There are a lot of resources out there for business owners. There are how-to websites, social media accounts you can follow, experts and consultants you can hire, friends and family you can bounce ideas off of. I mean, the interweb is really just a series of massive rabbit holes, isn’t it? The ways in which you can enlist support is endless, and each resource can have value.
Hiring someone who has more knowledge than you in a specific area can be a brilliant idea. A coach or consultant can support your vision and help take your business to the next level (obviously, I’m a bit biased on this one). Watching a few how-to videos on YouTube can really help you to wrap your head around a new concept. Finding social media accounts to follow that will inspire you and help you to imagine your own brand can be great! And having the support of family and friends when you start to second guess yourself is always helpful. So, again, resources and support have their place for sure.
You know what matters more than all of those things combined? Trusting your own instincts and staying true to who you are. This seems to be forgotten or overlooked by so many people. Whether it’s professional advice you’re receiving or opportunities that may arise. You don’t have to jump on every one that is presented to you. Sometimes legitimate or solid advice may not feel right to you, or a great opportunity may pop up, but the timing isn’t right for you. That’s ok, trust your gut.
Listen to me, I’m a consultant (see what I did there?). But seriously, as a consultant, I start by telling all of my clients the same thing. I am here to support you and guide you to the best of my ability, but it is YOUR business and you have to make the best decisions for YOU. Hopefully, most of my ideas will resonate deeply with you and will inspire your continued growth, but some just may not land. The beauty of the ones that don’t resonate is that by realizing that you don’t like that option, it usually gets you that much closer to what it is that you do want.
You may be really clear on the message you want to share and know that you want to put it out there in the world. Just because YouTube is one of the fastest growing and most “newbie-friendly” social platforms doesn’t mean it’s right for you. You may be like, “hell no, Emily, there’s no way I’m getting on camera… public speaking stresses me out and causes me major anxiety!” Cool, then maybe blogging is a better option for you. For other clients, they have a strong “in person” vibe and are great at connecting with people through video, but struggle to be eloquent when writing. It’s about finding the options for your business that feel good to you and putting your energy there. So, lesson one, trust your instincts.
Lesson two, stay true to you. When I start talking about branding with clients, they tend to get a little nervous. They start to overthink what their brand should be. When it comes to being an entrepreneur, especially when your business is service based, YOU are your brand. The values you hold as an individual should be reflected in your vision for your business. Being authentic with your words and actions is everything. If you attempt to create a certain brand persona for your business that isn’t who you naturally are, then people will feel the disconnect and despite your sincere efforts, you may come across as disingenuous and inauthentic. You are smart and strong… and beautifully flawed. Own it.
Show the real you to the world and they will respond in kind. No, not everyone is going to love you or connect with you, but that’s ok. Don’t worry about them. They are not your people. The people who are meant to connect with you and your business will and those relationships are everything!
Be brave. Be Bold. Be You.