Welcome to week 2 of the Entrepreneurial Roller Coaster series. Last week, we talked about the lifeline of any business – your clients. This week, the topic shifts to you – the most significant asset your business has.
Many entrepreneurs start their journey as hobbyists. They have an idea about something they love to do; they think it would be good to make some money out of it and take the first steps toward making it happen. Then the business grows. And as it expands, at some point, they need to make a decision: “do I become serious about turning the hobby into your sole source of income” or “do I continue with it as a hobby?” If you’re the one who chose the former, then you need to shift your role from the hobbyist to the CEO.
That’s why today, I’d like to share the three most essential aspects of this shift, especially in the beginning.
1. Being professional and authentic at the same time
There’s a lot of talk and advice out there about being authentic but not a lot about professionalism. And personally, I think that because of it, sometimes authenticity is misunderstood, and professionalism underrated. When, in fact, they go hand in hand together, especially for business owners who are serious about their growth.
Here is what I mean by that:
- Professionalism is about showing up for your audience and clients and delivering excellence in everything you do consistently. I’m not talking about perfection here and will refer to this article for more details.
- Whether you feel like it that day or not, when you’re professional – you show up and deliver your best. Imagine if Adele or Beyoncé canceled every show when they feel a bit under the weather or had a bad day? I’m not saying show up when you’re sick and can’t function (even the Adele doesn’t do it), but self-managing your emotions so they don’t control you is key to being successful and doesn’t take away from your authenticity. This way, you show your clients that you care and respect them (and yes, sometimes it means dressing appropriately to the occasion too).
- When you show up, speak from the heart, in a way that only you can (authenticity) but be prepared at the same time (professionalism). Trying to wing it and, in consequence, ‘babble’ is not really authentic and undoubtedly not professional either.
- Be there for your clients to serve them, to help them skillfully solve their issues. When you make it all about them, not only do you show professionalism, but when you draw from your experience and share learnings from your own mistakes, you are also authentic and relatable.
2. Understanding that your BRAND is a PROMISE, not just its visual representations such as logo or colors.
Your brand is a promise to your clients of solutions you deliver to them consistently. It should align with your business vision, mission, and values. And as a CEO, you need to stay connected to them.
When you have a strong vision, mission, and values that align, it’s much easier to make crucial decisions for your business. It’s much easier to stay the course, not to get distracted by the next shiny object, because they help you stay focused. They are like your North Star showing the way to your destination in the darkness.
So if you haven’t thought about them yet or aren’t sure if they’re aligned, take my free Clarity & Focus training that will help you do it. You’ll see that it’ll be the best hour of your time you’ve invested in your business. Click here to gain access.
3. Growing your business in a strategic way
CEO’s don’t take random actions in their business based on a never-ending to-do-list containing just thoughts or ideas without structure. CEO’s are strategic. They set goals that align with their Vision. They care about the overall health of their business (clients, partners, employees, finances, systems, etc.).
Your business is an organism just like your body: consisting of many interconnected parts all-important and reliant on each other. Taking a holistic approach and strategically running it is key to long-term success.
“No matter what the industry you choose to ultimately invest all your time and energy in, be sure you’re the owner, founder, and CEO. Remember, if you don’t own it, you can’t control it, nor can you depend on it.” ― Brandi L. Bates
Now that you’ve read it, are you wondering: “OMG, that’s a lot, how am I ever going to do it?” To that, I say step by step.
You’re probably doing most of it anyway and maybe need a bit of gap filling or putting structure around it. When you do it, it’ll allow your business to interconnect with all the parts in the most efficient and organized manner. And if you don’t know where to start, I’d say start with Vision, Mission, and Values and go from there. In the event you have any questions as you go along, I’m always here to help, one free consultation away.