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Be Clear on Your “Who” and Your “Why”

Has anyone ever insulted you or your business? It’s happened to me. In fact it occurred very recently at an after-hours business networking event. I was actually told I was stupid and selfish. At first it hurt, like a knife going through my chest. I’ve been a business professional for a long time but I’ve never been referred to as either stupid or selfish.
It started with an introduction, a handshake and then a description of what I do. “What? You help women go from employee to entrepreneur and teach them how to grow a business and market themselves so they can create a financially successful business that will replace their current job? Well that’s stupid and selfish, that business plan is never going to work and you’re only serving a small segment of ‘s what I think you should do instead (blah blah blah)” This person told me that my business plan wasn’t going to make me money and that I had too small of an audience I was desiring to work with. I lost interest in what this person was telling me after that. But I’m a nice person so I didn’t jump down this person’s throat. Instead I took a different approach.
What this person unknowingly did was gave me a great gift. They helped me get further in touch with my “why” and my “who.” You see I’m not meant to solve problems for every person I speak to and neither are you and the sooner you realize it the more focused you’ll be in your marketing and business efforts. I’m strategic about my long term plans and why I want to help others and the truth is that insults will not break my drive.
Now I know that you are in a similar situation. People may look at you funny when you tell them what you do or because you want to start a business and leave your current job. They may laugh at you when you tell them you’re going to make a significant amount of money in your new business. Or worse yet they will tell you that you will fail. Others have said it’s not viable or possible to make your plan/product or business work. But it’s YOUR job, your duty, your purpose to prove them wrong. Just as it’s my purpose to do the same.
You see I know that there are people working their corporate jobs who want more for themselves. Individuals who are miserable, sick and can’t stand getting up and going to work to grab a pay check that means nothing other than paying the bills and putting food on the table. I know that they are secretly looking for ways to start their own business and take their passion and make a living doing what they love. I know this because I’ve been there and I know how awful it feels to not love what you’re doing. So when this person told me that I was stupid and selfish all I could think was that it’s one of the times in my life I’ve been furthest from it.
People talk a lot about the necessity of having the right mindset to be in business. Successful business owners are interviewed and asked what they did and what do they recommend. They’re also asked about how they fuel their drive and passion. That I believe is with a very purposeful and success focused mindset and it’s something that every one of us can choose to have or not have.
When the person I was talking to finally finished offering their opinion about my business plan and niche I thanked them and told them that I appreciated their opinion, but I’m on a mission to prove them wrong. I explained that I have a plan, a purpose and a “who” that I want to help. That what fuels my drive is helping women take one step closer to making their business dreams a reality.
Assignment:
Brace yourself because if it hasn’t happened yet there may be a time that someone will question what you’re doing with your business and they may tell you to take another approach or try a different business plan. Here’s what I recommend:
1. Be clear about your “why.” Take time to write out “why” you are doing what you’re doing. How did you decide to start your business?
2. Be clear about your “who.” Who is it that you should be talking to? Who needs to hear what problem you know you can solve? Write out who is the person you are meant to work with or offer your service/product to and connect “why” you can support them.
3. Create your elevator speech. This is when you connect who you are, who you work with …