I was recently in the coolest little coffee shop in Alicante, Spain. Found it on Trip Advisor, drawn to it by its high ranking and picture of pancakes with mention of a diary free option. The minute I walked in I knew whoever owned this little place, loved it. Everything about it looked like it was built from the ground up by someone who truly cared. As a fellow business owner, I could admire from an understanding perspective of what it might take behind the scenes to get the details as fine-tuned as he had it.
As if that wasn’t enough, I then saw Darwin. A very large boxer dog, sitting on the chair beside a customer who didn’t seem to even notice. I laughed. How did he not see him? Looking around I then saw other (surprisingly well behaved) dogs. Wow. It then hit me.
The owner had made his café a dog-friendly café so he could have his own dog, which turned out to be Darwin, in his place of work, which by the way was thriving.
And that was that. He made his business work for him. He didn’t have to leave his dog at home and he attracted a big client base of like-minded people.
What a legend. I shook his hand before I left and congratulated him on his amazing business.
So here’s the thing that inspired me to write this.
What’s the point of having your own business if you have to conform to it? We’ve already done that for most of our lives. From school rules and dress codes to representing other businesses and companies within the restrictions and directions of exactly how they want them to do it.
Well I say boo to that.
We didn’t make that hard call to set up our own businesses to be wearing a uniform we hate, or feel silenced within from behind the very own walls we built for fear of saying the ‘wrong’ thing on social media or for fear of just letting the true message of our business out.
In the past I have been taught to understand my business market, to understand the demographic of my client base. To understand who they are, how old they are, what they like and what they want to hear. While they are all good questions to ask of your business, I believe they are not answers in which you should live by.
Here’s the hard fact we’ve all heard before but is a bitter pill for many of us entrepreneurs to swallow. Not everyone is going to like you.
Even worse. Not everyone is going to like/get your branding, your business vibe or your chat.
Why not though?!
Horrific news to receive, I know. But here’s the key to freedom – you don’t have to have them like you.
You do not need any of those people to like you, your business or what you are offering. They are not your tribe. You don’t want them as clients. They are for someone else and that is AOK.
And breathe. Freedom!
So you may be wondering how you go about find your client tribe. I’m not saying you need to open up your business to four legged animals or pets but here’s my thoughts on that:
· Don’t try to be everything to everyone – In saying that you can try but you may die trying, drowning slowly in beige as you blend into the background.
· Be yourself, as much as you can, be your true self. A big part of it comes down to expression of self, through your business.
· Let it all hang out for everyone to see – the more of ‘you’ that you can work into your business the more different your business will be.
No two people are the same, thank god, so we truly are our own super power.
There is no other person in the world can build your business like you can. Be you, dress like you, talk like you, work hard, be consistent and watch your ideal client walk straight through your uniquely crafted doors (figuratively speaking).
Here’s some thoughts to ask yourself:
Is how I have set up my business working for me in my life?
Does it reflect what I want it to?
Can I let a little more of who I am shine out?
And if so, where and how?
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