Starting Up- A Dream, Passion, Need, Mystery, Pain, Pride, Question, Roller Coaster, Challenge, Achievement, Vehicle……All this and more put together into one hell of a ride! Isn’t it?
And all you Entrepreneurs.. I hear you! Why? Coz I am one of you…And that’s how I understand the word- ‘Start-Up’..I have taken up this journey myself and with every passing day/week/month I realize how much of an adventure it is.. J
So here are my key learnings from my own experience as an Entrepreneur and as a Coach to several Start Ups/Entrepreneurs-
- Be willing to be disrupted-
When you start- you start with an idea. A lot times, you realize on the way that people don’t want it the way you thought they would.. And you may have to evolve. One needs to remain open to continuous evolution- for your product, your service, solutions or perhaps mere packaging of your offerings. So while you may be really attached to your idea/product, one needs to be detached beyond a point to let go of it, such that something better can emerge, something that people can relate with, understand, try and appreciate! While you may not like what I am saying, but in my opinion it is inevitable and hence what will help you stay afloat is your WHY!
- Know your WHY-
Do you know it? Have you invested enough time to figure out why you started up? Was it just coz it sounded sexy and cool? Or was it coz everyone else was doing it? Or coz you didn’t find the right job? Or coz you really wanted to- help or serve.. No matter what your reason is- do you know it, and have the confidence to acknowledge it? Because if you do, then disruption won’t be a big challenge. You can go back to where you started and re-strategize as long as it is in alignment with your WHY! Makes sense?
- Be willing to speak the language your Clients want to hear-
Sometimes we are so much in love with our idea/product/service that we become so hell bent on talking about it- as we know it without understanding our Client who may fail to relate. So, one must be willing to speak the language the Client understands. No, I don’t mean it from a salsey point of view. I mean it from the service point of view. If you know what you client needs, you can break down your solution/service in a way that the client perceives the value in it and appreciates you as an Entrepreneur than just being a Product/Service.
- Invest in your Personal Brand-
Being a Start-Up there is a very thin line between the Founder and the Product/Service, so much so that there are moments when the meaning interchanges- and I am sure you know what I am referring to. I have always believed that Companies don’t exist-People do! In my personal experience- Clients always want to know the Person behind the Product or Company or Brand and so on. So, build your Personal Brand and leverage that. While you have a Product- there is no better advertisement for it than YOU, so invest in the Brand YOU and build connections based on your credibility- the Product/Services comes later. Does all your Social Media presence speak the same language? Is your Personal Brand consistent with the Brand of your Start-Up including your Elevator Pitch, Website, Company Page and so on?
- Consistency is the key-
Like there are no guarantees in life. Let’s face it there are no guarantees of Success either!
What is in your control however, is projecting a professional image that works for you and makes your Business work! People don’t like Disparity or Confusion, because no one has the time to investigate. They’d rather move to someone who they like and finds more authentic & consistent. Treat your LinkedIn Profile- the most powerful professional networking platform very seriously.. It is a huge potential you are sitting on. Make sure you optimize your LinkedIn Profile to help you achieve results like-
Building your network/community, expanding your network, investing time in Blogging or sharing value for your clients/prospects at large and do it over and over and over and over again.
Something will work, something won’t for which you will need to be vigilant and change the course as and when needed. There are few tricks and tips you may follow but since everyone is unique, you don’t know what will work for you! So keep at it and just be consistent with the value and quality you deliver.
The good news is –you don’t need to figure it all by yourself.. Hire an expert who can coach you and help you develop the right Branding on LinkedIn or develop a powerful positioning including your Elevator Pitch!
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