Your personal brand is an amalgam of many things: your story, skills and values. Of these perhaps most problematic are your values. Typically, business owners set out with clear values and lose track of them as they experience the pressures of being in business. And values are crucial if they are to align with your market’s values.
Perhaps the most telling of these pressures is our attitude to money. Not everyone in business is trying to make tons of money but everyone has, at worst, to break even. Everyone in business has to make peace with making money.
If you can’t do that the most likely outcome is your business will fail. Another possibility is you lose sight of your values, consumed by keeping your business going.
These difficulties are usually the result of “heart-centred” business owners lacking an adequate understanding of money. Many are embarrassed asking for money or find making money becomes an end in itself.
This week I have written a lead magnet that offers a few pointers about how to make money that relflects your true worth. The main thrust of my argument is business-owners underestimate their worth and so they undercharge. I’ll post about this when it becomes available.
If your personal brand is value driven, you must sort out your relationship with money.
Station 5: Who?
Who are you? This question is perhaps one of the most difficult to answer but you must, if you depend on a personal brand. Your personal brand conveys your integrity as a business owner and you can’t convey integrity if you are not at peace with making money.
Here is what I said in my early draft of my keynote:
You need a degree of empathy? Who is this you? Because that is the last question: Who are you? Now, look at me, do I look like a sales person? Do I look like the Wolf of Wall Street? (I haven’t seen the film, I haven’t a clue what the Wolf of Wall Street looks like.) The important thing is we all need to be in alignment. We need to be in alignment with our work. We need to get into the flow. Are we a champion? Are we a superhero? How do we communicate ourselves because very often we are marketing not just our offer but ourselves?
Are you becoming the person you first imagined when you started out? You need to be self-aware, if you are in business. You need to know how you come across, how you align. I believe passionately that marketing is not about corporate business development. It is about how we bring benefit to the people around us, how we benefit our immediate market, our customers or clients. But also our neighbourhoods and communities. And this means that we are profoundly educators.
So, I’m going to pause us here and take us into the next section of this talk, thank you.
Sharpening the Message
This follows on from last week’s section. There are several pointers in the right direction but ultimately it does not highlight what is at stake.
I talk about alignment but it is not clear what is aligned. As I mentioned last time, your values aligned along a sequence that embraces your offer, marketing, benefits and outcomes. You should be able to see your values reflected in all these and especially the last two.
Your attitude to money is implicit. If your values are solely about profit-making then you are likely to serve an atomised market. But equally, without a positive relationship with making money you are likely to fail as a business or perhaps worse not see contradictions between your approach to money and your other values.
Business that addresses the vagaries of the human heart helps build a better world. It creates the spaces where relationships form and ultimately genuine community.
“Heart-centred” business owners can’t afford to ignore money. So, my new Wednesday sequence of posts, starting next week shall be about money and our attitudes to it.
How do you understand money?