A huge motivation for many looking to become self-employed and often part of the decision for leaving their current work is the ability to be true to themselves. The more we can recognise this and embrace it in all its facets, the more connected we will feel to our work and the more we will connect with our customers. But its also important to accept the fears that this path may bring up and to find a way to handle them.
When setting up your own business, one of the biggest challenges but also one of the biggest opportunities, is being true to yourself. So what does being true to yourself mean and how to does it benefit you and your business?
Being true to yourself with your work means
- Truly expressing your creativity and your talents
- Revealing hidden parts of yourself to others
- Communicating with integrity
- Wholeheartedly believing in what matters to you
- Letting your personality and your light shine
The opportunity exists in the sense that you have the ability to create something truly unique which is essentially going to be your brand and set you apart from the competition. Everything from your business name and your logo to the way you write the content for your website and marketing, the products or services you sell and the way you interact with your customers and incorporate your personal values (integrity, speed of response, customer service etc.) The more heart and soul you can put into your business, the more people will connect with you. And, with many products and services, people buy from people.
How this can benefit you and your business
- It creates more connection with your customers
- It will help you stay motivated
- It gives you a point of difference from your competition
Revealing your true self can make you feel vulnerable. I recognised this in the years I was operating under a business name which put me in the background and doing work which was what I knew, but not what truly meant something to me. I realised that to properly connect with people I needed to tell them who I was, what was important to me and what my story was. I needed to walk the walk! And yes, I have had a few moments of squirming and cringing when I published my first professional profile photo, when I published my first video, when I (eventually) set up my social media accounts and when I started using my actual name for my business. But the feeling of liberation and the ability to connect more quickly with people has far outweighed those moments and now I can’t imagine ever going back in the closet!
How to overcome any fears about revealing your true self
- Try not to compare yourself or your business to others. You have a unique set of talents, values and personality.
- Accept a certain level of discomfort as a sign that you are moving forward and confronting your fear rather than missing the opportunity.
- Accept that not every single person is going to love what you do but that’s ok. Just trust that you will find your people.
- Try to imagine the positive feelings that come from a deep connection to what you do and remind yourself of these when you’re feeling afraid.
Next time, I’ll be talking about gathering what you need to get started in your new business.
Deborah Perry, Art and Soul
I always encourage my clients to be themselves through their business and one great example of that is with Derbyshire-based artist Deborah Perry (www.deborahperry.co.uk). As well as having a successful career in the corporate world, Deborah has been painting since she was a child and so it’s part of her DNA. She’s also been a very spiritual person from an early age, although it’s a side to her that very few people know about. Deborah has a unique gift for using her art as a vehicle to connect other people with their own spirituality and bring them an expanded awareness of their personal journeys. This is a huge point of difference to her work. However, bringing this out onto Deborah’s website, portfolio and marketing materials etc took real courage and a willingness to be vulnerable. It meant revealing a new side to herself and really putting herself out there.
In our coaching sessions, we confronted Deborah’s fears and what it meant to her to reveal herself more fully through her work. Working through her brand positioning we tapped in to the unique ability Deborah had (and was already having) in providing a bridge to people’s higher consciousness and sharing her soul stories through her art. We gathered feedback and insights which highlighted what important work this was for Deborah’s audience and the motivation which lie behind it.
Deborah accepted there would be some discomfort in this process, but realised the huge benefit of revealing her true self and how that could actually become her brand. This allowed her to authentically connect to her customers and ultimately touch the lives of people who really needed to see her message. As a result, she has created something truly magical which is now bringing her rewards both spiritually and also financially. Most of all she is enjoying the feeling of liberation from expressing her true self.