Before I started blogging regularly, I used to get writer’s block every time I sat down to write a post. Asking myself the same question each time, “What should I write about?” It was really painful because I couldn’t come up with any ideas on the fly. I became frustrated, de-motivated and quite honestly – terrified – of blogging. This all changed for me once I took myself through the process of writing down some of my personal and business values.
What I discovered as I went through the process was, if I wanted to build my business profile and increase my level of influence in the marketplace I needed to develop a business manifesto. A manifesto is a public declaration of intentions, views, principles and policies. As it relates to business, I define it as ‘our platform’ – the foundation on which our work rests. It is the approach we take with our work, the tenets by which we run our business, and our philosophy.
Having a business manifesto is not simply an academic exercise; it can be a super powerful tool that literally acts as a guide for making decisions, for developing products and services, for creating content and so much more. Having discovered how important this is, I’ve now included this as part of my business process when working with clients.
Your business manifesto helps you become crystal clear about what you stand for so you can:
√ stand up and be heard
√ become the go-to expert
√ build authority in your field
√ get others to see and recognize you
√ create thought leadership based on your expertise
√ use your content of ideas to inspire others to act
Imagine running your business ‘on the fly’ so to speak, without a manifesto. Developing your own manifesto can literally create instant focus, provide you with business clarity, and feed the content creation machine for your blog, informational products, social media outlets, speaking and workshop topics, ebooks, etc.
Here is my own business manifesto – the tenets that guide my business. I’d love to read yours!
1. It starts with our ‘why’. What motivates us? Excites us and inspires us to do what we do? Our passion is the fuel for our marketing message. Marketing ourselves (and our business) from the inside out is the secret to standing out, being seen and attracting clients.
2. Have an insatiable hunger for success. How fed up you are with mediocrity and how emotionally committed you are to do whatever it takes to take your business to the next level will determine your success rate. You have to really want it, more than you’re afraid of it.
3. Marketing is everything we say and do, and everything we say and do is Marketing. There is no such thing as ‘taking a break’ from marketing; it’s at the core of everything we do in our business, from branding and communications to packaging, promotions and service delivery — and everything in between.
4. Be authentic. Show up to your life with awareness and presence. Come to the table with the good, the bad and the ugly. Be real. When you’re authentic, you do and say the things you actually believe. People know that what you’re talking about is real. People buy from people, and if they don’t trust you, they won’t engage with you.
5. Failing to plan is planning to fail. Planning is critical to business stability and growth. It’s easy to forget that a business is a thing that needs to be designed, built and led. Formulate a roadmap that sets your direction, guides activities, allocates resources and monitors impacts. Otherwise, how will you get where you want to go?
6. We are all marketers and salespeople. Sales and marketing is about embodying your brand (the essence of who you are), understanding and communicating your value proposition, building relationships and creating connections with your audience. If you can learn how to position and package your services based on being the solution to your customer’s problem – you will be a sales superstar and a marketing maven!
7. Hyper-specialize to stand out and you will become a client magnet. When you focus on a niche market, you can build your business with more ease and quicken your success. Work smarter, not harder. Use your niche to increase your focus, tailor your message, and be more efficient with your time and marketing investments.
8. Mind your mindset. Allowing our limiting beliefs, fears and inner critic (we all have them!) to rule our mindset, will keep our business small. Our business will only grow to the level of our personal development. Learning to love all of ourselves (including our gifts of imperfection), without self-judgment and with a whole lot of curiosity and playfulness, will give us permission to develop ourselves personally and thrive as a business owner!
9. We all have a unique gift to give the world. Knowing that we are distinctive in our own way and understanding our higher purpose is part of the secret sauce to living an enriched, meaningful, joyous life. To ignore our calling is to deny ourselves of a life that inspires us.
10. Systemize everything. Creating repeatable processes and systems is key to business growth. Don’t reinvent the wheel every time and hope for the best. Intentionally develop your processes to ensure predictable and consistent results, every time.
11. The fastest road to success is to navigate the stepping stones of failure. Problems and roadblocks are opportunities and each choice we make will result in a different outcome. Change your relationship with failure and use every mistake as an opportunity to learn and improve. Strive for progress, not perfection.
12. It takes a village. The death of the Entrepreneur is solitude. It can be a lonely and fatal journey if you try and go at it alone. Enlist a champion to be your cheerleader, get a mentor to be your sounding board, and find a wise elder to share successes, failures and nuggets of wisdom from his or her Entrepreneurial journey. Don’t walk the path alone with a blindfold on – if you want to succeed.
Your business manifesto is a super powerful tool that guides your every business decision!