Who ARE You?
I’ve joined a couple of new groups on Facebook recently and been asked to introduce myself. Because the majority of the time when I’m introducing myself it’s in a business context, I tell people what I do for a living. It’s funny how we describe ourselves by our occupation almost as a default setting or how we often will ask people what they do when we first meet them. It’s as if our occupations define us, but they don’t do they. We are the sum of so much more than the jobs we can put on our CV’s.
My new signature programme which will start in March has a section around Visibility. This covers how we see ourselves and how we want others to see us in business. It’s important to have clarity around what we show to the world and how we do it when we are our personal brand. When you know what you want to say and how you want to show up it makes everything simpler in terms of your content strategy and marketing your business. If you aren’t clear on this, it makes it harder for people to understand what you do and how you do it. You’ll be like Chandler in friends, who’s role was a well-kept secret. If you’re keeping your business a secret, then how do people buy from you? Do you even have a business or is it just a full-time hobby in that case?
Your transferable skills
One of the exercises I often get clients to do is to think about their ‘pie’. On paper there might be other people who appear to be doing the same work as you but it’s not going to be the same. Your pie is different to their pie.
I’m not talking about steak and kidney here, I’m talking about a pie chart. A pie chart that is made up of ALL your skills, knowledge and experience. All the different elements and facets of you, that make you *YOU* = you as your personal brand.
You have transferable skills, and your experiences will be contributing to how you show up in your business. It’s important that you acknowledge and recognise this. This is your uniqueness. Your uniqueness is what sets you apart. So when you showcase your stuff it’s important to talk about how you incorporate your experience from “previous lives” and why that makes you different from someone else, who on the surface is doing the same stuff as you. It will help potential clients decide whether or not they want a piece of your pie as opposed to someone else’s.
I’m interested when I talk to clients about their pie ingredients and what makes them who they are as their personal brand. It’s my job then to help them translate ALL of that to showcase them in all their glory, in how both they want themselves and their business to come across in order to make connections with their ideal clients.
Reveal the Real?
If you start to think about what makes you, you it’s a lifetime of stuff. From birth you’ve been forming your values, beliefs and opinions, probably influenced by your environment you grew up and your parents take on things - how have they shaped the YOU of today? Then you have other things influencing you such as your peers at school, teachers, extended family etc. All of this will contribute to your attributes and characteristics. This is even before you start to get formal qualifications. Then there are hobbies and things you do that you might find you are skilled at. These things are all added into your pie as ingredients and create your unique recipe.
There will be things that you did at a young age that are still part of your recipe today. I read a lot as a kid, always had my nose in a book. I still enjoy reading and learning. I learnt to knit at primary school, my nan taught me to crochet, these are still things I do 50+ years later. I was always a creative child drawing, painting, colouring etc – very much something I’m still drawn to do, albeit a lot of my creative work is digital these days.
What I find interesting is how we take things that we know how to do for granted. Then because we take it for granted, we don’t acknowledge that not everyone can do these things. And then, when people admire your particular skill or gift for doing something it becomes something to shrug off, discounting both their compliment, and the fact that you are special because it is something you take for granted.
So, if you bear all this in mind it’s not quite so simple to introduce yourself. Which bits are relevant and which bits aren’t? I suppose it depends on the situation and environment you are in and how safe you feel to show up. Is it ok to show vulnerability or are you required to puff yourself up and put on a show?
Who am I?
· Lisa, 59, born in Lancashire to working class parents and have lived in Nottingham since my early 20’s.
· Hard working - Butcher’s assistant, bar tender, make-up artist, designer, lecturer, slimming world consultant, area sales manager, teacher, education manager, shop assistant, volunteer, self-employed woman in business, stylist and colour specialist, author, speaker, coach network founder
· Wife, mother, stepmother, daughter, sister, aunt, grand-daughter, cousin, friend, dog mama
· Oracle card reading, knitting, crocheting, crystal owning Libran who likes reading
· Lover of gin, Sauvignon Blanc, pink, glitter, Snoopy, leopard print and flamingos
· Officially disabled with restrictive mobility
· Follower of heart and dreams
· Holder of boundaries
· My own guru
· Chooser of happiness
· Strong enough
· Brave enough
· Explorer of identity
· Accepter of inner critic
· Returner to self
· Expresser of truth
· Overcomer of challenges
· Aligned with my passion and purpose
· Good listener
· HRT and Prozac taker
· Learning to love myself
And I’m sure if you asked other people who know me there’d be lots of other things (good and bad) to add to that list depending on context.
People are buying people
If I then started to look at each one of those bullet points and thought more about what each one means to me and what it says about me as a person, you could see that all these things make up my unique pie ingredients. Some things will be relevant to my business, others not so much. Some things will be worth sharing and give people a flavour of who I am as a person. In a world where people buy people it’s worth thinking about what is making you unique.
Deep filled or shallow tart?
How much of your pie are you bringing to the table in your business so that people buy you? Are you deep filled with a range of ingredients or are you just showing up as a shallow tart? Same old, same old like everyone else rather than a flamingo amongst the flock of pigeons.
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