Article written by Maayan & Gal from Smoozitive
If there’s a life changing lesson we’ve learned in the last decade as business owners, it’s this:
Our business works best, when we’re true to ourselves.
We each developed and owned a few businesses, some of which we ran independently and others together; and to be completely honest (as it’s a part of our values), while some of those were funky flops, others were considered extremely successful.
True, there are many common factors involved in a business’s success; however, we believe that one of the most influential factors is who we are, what we bring to the business, and how we approach it.
For instance, as co-founders and two sisters, we each bring our individual personalities, emotions, values, and even coffee preferences to the table, which impacts in different ways the business that we run together.
If one of us is having a bad day, not to mention a lousy month, it directly affects our thoughts, actions & words, therefore our workflow. The way we show up on social media, our productivity, the results we get and the future we envision for the business, are all affected by who we are at this time being. Even if we succeed in covering it up—say, in front of clients—and minimizing the damage, it won’t go unnoticed. It works like magic the other way around too. If we’re having a great week, it will positively influence the business.
Let’s take a closer look at what makes us who we are…
When was the last time you stopped to evaluate or think about your values?
Don’t feel bad if you didn’t; most people don’t know how to make actual ‘stops’ during their day-to-day to evaluate their situation or think about their values. However, knowing our values is essential since they are what motivates our actions and makes us choose one path over another.
Simply said, core values are the standards we choose to live by. To put it another way, they are our personal guidelines. When we live by them, our life feels smoother, simpler and harmonious. Whereas when our actions, thoughts or even words are not following those guidelines – we tend to feel ‘off’, frustrated, uninspired and drained. This is true for our personal lives, and for businesses.
The idea that there is a one-size-fits-all approach to conducting business exists, but since everyone of us is unique, how can we all conduct business in the same way?
Just like many other entrepreneurs, we listened to many business experts, and opinionated coaches who told us what to do in order to achieve our goals. We also looked up at other businesses, without necessarily knowing what they’ve done and went through to get to this point where they inspired us. We tried doing what they do, using similar words, techniques and approaches, in the hopes that this would help us achieve their level of success. Unsurprisingly, it did not work. We’re not in the same industry, or at the same stage of business. Most importantly, we are not the same people, so we do not necessarily share the same values and beliefs.
No wonder that when we tried to manage and develop our business by following other people’s values, not only did it underperform, but it also made us doubt ourselves, our capabilities, and our business altogether. We weren’t living up to our core values and beliefs. We weren’t our true selves, and that had to change.
Then we figured it out!
When something isn’t working, the secret is to stop looking for solutions outside of yourself and instead get in touch with your core values.
Learning from others, being inspired, and adopting tools, abilities, and strategies that others have perfected is fantastic – as long as they match your authentic self. By doing so, you can be sure that your work will make you feel good, be more productive, and it will inspire you to keep going.
Here’s a couple of things you can reflect on:
The definition of success is your own.
You don’t have to aspire for a 7-figures business because others do. Perhaps your success is a healthy work-life balance, the freedom to exercise every morning, the ability to travel the world, or just working in something you love and waking up eager to start each day. Your personal notion of success has a direct bearing on how your business performs.
Each person has a different ‘true-self’.
Being your true self is also about respecting others for being their true selves, whether they are your client, supplier, boss or employee. Sometimes you’ll fit perfectly, and other times you’ll have to make some adjustments to get along. And, on occasion, you must let things go out of respect.
It’s not about competition.
A business is a personal journey; there is no need to waste energy comparing yourself to others. Furthermore, when you are true to yourself, you can never have competitors because you and your values are unique. You can be inspired, collaborate, and learn from others – there is a place for everyone, even in the same field.
Last but not least, our experience has shown us that we are more productive, confident, and capable of achieving the best outcomes for both our organization and ourselves when our values and beliefs are in line with our actions, thoughts, and words.
Take this moment, to stop and evaluate your core values and consider how you might align your activities with them in order to successfully run your own business.