It’s a fact that sometimes hardworking business owners fall out of love with their businesses. Living on passion and adrenaline, we’re constantly drawing from the well. We are not only working hard in our businesses but also having to plan, balance books, attend networking meetings, sell!
However, when I experience testing times, I do find myself falling in and out of love with my business at least four times a week! So if a client tells me ‘I’ve lost my first love and the reason why I set up my business’, I completely relate. Together we tease out their love story which I help them weave through their marketing content. Then they can reconnect with their ‘why’ and the first love which will help their business fly.
Starting a new chapter.
Thinking about fledgling businesses and birds flying the nest calls to mind a book I recently read called H is for Hawk. The author, Helen Macdonald, lost her way when her Dad passed away. She decided to train a hawk and by doing that, she fell back in love with her business and found a new purpose. Publishing her book, she became a global best-selling author. Helen’s is a new chapter story. This is a style very useful when talking about how you founded a business or perhaps took it in a new direction.
So, last Valentine’s Day, off to see the Owls by moonlight in the Hawk Conservancy Trust in Andover, Hampshire, in the UK, I am reminded how much I love birds, particularly owls. I am inspired by what they could teach us about reconnecting with our precious business ventures and starting a new chapter.
Act like an Owl
1. Look sharp
Your clients might want to talk about the real concerns keeping them up at night. Very busy, they may want to admit that they don’t have the bandwidth to take on a project on a grander scale straight away. They may be chasing up late payments and have a short term cash flow issue so might not want to commit financially immediately. Perhaps they are not entirely sure of their ‘Why’ for taking a new direction. They may not be able to picture the destination they are seeking at this particular moment in time.
Focus. Don’t miss a trick. Home in on the people you’d love to reach. Figure out which people with whom you would love to work. Create personas for those ideal customers and point your messaging and services specifically at them. Here’s a quirky little infographic which will help you do that How to create a buyer persona
Unlike the owls, we don’t need to home in on our prey. If we share with others the love we feel towards our companies, through soft, warm relationship building, then they will feel the same way and love us back.
2. Be vigilant
Owls have the most beautiful eyes. Large and forward-facing, they can pick up shapes and movement even in low light. Owls have well-developed binocular vision and the ability to turn their heads 135 degrees so they can look behind their own shoulders!
We can’t do that but we can keep a watchful and well-researched eye on our marketplace. We can monitor it regularly. We can connect, converse and interact with our chosen market through a carefully constructed marketing plan and content which speaks to their hearts.
We can mindfully observe the competition, whilst loving the fact we are different, with a blend of talents, experience and skills which is completely unique.
3. Follow your own path
Owls come in many shapes and sizes. Some owls are huge like the Eastern Russian Blackiston’s fish owl, with a wingspan of six feet wide. Others are tiny like the American southwest elf owl, only five and a half inches long. There are more than two hundred species of owls living on every continent except Antarctica. Let’s celebrate our differences as there is a place in the world for us all.
It doesn’t necessarily follow that a bigger company will be more successful than a smaller one. I’ve learned that it’s important to keep business processes simple and workable so there are strong foundations from which to grow. Partnerships are also a great way to increase our reach with the same or even less effort. Efficiency is key.
Most of all, appreciate who you are, build your business with love and care and follow your own path.
4. Be interesting
Owls do look cute but there is also an air of mystery about them. Due to their specialised feathers, they make virtually no noise when they fly.
So let’s be nobody’s fool and express ourselves in our communications and our actions in a true and authentic way. Let’s keep an air of mystery about ourselves! Let’s not let others define us or be tempted to try to copy others. If defined and focused correctly, our message will land where it should and begin conversations with those it’s meant to reach.
Let’s get back to the heart of who we really are and cherish the difference we make.
5. Get along with others
From ancient times, owls and humans have been able to live side by side.
As humans, we cannot survive on our own so let’s not be afraid to ask for help. I’m constantly inspired by the amazing customers with whom I work and the encouragement I get from others. I couldn’t keep my business bird airborne without their help! They keep me grounded and part of the real world too.
So let’s not forget to take a lesson from the wise owl, whose beauty, mystery and majesty is something most wonderful to behold. Your business has its own awesome qualities too.
Don’t forget to love and nurture it and point it towards the sky. Start a new chapter, fall back in love with your business and let it fly!
If you feel your business story and marketing content needs to reflect more of the love which made you start out in the first place, then let’s have a chat on +44 (0) 7703545117 or email@example.com. I’d love to have a chat!
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