In order to build a brand that sells it has to be based on your strengths. The obvious reason being, no one wants to buy your weaknesses. Heck, we all know large companies don't start out large. They're built and that takes strength.
Before I end this post I will share one easy and two not so easy ways to find your strengths. Then I'll give you a little boost on how to use it to improve your brand. First, however, let's face fears.
As a budding entrepreneur you have doubts. You're supposed to, otherwise you wouldn't get better at what you do. If you go into entrepreneurship with the expectation of perfection, you will disappoint yourself every time. To help my clients get over their hurdles of 'wanna be perfect' I listen to their tone of voice and watch their body language.
See, sometimes people literally try to shrink away from accepting that they are entrepreneurs and authorities in their industry. Notice, I didn't say perfect. When I see it in my clients, I attack it by having them speak their greatness out loud. The transformation in posture and attitude is always a beautiful thing to watch.
Go ahead and try it right now. Say five things, out loud, that you're great at in your industry. Now tell me you didn't sit up a little straighter and feel a little more powerful? You might have even gone past five.
Fearing the smallest mistake will bring your world down around you is counter productive to growth. It keeps you stuck in stupid (my own experienced hell). That's because you fixate on your weaknesses instead of flourishing in your strengths. Yes, you have gifts and talents you've monetized but that doesn't make them your strength.
I could go off on a tangent and tell you how great you are but that would make this an essay instead of a blog post. Instead I'm gonna give you some help in finding your strength and how to use it wisely.
The book, Strength Finders 2.0 is first on my list. You don't actually need the book until after you take the assessment that goes with it. It is cheaper to purchase the book and get the code for free than to purchase the code.
Taking the assessment may reveal things you didn't know about yourself. There are 34 identified strengths and it will give you your top five. The book offers 50 ideas for action and other great tools for your identified strengths. I, personally, don't give a rats @$$ about the other 29 strengths because it would just add to my crazy.
I purchased this book back in 2016. After having some recent serious conversations with God, (my daughter says I pray like I'm taking God out for coffee) I decided to reread my strengths. It reaffirmed why I do what I do and why I'm good at it. However, this is not about me, it's about you.
PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL REVIEWS
Here is an unlikely place to find your strengths. If you had or have a job, go back to see what your supervisor listed as your strengths. Only give the items listed serious consideration if they benefit your business. The industry you were in at the time of evaluation doesn't matter. It's more telling when you see a running theme from boss to boss, job to job or industry to industry. Your strengths will travel with you.
FRIENDS & FAMILY
Here is a scary one. Straight up ask friends and family what they see as your strengths and weaknesses. That's right friends and family pouring into you. Don't include your frenemies. And don't include that passive aggressive family member who knowingly hurts your feelings under the banner of "I'm just keepin' it real." You know the ones. Go find your cheerleaders, the people who show up and show out no matter how big or small your accomplishment (parents excluded). They may not be your target market but that doesn't mean they can't add value to your BLOW UP!
Now that you've identified some of your strengths, create a personal SWOT analysis. The SWOT analysis has been around since the 1960's and is still widely used as a business growth strategy. I use it as a business coaching tool when we cover personal branding. This tool and exercise can also be found in the Develop Your Authentic Brand guidebook. Doing a personal SWOT analysis requires you to step out of your comfort zone and dish out as much honesty as you can handle. It is not an excuse to further pick at your weaknesses.
For example, one of my strengths, based on StrengthFinder 2.0, is a developer. That means I recognize and cultivate the potential in others. My weakness, however, is that I sometimes don't sugar coat my words when I feel someone needs a kick in the pants. I discovered that on my own. This shoot from the lip behavior could be a threat to my business. I can fix this weakness by either catching the words before they spill out of my mouth or I could not include people who may consider my ghetto country tendencies aggressive, as part of my target market.
Using your strengths effectively is what multiplies the effect of your brand. So flex and show em' whatcha working with. Stop worrying about your weaknesses. Don't worry about the economy or your competition. Embrace your strengths. Building yourself up. Besides, any fool can tear $h1t up. (Was that too aggressive?)
Anyway, if you ever need a cheerleader, here's my number and a dime, call me anytime.
P. S. If you are bold enough to try one or all three of these strength finders I would love to hear how it went. I'm nosy like that and I want to share in the greatness that is you.
Phyllis Williams-Strawder is a Certified Business Coach, 7x author, speaker, homeschool mom and 20+ year veteran entrepreneur. In addition to CKO Creator, she is a hybrid publisher through her brand Espresso Mischief, and the creator of Spresso Mischief Designs.
Phyllis' published works outside her coaching include That Damn Girl Stuff: A Mother's Truth and Far From the Tree. Some of the books she published for others are, SPICE: The Variety of Life, written by her husband, Morgan Mischief, written by her daughter, Song of Solo, written by Cybill Aros-Pearson, and Book of John, written by John Pye.
Phyllis has coaching certifications is branding, market research, social media and SEO. She has a degree in business with an emphasis in personal finance. She is an alum of Goldman Sachs 10K Small Business Executive Program as well as the Leadership Long Beach Institute. She is a former member of the Long Beach City College Culinary Advisory Board and a certified bbq judge.