It’s never been a better time to start a business, or develop your personal brand. The internet makes it easy for anyone who has a product, service or message for the world to get started and make money fairly quickly. Most people flirt with the idea of ditching their day job and starting something new and fabulous, the allure of being your own boss and not having to request vacation days is enough to make anyone day dream.
How do you turn day dreams into reality?
I help people start businesses. I come along side to help people clarify their message, tell a great brand story and attract more business. I’ve been doing it for years and I have found there are 3 crucial steps everyone needs to take before they make their first buck.
Most people jump past the starting line right to the middle of the rat race. They create a website, get an Instagram account and start telling the world about their new venture. They get hung up on logos, URL’s and finding some awesome images for their social media accounts…they might even write a blog post.
While designing a killer logo might be fun, the hard work needs to happen first. Taking time to create and really understand the vision for your new business is the most crucial step in getting started. You must begin with the end in mind so that you know where you are going, long term. Most people don’t start businesses with goal of shutting down in a year or two, but failing to design a vision that spans 3, 5, 10+ years could mean that you don’t even make it through your first year.
Vision helps you make the tough decisions. Once you have a clear understanding of what you want and where you are going then making decisions becomes much easier. You’ll have a roadmap that keeps you on track and when tough choices need to be made with your finances, time or resources you’ll be able to ask yourself if it lines up with your vision. It’s a simple yes or no answer. And then you move on to the next decision. (Get ready to make lots of decisions when you’re the boss!)
Now that you know what you want, how do you make it happen? Do you write a book? Open up a coffee shop? Or become a coach/consultant with your own personal brand…just like I did with www.lisacumes.com? There are many different pathways you can choose to fulfill your vision.
Vision is the why, mission is the how.
Here’s a tip: Start small and scale fast. Don’t try to be everything to everyone. Start with one thing you’re good at, you enjoy doing that people need and are willing to pay for. Did you catch that?? This is the secret formula to a successful business so I’ll repeat it just to be sure it’s clear.
You’re good at
Which you enjoy doing
That people need
And are willing to pay for
Here is where the breakdown happens. The best laid plans fall to pieces and your brilliant idea never gets off the ground. Trust me, I see it every day. You have a great idea but no clear message. The truth is that you have many ideas, and you feel the need to share them all at once, hoping something resonates with a potential customer or client. Your website or social media posts jump from one great thing to the next…because all of your messages are good, right? And they probably are.
If you confuse them, you lose them.
If you’re message is not clear you will lose people. If visitors to your website don’t clearly understand what you offer in 5 seconds or less - you lose. I know that sounds harsh, but it’s true. If it wasn’t true you wouldn’t be reading this blog post or looking for help to find more customers.
You need a clear message that resonates with people, logically and emotionally. How do we do that? Through story. People understand and remember messages when they are wrapped up in a story, and it’s much easier to tell others. And the most important element to your message is that you invite your potential customer to see themselves in the story you create. It’s not a story about how great YOU are. The purpose is for you to come along side as their guide to help THEM be the hero in their own story.
Everyone wants to win. Help people win…and you win as well.
If you want help to clarify your vision, develop a simple plan for getting started and tell a great story your customers will fall in love with, I can help. That’s my vision: I help you. You help thousands (and more).
I’m a branding and business coach who will create a roadmap for you to take your next step, so you can help others take theirs. Contact me at www.lisacumes.com for more information.