Entrepreneurship is one of the most powerful 16-letter words I’ve experienced in my life! I have experienced being a full-time business owner for the past 19 months and it has been nothing short of the journey of a lifetime. There is no other feeling like that of taking a plunge, diving deep, jumping off the cliff and taking a leap of faith. Entrepreneurship is risky and rewarding at the same time, exciting and uncomfortable, empowering and a bit scary at once. With all that being said, the best advice I could give to a fellow ‘trep’ is to prepare yourself mentally, physically and emotionally to embrace it ALL. Fill your cup with resilience, guts, faith, motivation, inspiration, determination, business knowledge, sales, marketing and finance mindset and you’re bound to have the journey of a lifetime. The purpose of this segment on TB101 is to empower, equip and inspire entrepreneurs nationwide.
Unleash the Entrepreneur Within You
Do not discount a single event that takes place in your life, for they are the components that help to create your entire being. Your experiences were specifically designed to help build you into the GEM that you were created to be. Be grateful, for every step of the journey is the journey that was created by design especially for your life.
Every week, I seem to stop, look and listen to my inner self. I say, quite often that I just came “full circle.” When I designed the logo for TEW over 2 years ago, something told me to use a circle. I now know why!
Your journey as an entrepreneur requires that you have a strong circle around you. So strong that it may even resemble a chain link fence! Why is that? Well, in our daily lives, although we have strong families and even friends, there is something to be said about the strong links that make up my inner-entrepreneurial circle. These are the folks I say good mornin’ to in the morning and “Oops, I fell asleep again on Gmail chat last night on ya.”
Your circle must be strong because sometimes you become weak.
When you become the weak link, you could actually be the strength that sees your fellow entrepreneur through to the next day. Do not discount anyone unless you have reason. Embrace those that wish to connect with you in each season. Encourage those who look up to you and be humble and move one, when someone looks down on you. All of these very people, encounters or experiences are and will help you to your next level of the journey.
Embrace the entrepreneur within you.
While the boardroom might feel like a world away from a rousing tent revival, there are definitely techniques that young professionals can learn from motivational speakers, both secular and spiritual. Getting a foothold for your ideas is a surefire way to stand out, but how do you get your superiors to truly listen?
Listen, Then Speak
When presenting your ideas to a group of peers or higher-ups, have a good sense of the room. Speak and offer new ideas at an appropriate time, otherwise you risk coming across as insensitive or plain oblivious. According to a recent article in Forbes, good listeners show that they’re paying attention by making eye contact, facing the speaker and asking clarifying questions once the speaker has fully articulated their ideas. Show that you can listen attentively, and others will be more likely to listen to you.
Know Your Audience
Successful motivational speakers address the concerns of their audience in such a way that every person in the audience feels they’re being addressed directly. How do they do this? By clearly understanding the concerns and needs of the group they’re addressing. Make sure the ideas you propose are aligned with the needs of your colleagues and workplace and you’ll find a lot more nodding heads in the room.
Connect to Communicate
When a truly great speaker takes the floor, you feel yourself drawn in to the power of their words. This is no accident; motivational speakers work hard to connect with their listeners in a variety of ways. Follow the example of other great leaders, such as Josh Shipp or Pastor Ed Young. A motivational sensei, Inc.com reports that Shipp uses his youthfulness and sense of humor to relate to his audiences. Young, founder of Ed Young Fellowship Church, uses a creative communication style that makes complex ideas simple and applicable to his followers at live events and online.
Internalize Your Ideas and Your Audience Will, Too
When you have a clear internalization of your message, help your listeners understand it more deeply as well. According to the National Speakers Association, one of the strongest characteristics that powerful leaders share is an ability to help others by encouraging them. Frame your ideas as solutions that your listeners can get behind and make their own. People take ownership of ideas and will get them closer to becoming a reality.
It doesn’t matter how many tricks and tips you read about the success of other speakers. When it comes down to it, YOU are the deciding factor that will make or break the effectiveness of your presentation. Your colleagues will know immediately if you’re taking on a false tone just to get your ideas across. Instead of trying to become someone totally new, focus on becoming the best, most persuasive version of yourself you can be. Visualize yourself delivering a clear, powerful idea, then work to make that a reality through listening closely, getting to know your audience and seeking to connect to transform their vision of what’s possible in your workplace.
If you’ve been following The Entrepreneur Within and have read the book, would you consider giving us a review on Goodreads.com?
There are three keys to creating a unique and memorable personal brand.
- Passion + Purpose.
- Creativity + Photography.
- Execution + Consistency.
Passion + Purpose
Chances are if you are seeking to create a personal brand for yourself, your passion and purpose has evolved. When creating your brand think clearly about what you want to portray. Consider how you want your target audience to view you (most likely as an expert in your field). With that, ensure that your passion flows freely when communicating your brand to the world. We want to know the real you, nothing phony or fake.
Creativity + Photography.
Your brand is your bread and butter, it’s the center of your earth. You must display it creatively. By enlisting a team of professional photographers, designers, marketers and PR experts you are investing in yourself and your purpose. Please do not put out fuzzy or inappropriate photographs with yourself as the subject. The image that you present to the world will be the very presence that is felt by your clients, consumers, family and friends. Ensure that your image represents you fully for what you wish to convey. Professional photos can make you or break your branding efforts. If within your brand you market or sell a product, ensure that those products are also photographed professionally for marketing purposes.
Execution + Consistency.
Execution of a strategy and a marketing plan is critical. My motto is, “if you stop marketing, they stop watching.” Therefore, ensure that you are constantly nourishing and caring for your brand. Create a marketing strategy and execute it. Hire a team of professionals that will help elevate your mission and your movement to the next level. Be unique, be memorable, be helpful to the consumer, interact and network. Most of all be consistent in the creative output of your brand and ensure that your messaging is clear. be.you!
Julie M. Holloway (a.k.a. JMH)
Marketing & Design Professional and Author