Running your own business can be exhilarating, freeing, confidence boosting and successful. However, if your focus isn’t where it needs to be, it can also be overwhelming, lonely, confidence crushing and a constant uphill struggle.
What sets your business apart from others is YOU. You’re unique and you have a unique combination of skills, qualities, values and beliefs – and it’s these things that you bring to your own business.
We can find ourselves looking around for influence
However, we don’t always feel that unique. We look around and see other people running similar businesses, offering similar products and we start to doubt our abilities and skills. We question whether our pricing is right, whether we’re offering the best services and whether we’re even the right person to be sharing them with the world.
Our focus then switches to those people around us. We start comparing ourselves to them and, at it’s worse, we end up judging ourselves and our abilities. We may even ask others for their input in our business – what they think we should do or how we can improve – and before we know it, we’ve stopped focusing on our customers and the value and benefits we can offer them.
We can let others influence us
We start paying attention to what our ‘competitors’ are doing. We see that it looks as if it’s benefiting them and we mimic it in our own business. We start trying to sound like them or show up on social media as they are.
But we’re not them. We’re us – and we’re losing sight of our own unique combination of qualities.
Remind yourself of your unique skillset
If you want your business to be successful, you NEED to be you. You need to remember why you started your business. What was your big picture? What impact did you want to make? What did you want to do? Who did you want to help and why?
You can then remind yourself of your unique composition – what skills, values and beliefs do you have, that you’d like to bring to your business? What is it, that makes you unique?
But switching our focus to other business owners isn’t the only way we lose sight of ourselves in business – we can also be affected by other people’s behaviour too.
Your customers can influence you
Our customers and clients can impact how we run our business too. Obviously, getting feedback from your clientele is a good thing, as it can give you valuable insight into how you run your business.
However, you need to remember your business is YOUR business – so only implement those things that you agree with and can stand by.
Is your personal life influencing your business?
Another area where other people’s behaviour may impact you is in your personal life. If you have family or friends who don’t understand what you do, they may question your motives, intentions and plans. No matter how well meaning they are, they’re on the outside looking in. They may even act like they’re not interested or criticise your working time, but this is often coming from a place of fear.
In either of these scenarios, you need to firmly keep your focus on YOUR desired end goal. You can thank them for their input and do your best to alleviate their fears and concerns, but at the end of the day, your business is your business. You may have to be careful about who you discuss your business with, and pick those who totally support you and encourage you to be YOU – both personally and professionally.