What do you do when you cannot define what you do? Sounds confusing and for those in this dilemma it is. I have noticed an interesting trend among many small business owners. They cannot decide what they do and from my perspective that is the wrong question. The question is who am I and what do I bring forward?
Yesterday I visited a business owner at her office and noticed that she had three different businesses named on her door. Have you met a business owner who hands you two or three different business cards for what they do? I experience this quite often and have done it myself.
When I first met Dave I asked him what he did. He was hard pressed to tell me specifically. My impression was he helped with marketing your business but I was not sure how. His company did website design, made videos, took photos, helped with mobile marketing, social media, etc. I had another client who needed marketing support so I wanted to know so I could put them together.
Another client, Marcia, is struggling to define her niche. She is an artist (sells her art), an interior designer for high-end clients, web designer, stager for fund-raising house tours, develops landscape designs, etc. Her question is how to market herself. Stacy is the business owner with three business signs on her door and a long list of coaching certifications to define her business.
I work with business owners to define the business they are creating when it is not so much a brick and mortar business like my other clients, i.e., a very successful heating and air conditioning installation business. Even my client, Kim, who owns a CPA firm, which seems pretty specific, is struggling to define her services and target market. She sees herself as more than a CPA.
This same dilemma can happen with professionals. Nicole has been a CFO for years and is looking for a change. She spoke about her passion for motorcycles and teaching. To her these are all different parts of her life. Working with her I suggested that she not see them as separate but all that she is. In the end she took a job as a CFO for a company that sells motorcycles and a job description that involved teaching and mentoring financial staff in each division.
From an intuitive perspective there is a new brand of businesses and professionals emerging that cannot be placed in a box. All of these business owners have one thing in common. They are all very intuitive whether they would define it that way or not. They each have an intuitive sense about their area of focus. For example, Dave is very good at “reading” a business and a business owner to decide the best way to set up communication between the company and possible customers. Dave knows about online & mobile communications but his real talent is an intuitive sense of how to create communication. What box does that fit in? So if you ask Dave what he does, he is not a web designer, a video producers, a photographer, an apps developer, etc. though he does all those things. Dave establishes communication.
Marcia helps you make your world more beautiful in any way that you that you want. Stacy helps you know who you are and what is important in your life. Kim helps her clients get out of fear of money. This is the truth of what they do. This is not your typical business elevator pitch nor does it fit the traditional perspective that says you must fit into a box. I am sure they wish that they could and want to but that box does not fit for them.
So the first question is not “What do I do?” The trend toward out of the box businesses comes from the business owner knowing who they are, what is important to them and what they want to bring into the world then creating their business. Taking all that we are and seeing it as a whole and not apart brings us to a new place. We can get a job, do work or create a business OR we can express who we are through what we do in our work or in our business. It is a journey in self-awareness. It is a new way of thinking about what we do. It is more than the skills that we have. It is who we are.
If you are going to work in a job or create a business why not chose to create one that reflects who you are even if it is out of the box. The culture of business is changing and this is one of those ways.
Best wishes on your success, Kay