You’re being pulled in so many different directions. Forget about all of the different directions life’s pulling you. Today we’re just talking about the directions we’re pulled in as business owners. We have to know the legal (hayyy!), business, social media, marketing, PR, accounting side of things, not to mention what we need to know about our substantive area of practice. It gets really overwhelming. But when you’re doing all of these things, are you focusing on your strengths or the things that make you uncomfortable?
All the while, we’re getting advice like “you have to go LIVE on Facebook” or “host webinars!” or “you have to post on Instagram at least __x per day!” I see so many posts, webinars and courses touting some definitive all-or-nothing approach to business. Like if you don’t do this one exact thing, there’s no way you’ll succeed.
Do you ever see something online — some statement or recommendation about the way you have to grow your business — and think “yuck! That really doesn’t speak to me.” Listen to your gut.
Maybe we don’t like Facebook or we’re not too thrilled about public speaking. Maybe we do much better with people in person than we do online, or vice versa.
But what if we focused on our strengths and exploited the crap out of them instead of forcing ourselves to do things in our business that don’t feel right? Don’t get me wrong. There’s plenty we have to do in business. Not many people like legal or accounting — but we all know it’s a required part of being an entrepreneur (sorry!).
But I’m not talking about not liking some of the tougher areas of being an entrepreneur. I’m talking about instead of doing things that don’t feel right or good to you, playing up your strengths. Playing up your strengths when it comes to marketing and finding new clients, giving presentations, or hosting giveaways. Not a super techie person? Either hire out someone to build out your sales page when you can, or focus on in-person marketing until you get more comfortable. You don’t need to force something just because “everyone else” is doing it. Trust me — plenty of people have no idea this “online business” world exists, and they’re doing just fine.
When I started my own health coaching business, I felt like I needed to fit a certain mold I saw online in order to be successful. Post tons of pictures on Instagram of my perfectly arranged food, work out all the time wearing the perfect clothes, and have killer hair and makeup. Or I felt like I needed to use certain language to sound like I fit a niche that didn’t speak to me and my journey. And if I wasn’t doing those things, I felt like my ‘weaknesses’ were being exploited.
But what was I doing to play up my strengths?! What about all of the things I liked that made me confident and who I am?
I reminded myself that I left working at a large law firm for a reason (well, many reasons). One of them being that I wanted to be truer to myself and help others. I’m not being true to myself OR helping anyone else if I’m not sharing the most authentic version of myself. Either people like me for me and need my services/templates, or they don’t. And that’s OK! I’m not for everyone. You’re not for everyone. But you’re not appealing to everyone, you’re appealing to people who have or want the same vision as you do.
What I felt like I should do and look like, wasn’t me. I choose comfort over style and I love to take a quick picture of my food right before I dive into it. Instead, my strengths are real, in-person connection, public speaking, and helping women take steps to protect + grow their businesses.
So that’s what I prioritize.
I try to write like I speak, share parts of my personality here and there, and prioritize my strengths: public speaking, writing, client development, and making awesome legal templates.
How are you focusing on your strengths in your business? What can you do to focus more on those, and less on the things that just don’t speak to you? I’d love to hear from you! Let me know in the comments below or email me anytime at sam at samvanderwielen.com
xo – Sam