Ever try to be something for everyone and find no one wants it? Do you have trouble finding the time to focus on your business? Do you do so much for so many that you find it's difficult to make any financial progress in your business; much less make an indelible mark in the mind of your potential customers? I found myself on that road so many times, that I could be a tour guide for Please-want-me-ville.
Where did this come from and how can you get it to stop?
It starts publicly when we're very young. . . at school. A moment emblazoned in my mind was in Mrs. Moon's kindergarten class. I had just discovered a squirreled stash of my favorite food, Pepperidge Farms Goldfish Crackers, in the front pocket of my patchwork dress. I squealed with delight and proudly started munching on them in the middle of “two plus three". My delight turned to horror when I heard, “Miss Castle, I hope you have enough for everyone or you will stand in the front of the class with your face in the corner!"
Out of nowhere, large beads of sweat developed on my forehead as I desperately searched every inch of my two-inch square pocket for enough goldfish to feed the entire class. Even though we were only on “addition", somehow I knew that four fishes and a tail wouldn't cut it. With my face in the corner for those very long twenty minutes, I vowed that I would always have enough to make everyone happy. In business, these fish have come back to bite me over and over again; until I started teaching people how to brand. Now they can ‘gold-fish’ for themselves.
As a teenager, I developed ‘I don't have enough friends’ syndrome. Not being one of the ‘cool-n-popular’ types, I had to buy my friends (I hope I'm not the only one who did this). And since I wasn't the brain, I couldn't find my value in helping friends get “A's. I did everything else: the grunt work, the labor, the runs to the store, the ‘kill- the messenger’ calls, the kind of stuff that took me away from most of the ‘friend’ action. I did so much that I had no time to develop the relationships that I wanted in the first place. I was spread so thin. . . I was transparent! No wonder for the first few years of my business, I worked unbelievably hard but had nothing (no money, no value) to show for it. It wasn't until I turned my focus inward that I really started to build something of value that customers wanted.
A few dictionary definitions of focus:
1. concentrated effort or attention on a particular thing
2. a concentrated and unified quality
3. the quality of being sharply defined with clear edges and contrast
A few dictionary definitions of inward:
1. situated within something
2. relating to or existing in the mind or spirit
3. toward the inside or center of something
Your business can never be developed as a brand until you first:
a) suspend the need to be something for everyone, and
b) sharply define with clear edges from your inside or center
The challenge to our business success grows when we compound these learned behaviors with the entrepreneurial fear that we need to be attractive to e-v-e-r-y- o-n-e in order to survive. Especially because we don't know when and from where the next customer will come. I've done that dance too. (You know, the one when you get off the phone with a new client closing a “new tiny project that feels huge because it's the only one you have ‘dance').
If you identify at all with this, how's it working for you?
For me it didn't! Nothing did until I:
1) deeply connected to what I offered, found my uniqueness in it and built on the internal power of it (the first part of the BrandU™ process), and
2) communicated it consistently with precision and quality (the second part of the BrandU™ process known as CLICsm).
The points of effort that you are sending out in every direction - squandering your focus externally, trying to be something for everyone, doing so much that results so little - all start from somewhere. That somewhere is a place that you control. The seeds of your brand are planted there. Don't be affected by your programming, program your success. I promise you that if plant it there and tend it, it will grow, and grow, and. . . grow! And you will be filled with joy and financial success, and the freedom to enjoy it.
© 2003 Castle Montone, Limited All Rights Reserved.
Written by Kim Castle, the Co-founder of BrandU™ — the home of only step-by- step process for developing your business as a brand from the inside out!
To get information on upcoming BrandU one-day workshops: http:// www.whybrandu.com/Public/events/workshop/index.cfm?semID=13 Get your Why You?!(sm) monthly ezine for easy-to-read tips and informative insights on branding. To subscribe: http://www.whybrandu.com/
“BrandU™ — Big Business Success No Matter Your Size”