Three Reasons It Pays to Make Business Personal
Contributed by Idea Collective Member:
It's not personal - it's business.
As a digital content marketer turned agency owner turned small business strategist, I’ve seen and heard that single sentence countless times. Heck, I might have even uttered it myself a time or two. When you’re just starting out in your career, it’s easy to parrot back the advice you’re given without questioning it too much.
But here’s the thing:
When you’re a small business owner, there’s no other way for business to be but personal.
It’s nearly impossible not to weave our identities into what we do for a living, into the services we provide. If we’re being honest, it feels downright strange to keep those things separated. Many small businesses are service-oriented. We want to help. We care about delivering good work and outcomes to our clients. All of that is personal, as well.
At RAYNE IX, we work with small business owners-both those who are just getting started on their entrepreneurial path, and those who have been walking (or sprinting!) for a while and are now feeling the need to refocus or regroup. And through this work, I’ve seen a universal shift: the women that we work with are no longer apologizing for themselves – their values, insights, and ethos-front and center. They’re leading with those attributes. They’re actively making business personal.
So what happens when you make business personal? There are plenty of benefits, but I’ll concentrate on my top three here:
Three Reasons It Pays to Make Business Personal
It helps you build the life you want
At RAYNE IX, we believe that defining what success looks like for you personally–and then aligning that definition with your business vision–is the way to live the life and run the business you truly want.
If you need some help connecting the two, start with these questions: Why do you exist? Who do you want to impact? What do you want for yourself, and your family? How are you going to make what you want happen? What matters most to you? Where are you in your life, and what does that context say about your next step? Take a moment and dig deep!
When you’re done with those, flip the script and consider your business vision. Why does your business exist? Who do you want to impact? What problems do you solve? How do you solve them–i.e. What is your process, or offerings? What values does your business operate by?
Beginning with your personal values makes it that much easier to build a strong business foundation–one that puts you firmly at the center.
It helps you find your ideal clients
The more that you can showcase your unique capabilities, interests, and perspective–what one of my favorite authors, Pamela Slim, calls this our “Body of Work”–the more you can attract the clients, collaborative partners, and funders that want to specifically work with you over another person who might offer the same services and skill set.
For example, I’m vocal about working with women small business owners and entrepreneurs because I’m passionate about gender parity. I’m an open book, talking freely about the experiences and battle scars that have shaped me and the work I do today–getting fired from what I thought was going to be my dream job in my early 20s, building a successful, award-winning digital marketing agency only to have to scale back dramatically during the pandemic, and my unabashed love for Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Sure, those experiences and details about me are personal–but they are part of my business, and that’s by design. I want to work with women who believe the same things I do. We find many of our clients are looking to help people who resemble themselves in some form or fashion.
It helps you do the best work for those clients
When you’re operating your business from a place of your own personal values, you begin to really think about how you want to affect your clients. What’s important to you about how they feel? What’s the goal for helping them live better lives, both personally and professionally?
For me, it’s knowing that the women I’m helping are rewiring themselves to think differently. They’re taking their own needs into account, delegating tasks that don’t bring them joy, helping them fulfill their life purpose and being able to use their entrepreneurial chops to make that a reality.
Don’t get me wrong–the work is still challenging, but it’s also incredibly more fulfilling than simply doing something I’m good at. And just knowing you can be yourself gives you so much freedom and empowerment to do your absolute best work.
Here's to actively making business personal
Only when I made a concerted effort to proactively make my business personal did I see an increase in revenue, profitability, clarity, and what was important for me to say “yes” and “no” to. So, let’s do away with the outdated advice–and let our personal drivers also be our business drivers.
Small business Coach, Strategist & Speaker
Kiley Peters is a serial entrepreneur, small business strategist, executive coach, operations consultant, national speaker, and brand marketer with nearly 15 years of industry experience. She is on a mission to help 1 million women build more financially free and fulfilling lives through her founding of RAYNE IX–an executive consultancy helping women to increase profitability in their businesses and personal fulfillment in their lives–and The 100 Collective, a membership and directory for women service-based small business owners who are committed to helping other women success. She’s also the host of Welcome to Eloma, a podcast for visionaries, entrepreneurs, and business owners who want to become better leaders, people, and pioneers.