biz ladiesLife & Business

Biz Ladies: How to Use an Identity Change to Find Success

by Stephanie

emma gwillim
Today’s Biz Ladies post comes to us from previous contributor and business coach, Emma Gwillim. Emma consults and coaches creative female entrepreneurs on how to identify what’s not working within their businesses, how to clarify their goals and visions for the future, and how to make it all actually happen. Today she shares her insights on why an identity change can help you find success. Thanks again for sharing your expertise with us, Emma! —Stephanie

Read the full post after the jump…

I have always been fascinated with entrepreneurs.  As a young girl I played “businesses” – not the usual doll and pram for me but a plastic briefcase full of unused stationery.  Even now, I love to hear how business owners got started, how they turned their passionate idea into an income stream.  I am in admiration of people taking the courageous leap to follow their entrepreneurial dream.

But it doesn’t stop there.  That first courageous leap to start a business is the first of many.  You’ve opened for business, you have a website, you’ve got systems and structures in place, you have a plan.  And then what?  When you’ve achieved your big goal of starting your own business, where do you go from there?

Stepping into a new identity of business owner and entrepreneur can be the biggest challenge of all.  Aside from mastering social media, SEO, accounting systems and the whole array of operations that keep a business ticking, the make-or-break can often be all in the mind.  It’s something I personally found a tricky transition to begin with and a hurdle I see appearing time and again with women I coach.

As I said, I’m an entrepreneur’s number one fan.  I truly want you to succeed.  I want you to take your business from its founding to unlimited success.  To do that, I want you to master these five simple tactics to embrace your new entrepreneurial identity.

See your reflection: How do you see yourself?  Your outward behaviour will always act consistently with your mind so it’s really important to know how you define yourself.  If your internal picture of yourself is outdated, an image of the old you, it’s time for an upgrade.  Begin to get a clear image of the new you, the entrepreneurial you, the successful business owner.

Step into your new shoes: Once you have a clear picture of the entrepreneurial you, I want you to step into these new shoes.  See your ideal vision of yourself as if it were an image on a TV screen, then absorb your whole being into this new you.  Notice how you walk, how you talk, how you speak, how you feel.  Take note of all the subtle differences that move you from the outdated version of yourself to the new you.

Walk your talk: How are you reflecting your new identity in the way you work or live?  Ask yourself where you might need to refresh or update what you say about yourself.  It might be as simple as making sure you have a confident way of introducing yourself and your business to new people.  It may be updating your email signature or social media profiles.  It could be that you need to create a more productive space to work that puts you in a professional frame of mind.

Believe it: Don’t be apologetic about your new entrepreneurial status.  Embrace what you’ve already achieved so far by writing down all your little success milestones.  Keep adding to those milestones with more and more evidence and watch your belief soar.  Act from a place of already being the success.  Don’t wait for it.  If you truly believed you were successful in your business, what opportunities would you be creating for yourself?  Who would you approach?  What investment would you be making in yourself and your business?  Ask yourself what you need to do to play pro.

Get some support: Entrepreneurship can be a lonely route to take.  Make sure you surround yourself with people who reaffirm your successful entrepreneur status.  Who can you spend time with who will inspire you and motivate you?  Join online groups or offline networking and mastermind events to put yourself amongst like-minded people.  They say you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with so choose wisely.

Whether you’re just starting out or whether you’re ready to take your business to the next level, think about who you need to become to make it a reality.  I’ll be cheering you on…

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  • I needed to hear this today. I need to start walking the walk – my house is a bit cluttered, so I need to make my creative spaces more appealing and clean. It can be a little difficult when working with soy waxes and essential oils, but a clean space will inspire me and my candle line.

  • I really appreciate this – it really speaks to me – the timing is perfect– thank you!!! I can see printing this out, putting it up and also cleaning up the clutter on my desk..

  • This is a real different perspective to all the self help / coaching / small business ideas I come across online. I love this attitude and I too will be finding a special place to put these words so I can read regularly – thanks!

  • The word WOW sums it up! I’ve been reading this column since its inception and this is the most direct and concisely worded business insight for creative female entrepreneurs. I’m going to write this out in the new ‘Rifle’ notebook I purchased to work on my business plan for the next 2, 5 and 10 years :) Thank you!

  • thank you SO much for this! these columns are always hugely helpful, and the timing is perfect (for me) with this one. just what i needed to hear. thanks emma!

  • This is so wonderful. I just left a job to freelance in motion graphics and I’ve gone from scared to freaked out to dealing with the realization that it’s really happening. This is so helpful. Thank you so much.