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The Warts And All Of Winning

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This is the first of several articles focused on asking what it means for you to be an entrepreneur, solopreneur, business owner – whatever it is you choose to call yourself.  

And what it takes to bring the best of YOU to your business: your integrity, your authenticity, you in all your best and all your grumbly, crankiest worst  - every day.

Why does it matter that you show up as you? After all, who cares?   

So many people in business operate behind a façade that dictates they are like everyone else.


Because, at the end of the day...

Your ability to reach for the stars, and to get there, depends on your commitment to winning from the inside.

It depends on you making the choice to show up as you, regardless of what happens, regardless of what other people think, warts and all.

What does it mean to show up as yourself?

And why is it so important that you do so when you are running your own show?

For a start, you have not necessarily got the backing of a large organization behind you any more.

And that means that you may well be out there on your own, doing your best to attract and win business.

  • You may be very good at this – after all you had the great idea.
  • You designed that business concept  and you designed something with ‘legs’.
  • You put the hard yards in.
  • You kept the focus on your dream. You persevered from fledgling idea to creating a viable, working concept that has turned into a reality. Now you’ve put a name to it and you’ve given it a structure.

You did all that. YOU.

So why is it that now you have got your shingle on the door, and the face of ‘You’ out there in the world, that you have started to listen to the critics around you?

Why have you started worrying about what is going on around you? 

The early days of getting started were bliss because you didn’t necessarily know what you now know.   Yet now there are a myriad of critics out there;  they are everywhere, and let’s be very clear, you, as an entrepreneur, are a great target!

You grow too fast, they criticize. You grow slowly and strongly; they criticize.  You spend time, lots of time, working, they disapprove. You make business growth a priority; they damn you.

Some of the criticism we can learn from: some motivates us to take action, and some brings us down.

Criticism is insidious.

It starts with a smirk,  a slightly “off” remark, a glance between colleagues or competitors. It can be a quick put down from a competitor, or a kind ‘suggestion’ from a family member. Ironically many entrepreneurs report that it is family members who are their greatest detractors.

You shrug it off and mostly, it drives you to work a little harder.

But the next time it happens, and the next – and there is always a next time - the negativity and the criticism is that little more open, and a whole lot more pointed. (If you’re new to business, or bullet proof, believe me – it will happen to you.)

Regardless of your positivity, your focus or your drive, your ego will start to pay attention.  

Over a period of time, and not that long a time, it will lead you to second guess yourself, to question your strategies, your focus, your belief in yourself.   Before long you’re starting to check on what your competitors are doing, what people think of your decisions, whether your clients are really interested in what you offer.

In reality? You are second guessing because your confidence is shaken.

STOP right there.

Now is the time to apply some presence of mind. To work totally from the present moment. 

Become the observer of your life. Right NOW.

The biggest gift you can give to yourself in business is self belief.

Winning starts from the inside, and whatever the external outcome may be, when you believe in you, and you choose to show up as you, you are winning.

You notice it, the people around you notice it, your team reacts positively to it.

Be here now and win from the inside.

So what strategies can you employ to ensure you stay actively focused on winning with the brand that is YOU?

1. Do what it takes to get back to YOU?

Show up as yourself.

  • Practice mindfulness. I am a BIG proponent of being in the present. Observe your life, your energy, your decisions. ?

  • Take on criticism if it is useful. Ignore it if it is just criticism – because mostly that’s what it is.?

  • Talk, act, be yourself. Don’t be afraid of social media. Talk the way you would always talk.  If you swear, pick your audience and swear. If you’re always polite – target the audience who believe that matters. Remember – the market is big enough for everyone.

2. Tailor your offering to your market?

Forget socially acceptable.

Forget tailoring yourself to a market. They will know you’re faking it anyway. Instead – tailor your offering to your market.

3. Dump the bland

Vanilla is only for icecream! In business one size does not fit all. Remember that!

The ‘what people want to hear’ story is for people with no imagination.

Be unique, be yourself and attract to you (notice – attract to you, not make it happen) those people who are looking for a solution from someone who sings from their songbook.

4. Utilise your own unique style in everything you do!

Be your own brand and be unafraid.

If you’re naturally cranky – play on it.

If you’re one of those people that wakes up full of the joys of spring – then be that girl or guy.

Channel your inner lion/ess unashamedly.

Be clear.

Be on point.

Be noisy if that’s who you are. Be quiet if that’s your gig.

But don’t even attempt to be extrovert when you’re introvert or vice versa.

5. Drop the story you run about whether you are able to sell or not.

Leave the old stories about who you are or are not behind. You are running your own show now. Let your passion shine through.

Focus on loving your business. Do what you do well.  You will sell because you are believable.

If you are there because your heart sings when you are doing what you are doing, you are going to attract people who are also passionate.??So case in point.

Am I going to go to a picture framer who bought a franchise for a job? Or am I going to go to the person who loves visual ‘stuff’ and gets a thrill out of framing pictures and can’t learn enough about it?

Chances are, if I’m just getting a job done I will go to A. If I love art and it matters to me I will go to B. That’s how the world works.

And if I want some assistance am I going to take my business to a tired, burnt out, disillusioned ‘expert’ who is going through the paces, or will I go to someone who is feisty, enthusiastic and motivated?

It is a no-brainer.

We are naturally attracted to people who resonate with us.

People are attracted to good energy. Be the champion of yours.

Remember entrepreneurs, winning starts from the inside!

Helen Ryan

Helen Ryan

Integrity Coach | Profiler | Author

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