Friday, August 7, 2009
Entrepreneurship: It’s All About a Can-Do Attitude
This week's post is by Elisa Peimer.
Marketing isn't just about positioning your products for maximum positive exposure. It's also about positioning your company to be seen in a positive light. And if you're an entrepreneur of any kind, your company is you.
If you don't believe what you offer is valuable, you can't expect clients and customers to believe it. Yet of all the things I’ve learned about getting your own business in gear and being successful, maintaining this positive attitude is often the most difficult thing, even if it seems the most basic.
A positive attitude means saying and believing that, even in the midst of a recession, with no clients, and being a start-up, you’re going to make your business work. For a glass-half-empty kind of person, adopting that mindset can be a real challenge. But it’s imperative. If you’re going to convince people that your services are valuable, the first person who has to believe it is you.
This really hit home for me recently after speaking to a couple of friends, both of whom have run their own businesses for their entire professional careers. They’re in completely different fields, but they have two things in common. The first is that their companies have had moments of both real success and real challenges. The second is that they never seem to doubt that they can succeed moving forward. What I find admirable about that is that they maintain that positive attitude despite the fact that their businesses have not followed a straight uphill trajectory. It isn't an unbroken string of success that has made them impervious to negative thinking, it's their own internal energy and drive. The fact that sometimes they stumble doesn’t make them doubt their ability to succeed.
Try this simple, refreshing, eye-opening exercise:
Write down all the reasons why someone should hire you.
These could include all kinds of different facets of you and your business. Maybe you have many years of experience in your field. Or you’re really good at follow-through. You're good with people. You've got a network of contacts that makes you more valuable. You're a great idea-person. You’re a fantastic proofreader, consultant, financial advisor, writer, designer, developer – whatever it is. You know what your skills are, and where your strengths lie. Make sure you remember those facts. Keep them in mind and use them to feel confident and valuable when you’re looking for business or working with a client.
Of course, that's often easier said than done. But it's essential. As you forge ahead in your business – and in your life – remember that your biggest fan is you. It’s much easier to focus on your failures and shortcomings, and we all have those. But it’s more pleasant – and lucrative – to concentrate on what makes us valuable to our clients, our friends, and ourselves.