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10 Reasons to Start Your Dream Business Today

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10 Reasons to Start Your Dream Business Today

Starting that dream business always seems to feel like a task for “later.” You know, when you’ll have a ton of time, more money and greater skill to back it, and perhaps a better network through which to market it … and on and on. The truth is, there is no better day than today to get started on your dreams, because the more time passes, the more daunting it will become. With that in mind, here are 10 reasons to go for it rather than watching the years pass as you wait for the “perfect time.”

1. The Market Has Officially Rebounded

Folks like to throw the phrase “bad economy” around like candy at a parade, but luckily, the economy is no longer considered “bad” by experts. For entrepreneurs, this means a green light for getting started on those dreams. While consumers are still somewhat tight-fisted, if you showcase your unique goods or services with charm and individuality, you’ll likely do well.

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2. Your Dream Won’t Get Easier to Accomplish

Have you ever noticed that when you put off a chore, it seems to grow in proportion? Even something as simple as cleaning the bathroom or calling your grandmother can become more and more burdensome the longer you put it off. This tendency is especially dangerous with big, scary, overwhelming prospects like starting a business, where you’ll have to do much more than find the Clorox or dial Grammy. Start now, before your dream becomes a nightmare.

3. Waiting Builds Doubt

On a related note, waiting gives you time to second-guess yourself. Slowly but surely, you’ll build up enough reasons that you can’t that overcoming them will take a Herculean feat … and on top of day jobs, commutes, chores and kids, who has time for that? Begin now, and smash your doubts from the outset by showing yourself that hey, look, you can do it.

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4. You Learn As You Go

A common misconception about starting your business is that you must know everything before you can do anything. This is pernicious and false. No one builds a company overnight, and no one knew what they were doing from the very beginning. Instead, learn enough to avoid most failures (avoiding all of them is impossible) and produce enough to show off what you’re capable of. The rest will come with time.

5. Finding a Mentor Is Easier With Something to Show

Experts and old hats love to take newbies under their wings, but only with proof that those ingenues are willing to work. With that in mind, you’re far better off launching your business and then looking for people to help you. You can then refer to your portfolio or website with specific questions, for example. This also ensures that you will know exactly what it is you want out of your company, which many people don’t right away. Once you do, you’ll have an easier time finding the perfect guide.

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6. Starting a Blog to Bring in Business Takes Time

One of the best ways to build your business is starting a blog. Blogs, when well-written, are a fantastic tool to show what you can do and bring in traffic. But you have to be patient, because blogs take time to gain traction. That means starting now is a far better idea than starting later. Even if you’ll supposedly have all your ducks in a row at that point, you’ll miss out on the opportunity to grow in the meantime.

7. Online Businesses Are Cheap

Luckily, we no longer live in the brick-and-mortar days. Now anyone can go online and, with a few hundred bucks and a plan, start an e-commerce website and put their offerings out into the world. You no longer have the excuse of waiting to amass capital or get a loan.

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8. You Already Have a Network

It’s tempting to put off your dreams on the assumption that you haven’t built a good network, but guess what? You’ve already got one. Yep. If you have a mama, you have a network. A best friend, a hubby, a coworker … while it might seem that these people don’t “count,” they are actually key players in your network, able to not only cheer-lead your work, but introduce others to it as well. Your network will mature as your business does, so don’t wait.

9. Your Idea Won’t Get More Unique If You Wait

Wanting a truly original idea that no one has ever thought of before is, well, unoriginal. We all want that, but the truth is, most ideas have been had. Get over it. If what you’ve got to offer is good, then you don’t have anything to worry about. And if it is particularly unique, you don’t want to give someone else time to come up with it.

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10. You Want To, Right?

This is your dream, isn’t it? If so, there’s no point in waiting to get older, more fearful, less engaged and more embittered. Instead, embrace your passion in its springtime, when you’re still full of enthusiasm and verve. Get all those good ideas out where people can see them. Only then will you gain confidence, get better and really start to live that dream.

Featured photo credit: photographer photography digital camera dslr camera/PublicDomainArchive via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on August 25, 2021

Why Personal Branding Is Important to Your Career

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Why Personal Branding Is Important to Your Career

As a recruiter, I have met and interviewed hundreds of candidates who have no idea who they are.

Without a personal brand, candidates struggle to answer the question: “tell me about yourself—who are you?” They have no idea about who they are, what their strengths are, and how they can add value to the company. They present their CV’s believing that their CV is the key to their career success. In some ways, your CV still has its use. However, in today’s job market, you need more than a CV to stand out in a crowd.

According to Celinne Da Costa:[1]

“Personal brand is essentially your golden ticket to networking with the right people, getting hired for a dream job, or building an influential business.” She believes that “a strong personal brand allows you to stand out in an oversaturated marketplace by exposing desired audiences to your vision, skillset, and personality in a way that is strategically aligned with your career goals.”

A personal brand opens up your world to so many more career opportunities that you would never have been exposed to with just your CV.

What Is Your Personal Brand?

“Personal branding is how you distinctively market your uniqueness.” —Bernard Kelvin Clive

Today, the job market is very competitive and tough. Having a great CV will only let you go so far because everyone has a CV, but no one else has your distinct personal brand! It is your personal brand that differentiates you from everyone else and that is what people buy—you.

Your personal brand is your mark on the world. It is how people you interact with and the world see you. It is your legacy—it is more important than a business brand because your personal brand lasts forever.

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I have coached people who have very successful careers, and they come to me because they have suddenly found that they are not getting the opportunities or having the conversations that would them to their next role. They are having what I call a “career meltdown,” all because they have no personal brand.

A personal brand helps you become conscious of your differences and your uniqueness. It allows you to position yourself in a way that makes you stand out from the pack, especially among other potential job applicants.

Don’t get me wrong, having a great CV and a great LinkedIn profile is important. However, there are a few steps that you have to take to have a CV and LinkedIn profile that is aligned to who you are, the value you offer to the market, and the personal guarantee that you deliver results.

Building your personal brand is about strategically, creatively, and professionally presenting what makes you, you. Knowing who you are and the value you bring to the table enables you to be more informed, agile, and adaptable to the changing dynamic world of work. This is how you can avoid having a series of career meltdowns.

Your Personal Brand Is Essential for Your Career Success

In her article, Why Personal Branding Is More Important Than Ever, Caroline Castrillon outlines key reasons why a personal brand is essential for career success.

According to Castrillon,[2]

“One reason is that it is more popular for recruiters to use social media during the interview process. According to a 2018 CareerBuilder survey, 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process, and 43% of employers use social media to check on current employees.”

The first thing I do as a recruiter when I want to check out a candidate or coaching client is to look them up on LinkedIn or other social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Your digital footprint is the window that highlights to the world who you are. When you have no control over how you want to be seen, you are making a big mistake because you are leaving it up to someone else to make a judgment for you as to who you are.

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As Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, once said, “Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.”

In her book, Becoming, Michelle Obama writes about the importance of having a personal brand and her journey to defining her personal brand. She wrote that:

“if you don’t get out there and define yourself, you’ll be quickly and inaccurately defined by others.”

When you have a personal brand, you are in control. You know exactly what people will say about you when you leave the room.

The magic of a personal brand is that gives you control over how you want to be seen in the world. Your confidence and self-belief enable you to leverage opportunities and make informed decisions about your career and your future. You no longer experience the frustrations of a career meltdown or being at a crossroads not knowing what to do next with your career or your life. With a personal brand, you have focus, clarity, and a strategy to move forward toward future success.

Creating your personal brand does not happen overnight. It takes a lot of work and self-reflection. You will be expected to step outside of your comfort zone not once, but many times.

The good news is that the more time you spend outside of your comfort zone, the more you will like being there. Being outside of your comfort zone is where you can test the viability of and fine-tune your personal brand.

5 Key Steps to Creating Your Personal Brand

These five steps will help you create a personal brand that will deliver you the results you desire with your career and in life.

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1. Set Your Personal Goals

What is it that you want to do in the next five years? What will your future self be doing in the next five to ten years? What is important to you? If you can answer these questions, then you are on the right path. If not, then you have to start thinking about them.

2. Create Your Unique Value Proposition

Create your unique value proposition by asking yourself these four questions:

  1. What are your personality features? What benefit do you offer people?
  2. Who are you and why do people enjoy working with you?
  3. What do you do and what do people want you to do for them? How do you solve their problems?
  4. What makes you different from others like you?

The answers to these questions will give you the information you need to create your professional story, which is the key step to creating your personal brand.

3. Write Your Professional Story

Knowing who you are, what you want, and the unique value you offer is essential to you creating your professional story. People remember stories. Your personal story incorporates your value proposition and tells people who you are and what makes you unique. This is what people will remember about you.

4. Determine Which Platforms Will Support Your Personal Brand

Decide which social media accounts and online platforms will best represent your brand and allow you to share your voice. In a professional capacity, having a LinkedIn profile and a CV that reflects your brand is key to your positioning in relation to role opportunities. People will be connecting with you because they will like the story you are telling.

5. Become Recognized for Sharing Your Knowledge and Expertise

A great way for you to promote yourself is by sharing knowledge and helping others. This is where you prove you know your stuff and you gain exposure for doing so. You can do this through social media, writing, commenting, video, joining professional groups, networking, etc. Find your own style and uniqueness and use it to attract clients, the opportunities, or the jobs you desire.

The importance of having a personal brand is not going to go away. In fact, it is the only way where you can stand out and be unique in a complex changing world of work. If you don’t have a personal brand, someone will do it for you. If you let this happen, you have no control and you may not like the story they create.

Standing out from others takes time and investment. Most people cannot make the change by themselves, and this is where engaging a personal brand coach is a viable option to consider.

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As a personal brand coach, working with my clients to create their personal brand is my passion. I love the fact that we can work together to create a personal story that defines exactly what people will say when you leave the room.

Other People’s Stories

Listening to other people’s stories is a great way to learn. In his article, 7 TED Talks About Personal Branding, Rafael Dos Santos presents the best Ted Talks where speakers share their stories about the “why,” “what,” and “how” of personal branding.((GuidedPR: 7 TED Talks About Personal Branding))

Take some time out to listen to these speakers sharing their stories and thoughts about personal branding. You will definitely learn so much about how you can start your journey of defining yourself and taking control of your professional and personal life.

Your personal brand, without a doubt, is your secret weapon to your career success. As Michelle Obama said,

“your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.”

So, go own your story. Go on the journey to create your personal brand that defines who you are, highlights your uniqueness, and the value you offer to the world.

Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

Reference

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