Why "Just Be Yourself"
is bad advice for entrepreneurs!
(& how to do it like a pro)
If you have been in the entrepreneurial game for some time, no doubt, you would have come across the words “Just Be Yourself”!
But what do people even mean by that?
And how do you do that?
Because really, if you take these words literally “Just Be Yourself” – you will end with a confusing mess of a business and marketing plan.
Now this may come surprising to you who know me as a coach who touts authenticity and “real talk”. But hear me out for a second:
When someone tells you to “Be Yourself”, which version of you do you choose?
Do you choose the one who is super on her game and a kick-arse leader?
Do you choose the one who is scared shitless about up-levelling her business?
Do you choose the one who is having a laugh with her mates over a cup of coffee?
Do you choose the one who just come fresh out of a yoga class? Or the one that just yelled at the car that cut you off?
You see, we have MULTIPLE identities that we occupy every single day. And each of these identities have different personalities, thoughts and beliefs.
So to just “Be Yourself” as a business is terrible advice! It sets you up to have inconsistency in your message and “vibe” which creates confusion for your potential clients (and just to be clear confusion leads to NO trust which leads to NO buying).
The Boss had it right. Getting an audience is hard and sustaining an audience I would say is even harder. You need to be consistent in how you present yourself!
And one of the easiest ways to do that is by having a clearly defined, authentic, soul-aligned brand.
This is what “Being You” actually means in order to be successful.
Before we dive in first, let’s get clear on WHY having a well defined brand is important.
The benefits of getting clear on your brand are:
It allows you to “be you” in context of your business and in alignment with your business goals.
It gives you a north star to guide your every business decision with the simple question “is this on brand?”. This keeps all your content components & your business strategies consistent. And remember: consistency = trust = paying clients!
It allows you to create a business that is sustainable, easy, FUN and fulfilling to be in. Because it allows your soul’s purpose to be expressed through your business AND you are taking into account your personality and energy (but I’m getting ahead of myself, more on that soon).
And last but not least, it allows you to stand out from the crowd as an expert & ATTRACT your ideal clients, because you will have created a unique identity that shows up consistently and reliably as ONE identity, for your audience, which builds trust.
So how do I create an authentic, soul-aligned brand?
First, decide what identity your authentic, soul-aligned brand will occupy.
Defining your Biz Values & Mission:
What are the top three values in your business? What is your mission?
These are your guides for EVERY business decision you make. From what you choose to actively do in your business, to how you set up your business hours and how you market yoruself. If what you are doing is NOT in alignment to your biz values, you either outsource it or you don’t do it. If it’s not in alignment to your mission, you don’t do it. Simple.
Getting clear on your Visuals & Colours:
These are your potent messengers without words. Each visual/image, each colour, tells a story about your business. You want to choose images (like your logo and images for your social media) and brand colours that accurately represent your business values and mission and give the right “feel” as to what it’s like to work with you.
Using Your Unique Voice/Personality
This is by far one of the EASIEST ways to create a point of difference in your business. Decide on what voice your brand will have: Is it sassy? Is it formal? Is it casual? One of the ways that I advise my clients to uncover their authentic voice, is to recall who they are when they are hanging with they’re surrounded by their closest friends. How do I speak around them? What am I like? How do I act?
Because when it comes down to it, doing business, is simply building relationships.
And if you can create relationships with clients that is fun and easy, just like you would do with your inner circle of friends, you’re going to make your business more fun and easier to show up in!
And make sure to align these with:
Your Soul’s Wisdom
This is important to create a sustainable, fun, and deeply fulfilling business. Check in with what your Soul wants to create and how it wants to express itself through the lens of your business. Check in with your Soul at every decision you make in your biz. Take the time to go within and get that greater wisdom and you’ll have less regrets and more ease in your entrepreneurial journey.
The right energy and mindset that support being visible, being authentic and your biz goals.
You can have ALL the best strategy in the world, but if you don’t BELIEVE you can actually succeed, you wont. End of story. Make sure to get support to align your energy and mindset to your business goals and success will follow.
Business practices that capitalise on your strengths, preferences and natural energy flows and support your values.
Now these aren’t part of ‘traditional’ branding advice. But if you value being authentic and unique, then you have to do this too! Our businesses are meant to be fun! They’re meant to be easy. And the best way to do this is to make sure our business practices honour our uniqueness and individuality.
Getting this mix of the practical with the energy and mindset just right, is going to create for you a unique, business that is consistently tells the same story to its audience, which creates trust and therefore creates buying clients!
It also means that you now have a clearly defined point of difference (ie. your unique brand) from the rest of the people who do what you do, which means you stand out from the crowd!
And the fact that you have created an AUTHENTIC, SOUL-ALIGNED brand means that you have not only made it MORE FUN for you to do biz, but you will attract your ideal clients, more easily too!
Note I said “YOUR” ideal clients. Because building a strong brand, also means you will get haters. It’s part and parcel of growth believe me.
But what is left, after the haters have their say, is an audience that absolutely love YOU and trust you. However you’ve decided to show up! And they want to choose you over anyone else.
So now it’s time to decide…
how do you want to “Be YOURSELF” in your biz?
Leave me a comment below and let me know your flavour!
Dear Adventurer, Here are a few journal prompts to dive deeper into this topic:
- What does “be yourself” mean to you? Does it support your business goals?
- What versions of you currently come into your business? Do you think it creates confusion for your audience?
- What is the most fun and easy version of you that could turn up every day in your business? Describe her traits, her beliefs, her thoughts and her character. Bonus points for posture 🙂
- Define your ideal authentic, soul-aligned business brand in terms of vision, mission, visuals & voice.
- What energy or mindset blocks can you perceive about being seen and being authentic in your biz?