When You Are Your Business, Part 2

Previously we shared three rules for business that are different for when you are your business. Today, we offer four more rules for you to consider if you are a solopreneur, individual business expert or personal consultant.

Your business lives in your head

Mind The GapAre you finding it hard to switch off? Always checking your email? Waking up in the middle of the night thinking about the bills, tomorrow’s meeting or the viral growth in your to-do list? Welcome to the life of the knowledge worker where the work we do mostly happens in our heads.

The good news when you work as part of an organization is that you have other people picking up the slack and managing things that you don’t have to care about. This could be as simple as having someone organize your business cards, keep your IT systems afloat and manage the website.

When you are your business, it all comes down to you. And, typically we carry our business in our heads.

Consider this scenario… You’ve just won your dream trip to Norway to cruise the Fjords for two weeks. You leave in seven days. Could you go? Would your business fall apart if you did?

It’s not that work never ends, it just seems like that because we carry so much of it in our heads.

Q: How much of your business is in your head?

Q: How much of your business is captured in your business systems? Eg Your diary, procedure manuals, your smartphone.

Q: How much of your business is leveraged through other people? Eg partners, suppliers, outsourced, VA?

[Tweet “How much of your business lives in your head? #whenyouareyourwork”]

There is no privacy

In the good old days (a mere 2-3 years ago) it made perfect sense to have a private Facebook page for all your friends and a public business page for your work colleagues, clients, prospects, fans and community. Today, I’m not so sure about this.

Whilst many people complain about the loss of privacy, they are usually the ones sharing every sordid detail about their lives on social media… what they had for breakfast, the people they met, the things they bought, the people they hang out with, their views on public events…

When you are your business there is no private life. The old world that created corporate speak no longer works because it lacks personality, authenticity and dare I say it… humanity. If you want to engage your fans and customers today you need to be sharing enough about yourself to show that you are real. This is crucial. You are effectively showcasing what it’s like to work with you. And, as the old saying suggests… we’re more likely to work with people we like.

Q: Are you still operating as if you have a personal and a public life?

Q: Are you sharing enough of your personal self in your business conversations?

Q: Where do you draw the line about what is ‘private’ and ‘public’?

[Tweet “Four more rules for when you are your business #youareyourbusiness”]

The people you hang out with today is your business tomorrow

There’s an old saying that suggests if you looked at the five people you spent the most time with then you’d have a pretty clear picture of who you are – your income, your values, your hopes, your dreams and your future.

When you are your business, who you hang out with is your business. Think about that for a moment. Who do you hang out with?

Recently, a client suggested they wanted to shift their target audience from education to corporate because they felt they could make more money in the corporate world. That could be a good move. However, the problem was they didn’t know anyone in the corporate space. And, the reality is unless they start hanging out in that space, then their business will not shift there.

Q: Who are the five people you spend the most time with?

Q: If they are the future of your business, is this the future you want for yourself? You might need to sit and reflect on this one.

Q: Whom do you want to spend time with? Which professional networks could you join?

[Tweet “The people you hang out with today is your business tomorrow”]

It’s not your work, it’s your life

Early in the New Year I was catching up with people I hadn’t seen prior to Christmas. The usual question that arose was: “Did you have a good break over Christmas?” And, my honest answer raised a few eyebrows. “I did have a break and I did work everyday.”

Most people were a little puzzled by this… How can you have a break AND work at the same time? For me, that’s easy. I love what I do. In particular, I love writing, designing and making plans.

When you work for someone else, it’s easy to turn up, do the work, get paid and go home to get on with the rest of your life. When you are your business, you live it everyday. That’s not a choice because that’s simply what it takes to be successful. And, therefore, if you are going to be your business you might as well pick the things that you love to do. This will give you the most joy and most likely lead to the best results.

Q: Are you doing your business or living it?

Q: Which parts of your business are a joy? And, which are not?

Q: How can you spend more time doing the things you love and less on those you don’t?

[Tweet “It’s not your work it’s your life #whenyouareyourwork”]

COMMENT: Love to hear your thoughts. Which of these aspects of being your business strikes a chord with you?


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