Lately, I have met many people asking me why I do what I do. They are surprised that I have decided to focus my short documentary videos on women business owners. “People actually hire you for this?” – they ask me. The constant “Why” question comes up, and my answer is always the same – “Why Not”?
I have worked over 15 years in an office environment. It was comfortable to have a monthly salary, to know when my upcoming vacation was, to have a team working with me on a given project and to have a planned work day. Comfortable but boring. Now that I have been self employed for almost five plus years I realise that I can accomplish a lot on my own. In the past five years I have met so many new people, I learned so much about how to be self employed, how creative I can be, how I can manage my own time and how much money I can earn from my business. It has not been easy, and no one said it would be. And here I am, still on my feet trying to find new clients, new ideas, maybe even a team to work with me. It is never boring, and the only constant is change.
When I see the struggle of people (especially women) leaving the comfort of a company in order to open their own business, I find this act so courageous. It is not an easy decision to make, so once you make it, you got to keep on going. This is why I support women businesses and I want to help them promote themselves through video. I believe that once you get to know them and their stories, you will also want to work with them.
Unfortunately we live in a very judgemental society. Instead of encouraging, we judge. Instead of saying a good word, we criticise. I hope that with the short videos I create of women that I meet, it inspires others to be courageous enough to follow their beliefs, their ideas and their dreams. I hope that it will give them the courage and the support to do it themselves. And I hope that YOU, as a viewer, will support them as well, with a kind word, with sharing their story with others, or even working with them. They deserve all the support that they can get!
Let me tell you a secret. During filming, I often ask my storytellers to tell me about the struggles of opening their own businesses. It can not be smooth sailing can it? But unfortunately no one wants to speak about the hardships. Why is that? Because most of us want to show the world that everything is going great, and amazing. But guess what, the struggles are the most important parts in starting your own business, and that is what makes your story more interesting and authentic.
Sharing your story will help others connect with it and might encourage them to also embark on this journey themselves.
So what about your business story and how can you tell it?
If you have your own business, that is up and running for at least one year, you probably have an idea by now of what differentiates you from other businesses. What makes you stand out? What you can do to clearly define who you are, what you do and why people should do business with you?
Lets get down to the basics. Here are a few more questions you need to make sure you are paying attention to:
- WHY did you get into your business?
- WHAT makes you do what you do, besides money?
- WHAT are some examples of other things that you have done?
- WHAT problems have you solved?
- HOW can you help accelerate someone else’s efforts/goals?
These five questions drive that story your company is telling. This is what creates the power in your storytelling. Because you’re not just telling random stories. You’re highly focused on articulating a narrative that not only makes sense but it’s also important to someone else.
Do you know your own story? Have you learned how to tell it?
You need to know your own story. No one is going to know your story better than you. People can help you craft and edit it, but knowing it – that’s only YOU.
- Learn your own story
- Embrace your own story
- Learn to share your story
Another important question to think about is “What makes you different? What makes you stand out from the crowd?’ If you do not know what makes you unique, ask a family member or a friend who knows you well to help you. It might make you realise things that you were not aware of.
Remember “People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it” – Simon Sinek, Start with Why