Business, for me, has always been a decidedly personal undertaking and never JUST about business. And now I come to think of it, I’m not sure it’s even possible for business to be anything other than personal by virtue of the fact they are created by people for people.
There’s a reason why we decide to step out on our own along this challenging path….and that reason is ALWAYS personal.
It’s personal because we care
Yes we’re doing it to make a solid income, make an impact and be successful – but MORE than that, we do it because we care. Deeply.
Each and every client I have EVER worked with has had incredibly strong personal motivations underpinning their business aspirations, representing their passion, purpose, vision and values and who they ARE – and if that doesn’t make it personal, I don’t know what does!!
What this means is that one of THE most valuable asset we have in our business is… ourselves! And the best way to fully maximise this asset is simply by consistently showing up… as ourselves.
And we can do that by sharing and talking about….
- the things that make us unique and different
- the things that get us all fired up
- our story, gifts, skills and lessons learned
- the things we’ve experienced that we don’t want others to have to go through
- the things that light us up inside
- the things that make us want to scream out in rage or frustration
- the things that make us feel vulnerable
- the things we absolutely believe to be true
And yes, these things ARE really, really personal, I know.
It means we have to be willing to stand out rather than shrink back….and most of us were taught pretty successfully at school that standing out was likely to result in ridicule or rejection. And to begin with I balked at sharing my personal stuff for fear of exactly the same thing – ridicule and rejection! I felt I had to maintain a professional ‘veneer’ in order to be taken seriously. But if you’ve ever tried connecting with a professional veneer you’ll know it’s not exactly a whole lot of fun!
When you think about the icons you most connect and identify with – Oprah Winfrey, Richard Branson, Elizabeth Gilbert, Brené Brown, to name just a few of mine – the reason we connect with them so powerfully is because they allow themselves to show up as human – complete with human vulnerabilities – and allow us to know them on a personal level.
Be more YOU
For your business to be aligned with your purpose and passion YOU have to be in it – and that means putting more of YOU into everything that you put out into the world. As the wonderful Oprah Winfrey put it, “Align your personality with your purpose, and no one can touch you.”
When you write, speak and share as the ‘real’ you, you’ll not only reach and help more people, but YOU will also get much more personal satisfaction and fulfilment from doing so.
Because it’s not just business – it’s YOUR business.
Over to you….
How do you feel about sharing the more personal aspects of who you are and why you do what you do? What reactions have you had when you’ve shown up and let yourself be seen?
Please feel free to share your thoughts and experience in the comments below – I’d love to hear from you!