I have spent a lot of time on social media over the past few years and am often amazed at how many people ask for advice from the masses on the most fundamental aspects of their business. The problem with asking for advice on an open forum on subjects like – what do I call my business, what colour should my website be and which logo should I use, is that it can appear that you either don’t have a strong connection to your own business, or you can’t or don’t want to pay a professional to help you.
I’m not for one moment suggesting that you don’t get advice on these things if you genuinely can’t make up your mind – not everyone is born with the decisive gene, and often an outside opinion can be invaluable. However, I think people need to be discerning as to where they ask for this advice. If you can’t afford to employ a professional, ask your questions in a safe and suitable environment of people who understand your predicament and can give relevant, solid and practical advice.
Are you emotionally connected?
When you get any advice always make sure you run it past your emotional sensors – does it connect with you, does it truly reflect your business? When I was starting my business I didn’t have a clue about the logo. I let professionals have a go at presenting me with options, but the results just didn’t feel right. They hadn’t captured the essence of my business, but rather tried to fit my business into their own format. They seemed unable to think outside of the box, put themselves in my shoes and relate to my business. I am fortunate to have a brother who is an artist and extremely creative, so I asked him if he could come up with something for me. He sent me through his first idea and it had such an impact on me that I burst into tears. My logo was born!
Do you identify with your business?
I think it’s very important to completely identify yourself with your business and think of it as an extension of yourself, and not as a separate entity. For example, if we have a reputation for not being reliable in our personal lives, why would people think we were going to be any different in our professional lives? By living true to our standards, and by being authentic, people will know who they are dealing with, and can make the choice whether they want to do business with us or not. It is also really important to remember that not everyone will like us, resonate with us, or want to do business with us. Don’t let rejection take you off course. For every rejection you could have two acceptances if you just keep going. So, do what you do with passion, shine your light brightly and other passionate and shining people will find you.