Who runs your business? Like most business owners, you probably think you’re the one in the driving seat when it comes to making the important decisions about how you run your business.
Are you really?
Have you ever sat back and asked yourself “Is this how I really want to live and work?”
If the answer is a resounding “Yes!”, well done!
Or, maybe you’re doing what most start-ups, small businesses and self-employed are doing?
– following what others tell you you ‘have to’ do to be successful
– following what others tell you you ‘have to’ do to earn a certain ROI
– following trends that tell you what ‘success’ and ‘self-worth’ mean in business
If you’ve answered “Yes” to any of the above, read on.
How to own your business
There is another way to run your OWN business, you know!
You start by learning how to own your business.
That means YOU make the important decisions. To do that, you don’t start at the end point – the financial outcome (ROI)
You start at the beginning – with YOU.
– Start by defining the lifestyle YOU want to live, e.g. how much time you want to work, your lifestyle needs, what values determine your decisions, identify your strengths, talents, experience, etc. and focus on developing and strengthening them.
– Calculate how much you need to earn to live that life
– Then design & run your business around THAT
– Ignore the rest.
Setting your own business goals
More and more business owners are doing just that, particularly young start-ups and service-based professionals. They are setting the outcome according to their needs, values and lifestyle choices, not by what the market tells them and not according to the business commandment “that’s the way it’s always been done”.
And the difference?
You now work in your FLOW, not struggling and constantly pushing yourself out of your comfort zone.
You’ll be far more effective, i.e. successful, happier and truly running your OWN business in your OWN way.
You’ll be a role model for those looking for real alternatives to the conventional hustle and struggle model of running a business.
How are you actually running your business now?
Following the guidelines set by others, or working in your flow?
So, back to our initial question: Who runs your business?
If you’re in business, then you know that Your Bio or Your Story is one of the important brand stories you need to help you communicate core information to your potential clients: Who you are and What you do.
You personal story, or bio, is one of your important brand stories.
Dos and Don’ts of writing your Bio
Here are a few things you should be aware of when writing your personal story:
- Your Bio is NOT a summary of your CV. It is NOT a linear list (often in reverse chronological order) of your career, starting with your education.
- Your Bio is your personal story, so it follows the structure of a STORY (before – turning point – after). And like any good story, it should arouse curiosity & interest.
- Your Bio is a condensed version of your personal story. Depending on the platform, aim for between 50 and 150 words. Your Bio, like all your communication, benefits enormously from a ‘less is more’ approach.
One of the main features of your story is this. It should connect you on a personal level with potential clients, so drop the hype & hollow phrases. Write as you would talk to someone who’d like to get to know you, i.e. without needing to convince the other how ‘passionate’ and ‘committed’, and ‘awesome’ you are. To do that successfully you have to first own your story, then share it in a way that engages the reader on a personal level with you. And keep it simple – simple stories facilitate communication as I’ve pointed out many times.
What is the purpose of your Bio?
Contrary to popular tends, it’s NOT a text version of your favourite selfie.
It should create credibility in the reader/potential client who doesn’t know you that you are capable of doing the job you claim to do and that you are someone they can trust to do the job well.
To create that credibility your story should build confidence in the READER, not, as is often the case, demonstrate your confidence. It’s the reader who needs to find a reason to have confidence in you and subsequently wants to connect with you.
Want to test whether you Bio fulfils its purpose?
Have a read of your Bio, then ask yourself:
“If I didn’t know this person, would I consider hiring him/her?
And if reading your Bio doesn’t produce a definite YES, then maybe it’s time to get some professional help so that it does just that!Learn More
When you own your story, you easily stand out in a noisy and crowded world by being your REAL self. The benefits are huge.
I was asked recently if and how my work had ever changed a client’s life. I have a few such stories, but this is the one I told.
Years ago, I was hired to help prepare a job-interview presentation (10 mins) for a leadership position in a semi-state company. Like 90% of the applicants, my client had extensive experience and relevant skills.
Your Story defines your USP
So, the personal aspect was key here. He needed to identify and clearly define his USP in relation to the job description. Owning your personal story is, as I’ve pointed out here, one of your brand stories and the more real it is, the more we need it now as we navigate our way in a post-pandemic world.
His personal story was ‘unconventional’ – left school and home at 17 and “bummed around” for 8 years, which included becoming an alcoholic (like his father), was homeless for a stretch, after three attempts finished addiction therapy, completed a training-education programme with the help of one particular boss, who “gave me some slack, a lot of encouragement & kicked my ass when needed.”
It’s one thing to own your story and easily stand out. It’s another to get the value & relevance of that story across in a short presentation. Here’s what we did.
Your Story should build Audience Expectation
We decided to weave episodes of encounters between him & his boss into his presentation, incl. support, expectations & confrontations, etc., not revealing the identity of either party until the end (we’re building curiosity and tension here).
According to my client, the panel was clearly pulled into his story and anxiously waiting for the finale!
It wasn’t what they expected!
He was NOT the model boss. He was the difficult, sometimes disruptive and often challenging employee whose life had been turned around by a great leader!
A Story with an unexpected Outcome
Life, we know is NOT a Hollywood film. He didn’t get that job.
He described afterwards the look of “horror” in some faces when he dropped the bomb at the end.
But that interview marked, he told me, a major turning point for him. He finally owned a hidden part of himself that he’d kept well hidden in his career. It was the part that made him a REAL human.
And I helped him own that story!
That’s why I do what I do.
He was offered a very suitable job three job interviews later. We kept tweaking his presentation for each interview and he kept me posted on the different reactions to his ‘plot twist.’ When he was offered the job an hour after the interview, he got the external confirmation for what he himself knew and believed: “They saw the value of my experience for the role they had to fill. And they got me as a person”.