I believe that those of us who are self-employed have more of a rawness to our businesses and our identity within our business. When someone sets up a company or becomes a sole trader they are putting a part of themselves into that business. Their ethics and values on how a business should be run, will rub off on how that business operates. Sounds straight-forward enough, right? However, more than just how we think our business should be run rubs off when we create it.
We need to think what our business stands for. What is its mission? Where is our moral compass pointing on how we’ll get clients and interact with other businesses? We might not have these thoughts written down but they are there, knocking around in the back of our head. Our business’ success, vision and direction is all predicated on how we, the director/owner/employee of that start-up thinks.
Your business identity is you. Bring to the table what you have and you will attract the clients who resonate with your mission and values.
The words we put on our website, on our marketing, the conversations that we have with people. They are only as good as what is driving them, do we really believe what we are saying and doing? Or are we spinning a yarn to try and get clients through the door? In my opinion the most important elements are having a business identity that is congruent with what you are aiming to achieve and who you are. People try too much to be people that they are not, they try to copy others and they often fail at it for one simple reason. It’s not who they are. In business it is important to be regarded as a competent individual in your field, it generally leads to you having a better chance of generating clients rather than being seen as poor at your craft. However, a lot of people interpret competence as wearing suits and having a cool detachment, with little emotional input. This again leads to individuals trying to build a persona that isn’t who they are.
The businesses that people create are a part of them, and their values are reflected in how they do business. It’s clear to see when people are in tune with their business because when they talk about it, it flows from them and they are speaking from their core. It’s not a façade, a mask that they wear, with the worry that they might drop it. Your business identity is you. Bring to the table what you have and you will attract the clients who resonate with your mission and values.
A lot of stress and anxiety around businesses can come from juggling two personas at once. It is an exhausting feat to have to put on a personality that isn’t in keeping with your values. If you naturally enjoy wearing a suit and you are introverted being someone who is casual and is bubbly around everyone can be exhausting and seem tedious at times, you are going out of your way to try and attract certain clients that will drain you and wear you down over time. Its much better to be able to work with people you enjoy working with and not have to take whoever you can get. So, again, by being yourself you filter out the people who don’t resonate with your mission. Those people that you don’t want to work with most likely don’t feel like you are the right fit for them, because you’re not ‘like’ them. People like people who are like them or how they want to be. With that logic, the key to driving business that you want is by attracting those clients you like, which you will have a natural rapport with by being yourself.
The crux of all this is that we often feel that we need to be someone else. That people might not take us seriously as we are and that we need to inflate or even fabricate the ‘business like’ qualities we think we should have. Our culture of business is centred around people in suits with a cool detachment and a god like presence. Well I’m here to tell you that isn’t what it actually is. When you start to scratch the surface of what makes a good business, it’s about having a good connection with your market and bringing value to it. Your identity will come through in your passion for what you are doing, if you have that connection with your market and it is congruent with how you are as a person then you will find that your business and personal identity are synonymous.
it’s about having a good connection with your market and bringing value to it
In a world where authenticity is becoming king, individuals who were putting façades up are being outed and the raw vigour of individuals is being acknowledged and holding attention.
Let your brand be you and allow yourself to be your brand.