Personal Brand & the New Small Business Entrepreneur
Most folks have seen the cult classic Office Space, and can relate to the inane and insane antics of office politics, TPS reports, and worrying about pink slips. Silicon Valley is rife with refugees of the economic downturn, shell shocked about losing a job they hated deep down. For many brave souls, they decided it was (past) time to emerge as a new small business entrepreneur, embrace their passion, or at least rekindle old flames they left behind in their 60-hour work weeks plus commute.
Several of my clients have wanted to translate their employment-based success to a new small business venture and launch themselves as an entrepreneur. But, how do you get customers when you don’t have a track record? Where do you start in explaining how you work, why your expertise can deliver stellar results? By being exceptionally clear about your personal brand and the value you provide is at the crux of unveiling a new business. Yet, defining your personal brand is often a painful process. I’ve likened it to brain surgery… something not for the faint of heart, and where you need an objective professional (hypnotherapy ala Peter Gibbons not required).
One of the first places I start with new small business entrepreneur clients is looking at their past successes, the simple but dreaded “Problem – Solution – Result” formula. Think about those accomplishments you are must proud of. What about the example showed off where you shined? What skills did you use for what specific result? If you’re having trouble, find a buddy and talk it out and then put it on paper. Once you’ve got some juicy examples, think about how you can apply it as a solopreneur or team up with a trusted colleague. What have you got to lose? At the very least, it’s the basis for a better looking resume or more effective cover email.
Want to feel inspired about your new business venture? A friend shared this video clip about a movie documenting what’s been happening all over the country – folks who received pink slips and realized that small business entrepreneurship is the best thing that could have happened to them.