When I was growing up I was raised to be obedient, studious and hard working. To have respect, high standards, to do things to the best of my ability and to do as I was told by those in authority.
I did this very well for a very long time….too long.
While I don’t believe in regrets (as everything in life shapes us for who we are today) I do realise that some of my thoughts and conditioning were keeping me from showing up and being in the world.
I was busy striving and doing, playing by all the rules and pleasing people and this worked well in many ways. This thinking and behaviour afforded me more opportunities, more desirable job offers and a better financial position. It worked well until it stopped working.
While doing all the things that were expected and pursuing success I failed to notice that I was moving further and further away from my dreams and who I was. I was too busy to see the signs of physical illnesses, fatigue, mental overwhelm and emotional drainage, until they could no longer be ignored.
When I left my career in education I had a break to figure out what I really wanted for myself and my life. After some pondering and trying things on for size I settled upon starting my own business and it was then that I realised that as hard working, smart, sociable and skilled I was there was a major upper limit that I was hitting time and time again.
It was the fear of putting myself out there and standing out. You see it ran counter to everything I was taught as a child and young adult. I was raised to colour in between the lines, to take directions, do what was expected and follow the norm.
Business does not operate by these rules, not successful businesses anyway. To be in business means to take risks, to bank on yourself, to lead not follow, to take full responsibility and to stand out with a strong message and service.
Can you see the problem? All the things that were required to have a sustainable and thriving business depended upon me creating new ways of thinking and being that ran in direct opposition to what I believed.
You cannot know what you truly value and are passionate about if you have been following the path laid down by others. You cannot take a stand when you don’t know where you’re standing. You cannot lead from behind the masses and you cannot express yourself with conviction if you don’t know yourself first.
Is it a tall order to reprogram your thoughts and emotions? You betcha! Is it worth the effort? Absolutely! Especially if you want a business that supports you and grows with you.
The Number 1 element in my opinion that will make a huge difference to entrepreneurs and small businesses is Messaging.
Messaging consists of 4 parts – Your Purpose or Why, Your Values or World View, Your Tribe or Community and How you Help these people. If you don’t clearly know all 4 of these elements your messaging will be diluted, not resonate or miss completely.
Here are my tips to nail each of these elements so your message is aligned to who you are and comes across clear and in a way that connects and compels your perfect fit clients.
- Look back upon the milestones of your life. Both the blessings and the challenges. Write down a brief description of them. Now look at the list and see what lessons,beliefs or themes came out of them. For example, during some pivotal times in my life I felt different to others around me and tried to blend in so part of my message is that everyone has a unique difference and that should be embraced and celebrated not hidden away. I also saw throughout my life that I believe life is what we make it and that while we are here we need to create the life we want. So my purpose statements are our unique difference is beautiful and should be shared and life is what you make it so go ut and create it. Another thread that comes up through my life milestones is Our way is THE way – no one can tell you how to live.
- What do you believe in? Make a list of Values or Google List of Values and choose 3-5 that really resonate with you. Imagine you could only choose 3-5 and you had to stick to them, no swapping. This mindset would get to choose very carefully so only the really strong ones remained. These 5 when read out loud should be a reflection of who you are or who you aspire to be. My 5 business and brand pillar values are: Inspiration, Leadership, Freedom, Transformation and Truth.
- Take a look at your purpose or why statements and your values. Write down your skills (trainings, experience) and gifts. Now look at all three together (purpose + values +gifts/skills) and think about who you benefit THE MOST from working with you. Take into account you do your best work when you vibe with people who have the same values or aspire to have them. By now you should be getting really clear on your message and who might be a perfect fit for you to help.
- Lastly, how do you work best? What are you doing when you are in flow? Do you work best one on one or in a group? In person or virtually? Leading others or part of a team. Knowing how you bring out your best is key in determining how you will deliver your help and support to people without burning out.
If you follow these tips you should be well on your way to having your message and what you do clear to you and those who want your support. To check this try filling in the following:
My name is ____________and I believe _____________________. I help ___________________ to _________________ so they ___________________ and ____________________.
Here is mine for example.
My name is Tina Bindon and I believe that each of has a unique point of difference which makes us special. This difference is meant to be celebrated and shared. I help creative and service based women to create businesses and brands around this unique difference so they feel aligned with who they are and live in their highest expression.
There you have it lovely. Go to it and nail your message so you can step up, stand out and shine!
Let me know how you go. If this was super duper helpful please share with those you care about.