How To Get Clear About Your Business identity
When you’re in the transition period from being the tradie in charge of everything to growing your business, there are a lot of things you need to change about your mindset. It doesn’t serve you to see yourself as one of the boys anymore. You need to change your mindset to that of a leader or boss.
If you want to build a good business it can really help to build a new business identity or to be clear about what that business identity is if it’s already working well.
So what is a business identity?
Well, put simply, It’s how you see yourself.
It’s how you want to act. It’s how you want your clients and your team to see you. There’s no right answer to what that is but it helps to get it clear in your mind.
Now to begin getting a clear image of what it is; think about what behaviours you would want people to see from you.
Would you want to be punctual, reliable, unflappable, respectful, in control, a leader, someone to look up to?
And what would you have to do to make that happen? You might turn up to all your meetings on time. You might set good boundaries with your clients and your team – following your agreed processes. You might guide others to do rather than you doing it yourself.
Your behaviours are a reflection of who you are or who you see yourself as. If you want to make your business successful you have to see yourself as the person who can make your business better.
For example, if you see yourself as one of the boys you’ll be on the tools more than you should be. You’ll be giving up working on your business (the money-making stuff) to working in your business at the slightest provocation. It could also have you feeling like you’re not making money if you’re not on the tools. You may have an ‘hour for dollars’ mentality just like your boys who get paid by the hour. If your Business Identity included being a leader and focusing on doing the activities that brought in the most revenue that would change.
Obviously changing your identity can feel a bit scary – What if other people don’t like it? What if it makes my friends/partner/employees uncomfortable? What if I become an arsehole? The thing is you don’t have to change the essence of who you are, you just have to change who you see your ‘business self’ as. You can still be friendly, fun, easy-going – whatever you value about yourself now but you would start to make better business decisions.
Let’s say you see yourself as ‘the fixer’ or ‘the guy who puts out fires’. Your behaviours will show that you have a hard time prioritising and sticking to those priorities because you’ll jump at the first sign of trouble, discarding the important things to rush to the aid of people who can probably figure it out for themselves. If you want your business to grow you need to be able to keep your priorities as number one and stick to executing them. Your business identity would include something about ‘seeing the big picture and being reliable’.
When your business identity is clear in your mind you can use this image of yourself to help you make snap decisions that work. Also your brain is lazy and if you have these things decided before they pop up your brain won’t waste energy on trying to think of something else.
For example, if you see yourself as the leader who keeps the success of the business as paramount and you have the competing needs of ‘finish this job working on the tools with the boys’ and ‘attending a meeting with your business coach and accountant’, you will choose the pre-arranged meeting because that’s where the money actually lies. Not in this single job with you doing work any of the boys could do, but with you, the leader, doing the stuff that is the foundation of your business success.
So start to think about what this identity might be and what choices you would make if that was who you are. You can discuss it with each other on the Facebook group too. It’s always good to have other people’s feedback and hear how they’re working through it too. You can also celebrate the wins you have with your new business identity on there too. Your brain lights up with reward and celebration of wins so make sure you celebrate even the smallest ones. The dopamine boost you get from it will make your brain want to do more of it and that’s how we make a change as easy as possible.
There are four ways you can engage with me:
1. Subscribe to these emails and get them once a week in your inbox so you never miss a video from me.
2. Join the Trades Business Toolshed Facebook Group where you can watch these videos, ask me questions or talk to your peers.
3. Attend my next Tools Down workshop.
4. Book yourself a 10-minute chat with me. We’ll talk about whether coaching is right for you now and if it is, we’ll go further into the process before you have to make your mind up.
See you later.