Why do self-discovery as an entrepreneur?
On my website’s home page, I put the quote:
“If you want to know yourself really well, start a business.”
And it works both ways. Because I help businesses to share their message, I’ve been noticing how self-discovery can jumpstart entrepreneurs.
When it comes to running a business, if you’re not passionate and motivated about what you’re doing, your business will not succeed. Building a business confronts you with yourself. Failure often doesn’t feel like an option, but perhaps it’s the failure to succeed with your business that shows a new strength you can develop or even the way to your true calling.
You do your best work when you’re doing something you can’t NOT do. But here’s the other part: if you know what your best work is, that’s great, but simply knowing it won’t necessarily make clients or customers flock to you.
How will people know about you?
You could be working your little heart out and then it’s the sound of crickets. No one knows about you and no one shows up. In order to make connections, to shine a light on what you’re up to, you have to pound the pavement, do some marketing, and talk about what you do, which means talking about who you are.
In my first two years of having a coaching practice, I began to seriously network and had to learn to talk about what I do and my “Why.” That meant putting my heart on my sleeve. That meant letting people see how passionate I was about my work.
Now I am inspired to help others to articulate what I found to be such a challenge myself. I call it finding your story: Knowing who you are. What ignites you. What you believe in. What is true for you. What makes you unique. What brought you to this point.
Discovering your who, what, where, why and how
I recently embarked on writing a history book, because I wanted to understand the path my ancestors had taken who ended up in the French-speaking part of Canada. What I learned put together not only a fuller understanding of my ancestors’ past and their lives, but it also explained a lot about me.
The same questions I ask of my clients I wanted to know about my ancestors. And while my ancestors are unable to tell me themselves, when I did a bit of sleuthing, I was able to follow their lives through the choices they made, where they lived, what they did for work, what their children ended up doing and so forth. I even did a DNA test, to see who else I might be related to.
As a business owner, discovering your who, what, where, why and how of your business is like discovering your DNA. These are the things that make you and your business unique. They are the reason people will want to work with you.
When I learned that some of my ancestors had been adventurers and pioneers, fought in actual battles, been prisoners of war, suffered from famine and epidemics, lost many children in infancy, lost wives or husbands and then remarried and helped raise their spouse’s children along with their own, and fought against oppression, discrimination and poverty, it showed me how strong my people were. I never knew these people, but I deeply admire them. Now their spirit sources my work.
Our powerful stories of overcoming odds touches on something we all can relate to. These stories give us a purpose and identity, not just to ourselves but to others. We share a human struggle and triumph. What stories can you share that provide that heart-based connection?
Finding it hard to put these stories into words? I can help.