One of the most important steps in starting up on your own is identifying what it is that will make your business unique. Many of the most successful businesses have been created by someone who is willing to stand up and show the world the most authentic version of themselves.
As Clarissa Pinkola Estes says, ‘One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it.’
Most soloists would agree that it’s draining to dance to someone else’s tune – even for a small amount of time. It’s the very reason we’re working for ourselves. But even in our solo ventures, we are still influenced by the views of others and by our desire to fit with societal norms.
You may not even be aware of where your business uniqueness lies, so it’s worth taking some time to get to know yourself a little better and understand what it is that will make you stand out in the crowd.
To begin with, spend some time alone, without distractions, and ask yourself the following questions:
- What am I currently doing in my life that I am proud of?
- What are my core values? E.g. loyalty, generosity, connection with others, achievement, wealth, intimacy, personal development and so on.
- Am I running my business and living my life in accordance with these values?
- Where have I not been honest with myself or someone else this week?
- What would I do differently if I was being authentically myself?
Next, you need to learn to listen to your feelings. Getting in touch with your feelings rather than just your thoughts is another means of guiding you towards the real you. This in turn will help you trust your intuition: an important part of the process of getting to know yourself.
Want more articles like this? Check out the business values section.
To get started, aim to complete the following exercise some time over the next week:
- Write a daily journal, recording your feelings as well as your thoughts.
- Listen to the feelings of yourself and of others – listen with your heart as well as your head. Ask yourself the question ‘what has been the predominant emotion for me this week?’
- Validate your own and other people’s feelings without judging them. The simplest way to do this is to say ‘I can hear that’ or ‘I understand’.
- Connect with your senses in a deeper way. Take the time to enjoy what you taste, smell, see, hear and touch.
- Trust your intuition. Pay attention to that little voice when it says ‘something is not right’.
At the end of the week, review your answers and look for any common threads that identify what is unique about you. Think about how you can weave these findings into your business …you may need to be creative about how this is done!
Innovative soloists dance to the beat of their own drums. I believe it’s important that you have to have the courage to do it your way, regardless of what others say.
What do you think?