Why your business is not about you

There’s something about being in a room of like-minded people that feeds your soul.  Whether you’re attending a health chats with like-minded green-smoothie lovers, or sitting in a room full of bloggers like yourself at ProBlogger, the form of mass-connection that finds us attending conferences and workshops is something you just won’t find in the online world (no matter how many facebook groups you’re in).

I always feel a big resistance right before I need to do something BIG! And leading up to yesterday’s Unconvention, in Brisbane was no different. Throughout the week, I had so many things that I could’ve let get in the way of attending, but knew that these things were only arising because something big was coming my way.

Sitting in the room with 700 other like-minded business freaks was intensely heart-warming, and the speakers hadn’t even begun! The room was lit-up by inspirational speakers divulging golden nuggets of wisdom, from their times in the trenches to their current successful businesses.

Partly because I want to hold onto the feelings of being there for as long as I possibly can, and partly because I want to share the energy with as many of you as possible, here are the biggest take-aways from my experience at #UNCON15.

Love Your Audience & Love Them Hard

"Love somebody better than anyone else” – Dan Gregory.

If you’ve picked up any number of books on marketing, or read any number of blogs on the matter, you’ll be familiar with the term ‘Target Audience’. If you’re not familiar with it, in a nutshell it’s marketing jargon for: the people who you want to pick up what you’re putting down.

When we talk about engaging with our potential customers, all too often we get mixed up in the selling process. We think that they want to be sold to, because our product or service meets a need or want that they have. Well we’re dead wrong.

Our ‘target audience’, just like the rest of humanity, want to be loved. Our businesses need to give them love - show them that we understand their needs, and we’re there to help in the most authentic, passion-driven way. It is from this space, that we should be creating new products and launching new initiatives. Next time you’re engaging with your customers consider these three things:

1.    Align the goals of your business, with THEIR values

It’s not about YOU, and it’s definitely not about your product. Your business is about creating something meaningful and impactful that will change the life of at least one person.

2.     Be the person (and business) that loves them more than anybody else does

Become specific about what you do, and how you can serve them. Determine what fears, wants, needs or frustrations you help them with overcome and then understand and develop systems of worlds-best-practicethat helps you deliver this, in the best way possible.

3.     Deliver a nowhere else experience.

Consider any of the possible pain-points or obstacles that potential audiences might have in considering interacting with your business. Once you’ve got them, work out how you can remove them. Both Phillip De Bella, of Di Bella Coffees, and Megan Quinn of Net-A-Porter built this into their product and systems, enablint them to become the leaders in their field. The result? The customer is left feeling with a sense of WOW and they can’t help but sharing their positive experience with their friends and family.

Become an alchemist

One definition of alchemy is:

“a power or process of transforming something common into something special”.

Great businesses are built from a place of challenging the status quo, disrupting traditional ways of thinking and creating positive anarchy. Yes, anarchy.

There are pivotal points throughout history where great minds such as Einstein and Mandela have turned the worlds view on it’s axis and moved us forward in a direction we didn’t know existed before.

Entrepreneurship, is a skill set that each of us can learn or as Jack Delosa suggests, it’s a ‘spiritual endeavour’. And just like any other spiritual activity, it can be practiced to move forward, to make something better.

Every day, in business, we should be challenging and questioning the ideas and structures we are presented with. We should be asking ourselves how we can create an impact and change the unjust or unruly situations we see. And then every day we need to move just a little bit closer to developing tools and resources that aid in creating this change.

As an entrepreneur, it is your responsibility to be unopologetically questioning and creating. It is not the fact that you run a business, or that you have developed a new product that makes you an entrepreneur, but rather it is this ‘independence of thought’ and ‘f**k you to traditional thinking’ that drives you to transform something common into something special.

Be Passionate

I made a choice a few months ago, that my business was focused on working with passion-filled women who are building a purpose-driven business.

Businesses that are built on passion, are the ones that are more likely to keep going. When the going gets tough, you need to understand the reasons why you’re in business.

As Phillip Di Bella so adequately put it, “I’m not passionate about coffee, I’m passionate about people, opportunity and education”.

Understanding the driving forces that will make you keep going no matter what, and ensuring that your business is built on those factors will underpin your resilience in the hard times, and ensure you maintain consistency in the good.

Take one step today. Start.