For years we have been conditioned by other people's opinions, truths, and traditions... both at home and in our workplace. Over time, they shape our view of the world, our beliefs, and ultimately our identity.
When you were an employee, you were given a vision, a mission, and a set of core values to follow. You were told how to behave, how to do things, and some of you even wore uniforms (you were told how to dress). It's convenient, isn't it? You don't have to think about it. Your employer gave you your identity.
But when you step out and decide to make your own business (especially if you are going into coaching / consulting and you are selling yourself), you have to find your voice. What do you stand for? Who are you? What are your core values? How do you contribute? And for many self-employed professionals, this is the hardest part of building their business. And without having a clear identity, it's very difficult to be unique. And if your industry is already saturated with other coaches / consultants doing similar things, finding this voice of yours becomes more important.
This month we have watched some great cooking shows, thanks to the MasterChef Professional Series. One of my favourites was about a Chef called Heston Blumenthal. He is a combination of a scientist and a chef. His unique restaurant, The Fat Duck, features dishes such as Bacon & Egg Ice Cream, and is famed for food pairing such as liquorice & salmon... caviar & chocolate... etc. He expressed his voice by creating unique flavours presented in extraordinary ways. No wonder 3 of his 5 restaurants has earned Michelin Star status. Heston's voice shouts Originality, Multi-Sensory Cooking, and Uniqueness.
Simon Cowell may not be the most-liked judge in talent competitions, but he is the most memorable and mentioned. His companies, shows, and labels are very successful. The productive criticism he gives brings out the best in the contestants. To me, he stands for honesty. He is a people developer, finding rough diamonds and shaping them to success. He believes in great talent and effort. His voice shouts Quality and Success.
Some of us joins a coaching franchise hoping to get that identity defined for us. I did for 12 years and I still own two of the firms we built during that process. But after building a firm with multiple coaches, I have come to a conclusion that the franchise can give us systems, but we still need to stand out and develop our own style. People buy from people. Prospects look for coaches that suit their chemistry. No one coach is identical. And it's still very important, in my opinion, that you're clear on what you stand for and how you can help people. I work with my coaches to help them understand their strengths and stop trying to be like someone else. I give them clients that match their personalities, their expertise, and their coaching style. You've got to learn this about yourself as you create your coaching practice. And sometimes it does take an external eye to tell you about you.
So moving to the UK in 2019, I thought I was going to continue to be a leadership & business coach. But the more I met and helped self-employed people in and around Bath, I realised I was more passionate about something else. I realised that my past experience had prepared me for something even more unique. I stand for helping self-employed coaches & consultants build a solid profitable business. My uniqueness is the fact that I've built 2 solid businesses in this industry for the last 12 years. And before that, I've also built a service business unit in the corporate world that continues to grow well without me. I stand for never-ending improvement, self-awareness, working with your strengths, and integrity.
Now it's your turn.
What is your voice? What do you stand for? What problem do you like to solve? How do you see yourself contributing to your target market?
Message me if you'd like to chat about it.