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30 Things Only Entrepreneurs Would Understand

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30 Things Only Entrepreneurs Would Understand

Sometimes you just want to be understood. That’s why entrepreneurs often hang out with other entrepreneurs – those who know their struggles and joys. If you work for yourself, or if you are in the process of building a business, see how many of these points you can relate to. If you know an entrepreneur, here’s a tiny peek into their brain.

30. You try to stay organized… but there is a lot of stuff

Paperwork, invoices, employee documents, to-do lists, project plans, meeting summaries… You have an ongoing goal to get more organized, but at some point you wonder whether it’s even possible with this much stuff.

29. You don’t mean to micro-manage, but…

Sure, you may love and trust your employees. You were probably even the person who hired them. But how can you really be sure they will perform a task properly (i.e. how you would do it)? You can’t help but micro-manage sometimes, just to ensure everything goes smooth.

28. The thought of a cubicle and a boss sends shivers down your spine

9 to 5 is no problem, as long as it’s on your terms. Having little control over what you do and how you do it has never appealed to you. You prefer to do work that matters to you.

27. You get bummed out when things flop

Being an entrepreneur has plenty of perks, but when an idea totally fails, you can’t help but feel defeated. After all, you put your authentic self into everything you do in your business.

26. You have a never-ending reserve of motivation

Even if things go wrong, even if there are setbacks, even if you make a mistake – you always keep going. Because if you don’t pull your business through, who else will?

25. You have to deliberately ensure emails don’t cut into your sleep time

It’s not hard to spend your entire day staring into the inbox abyss. There are the imaginary emails you totally forgot to send, the ones you forgot to read, the ones you are avoiding, the ones that are promising, and the ones that you have to re-read 10 times to understand. It never ends.

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24. You are used to people inaccurately judging your daily life

“You run a successful business with several employees? You must spend most of your time in a hammock, ordering your employees around via email!” Nope.

23. One of your top goals is to roll out of bed each day and do whatever the hell you want

Everyone dreams of this lifestyle, but you are actually willing to go for it. Not only this, but you actually believe it’s possible, unlike many people. You know from experience that persistence and hard work pay off.

22. You groan at the thought of content marketing

Unless you actually run a business that offers content marketing services, you usually groan at the thought of having to update your blog, website, or social media accounts. Hopefully by now you’ve hired someone who knows what they’re doing in this area.

21. You got 99 problems and differentiation is one

You’re always concerned about the impression your business is making… or not making. The internet is saturated with businesses trying to make their mark. There are undoubtedly a few people in your industry that offer the same things you do. Thus you know that your success is determined by how you can differentiate and let your individuality shine through to customers.

20. You’re perpetually looking for ways to “expand your business”

…whatever that means

19. You smile through your teeth at difficult customers, then vent about it later

Your friends and family might be concerned at the level of rage in your voice, but once you get it off your chest, you’re good.

18. You love when people ask, “So what do you do?”

Perfect bragging opportunity.

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17. You do a happy dance for every new client or customer…

Even if it’s just mentally.

16. You know that pre-launch anticipation all too well

It’s like a balled up mixture of pure excitement and terror. Awesome, right? There are a billion questions you have to ask yourself, and even more things to consider – like pricing, marketing, budgeting, designing,..

15. Your desk or bookshelf is filled with how-to books for entrepreneurs

There are just so many good ones… you have to read them all.

14. You can spot a problematic person a mile away

Whether it’s a potential partner, client, supplier, or anyone else, you can identify those red flags that hint at a person’s unreliability.

13. You’re used to hearing people tell you what they can’t do

If you’ve attained even a slight level of success in business, people probably ask you, “How did you do it?! I could never do that.” However you know better, because that’s how you felt when you first started down the entrepreneurial path. In this way, you may see potential in others even when they don’t see it in themselves.

13. You take charge when you see someone misconstruing your vision

Entrepreneurs are like parents – except their baby is the business. When an employee or anyone else jumps in with some not-so-positive ideas or actions, you don’t hesitate to (politely) shut them down.

12. You don’t let your flaws hold you back

Some people think of entrepreneurs as invincible. However, you know your own weak spots. They exist, but they don’t keep you from thriving and adapting in your business.

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11. You have a healthy stack of business cards from people you intend to collaborate with

Gather a few entrepreneurs together in a room and you’ve got ideas flowing in no time. Execution is a different story. If you could only find the time…

10. You are always waiting for an opportunity to mention your business

“We’re going to a rave? Should I bring my business cards?”

9. You don’t believe in the status quo

You are the boss of your own life. Why follow someone else’s path when you know there are other options? After all, you can’t possibly succeed when you are working to achieve someone else’s goals.

8. You are caught in a vicious coffee-nap cycle

Coffee, nap, coffee, nap, coffee, accidental nap…

7. Your business worries often leak into your personal life

You know you should stop thinking about it, but you tend to get caught up in little worries on your days off.

6. Time management is the bane of your existence

Family, friends, business meetings, social media, raising funds, product development, clients – is there any of your time that’s not booked to take care of all of these tasks? Hopefully you’ve learned to make time for yourself, or at least leave some blocks open now and then. When you allow for more free time, you automatically do less managing.

5. The other bane? Taxes

A snippet of your dreams around tax season: I owe money. I know I owe money. But the scariest part is how much? How much will I owe this year? How much? How much? (Then you wake up screaming and call your accountant at 4:00 a.m.)

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4. You get way too many offers for things you don’t want

Why do people think that because you run a business, you want to buy their crappy products and services? You’ll spend money when it makes sense, but not on spam offers. You listed your email as myname [at] business dot com on your website. How are the spammers still getting to you?!

3. You do whatever it takes

You’ve probably talked about starting businesses with several friends or acquaintances, yet when the time came to work through the challenges, you were the only one left standing. More than anything else, this is what qualifies you for entrepreneurship.

2. You want to utilize your talents for good

Your business isn’t just a route to financial stability; it’s the way you connect with people and contribute your talents to the community.

1. You have a strong desire to put something valuable out in the world

What better feeling than knowing your individual ideas and efforts have impacted the lives of hundreds or thousands of people? Or that you started from scratch, carefully working your way to a profitable platform you can be proud of? For an entrepreneur, there’s no better feeling.

Did we forget anything? What are some other things only entrepreneurs would understand?

Featured photo credit: pixabay 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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