesn’t feel like you, then it isn’t on brand. It really is as simple as that. When something feels 100% authentic and true to who you are, then you know it’s on brand. This applies to written content, images, colors, opinions, content formats, specific words.. literally everything.
In fact, on the language front, if you aren’t writing in the exact manner that you talk, then it’s safe to say you are not being on brand! People want to read your content and feel like they are getting to know you. One of the greatest compliments I received early on in my foray into entrepreneurship was that my articles were easy to read and felt “like a conversation between you and me”. Yes! That was absolutely my aim. I wanted it to feel that way. And hearing that exact same feedback from multiple people was the confirmation and feedback I was waiting for.
Learning NOT to conform
This might sound easy, but believe me, it’s harder than you’d imagine. We grow up conforming to expectations and influences from people around us. And when those expectations are no longer there, we tend to create similar ones and believe in them. Common entrepreneurship beliefs are: “I can’t do this as well as [insert name of expert]”, “I shouldn’t be vulnerable or people won’t want to buy from me”, or even more damaging “I have to figure this out by myself or people won’t believe I can help them”.
These negative beliefs weigh us down and prevent us from soaring as high as we could potentially go. They are borne from our previous experiences, very likely tied to earlier (or current!) corporate and societal influences. Let them go. They are not truths, they are beliefs. Replace them with beliefs that make you feel positive, inspired and motivated.
Building your brand
Discover what truly represents you – through words, visuals, experiences and opinions. Build your business so it is a true representation of you. This can be difficult for a lot of people because as I mentioned earlier, we spend the majority of our lives conforming to outside influences, and when given full reign, we tend to get lost in the expectations we now “expect” to have placed on us from new outside influences. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, when designing and building your own business, this will actually harm you and not do you any good at all.
Choose your branding and develop a brand strategy that aligns completely to you and your unique position. Ensure that your brand runs through all the touch-points that your customer might interact with your brand on. The sign of great branding is when your customer recognizes your brand even before seeing your logo or your name. Perhaps it’s the content, perhaps it the words, perhaps it’s the visuals. Whatever it is, building that recognizable brand puts you ahead of your competition.
Building your business model
Embed your brand and your vision into the business you create. Choose, design and develop a business model that fully supports your vision of the future. Thoughtfully and intentionally create development and delivery mechanisms for your product or service that are a joy for you to work on.
Creating a business you love is rooted in knowing exactly what makes you happy and what you’d like your life to look like. The truth is, you can create your business any way you want to. When you go through the advice available to you on how to create your business, make sure you pick the things that you’re great at and that truly make you happy. Create your business around you, not the other way around.
Measuring your “success”
Measure your success by the amount of fun you have in your business. This is such a game changer. If you’re miserable, your customers will feel it. Your brand and your business will not be able to attract customers in the same way they would if you were excited and truly believed in what you are doing.
Attracting your ideal customers
When you create a business that is a true reflection of who you are and what you believe in, you will attract like-minded people to it. And the like-minded people you attract will undoubtedly become your most ideal customers.
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