Today it is Clara Wilcox who is blogger #7 in the Your Biz Your Way Blogfest 2018. Clara is a new friend I’ve made during this process. How cool is that? Here she is in her own words:
Let’s be clear. Confidence is something that grows. You aren’t born with it. It comes from attempting new things and seeing what happens. Developing your self-belief and repeating what works, and learning from what doesn’t.
How did I know I was confident enough to run a business, my way?
When I decided to start The Balance Collective, it wasn’t because I had high levels of business confidence; it was because I had tried to find someone to support me when I returned to work, and I couldn’t find anyone that offered what I needed. So I made the decision to start. It sounds so simple now, just starting. Truth be told I procrastinated for A LONG TIME.
It wasn’t a long-standing ambition to become an entrepreneur. To this day I am not 100% sure I deserve that title. When I think of entrepreneurs I think of idea generation, innovators who are always considering the next step, the next buck, the next option. I just want to do what I do, well, when I want to do it.
How does my business confidence show up?
I’m very principled. Possibly to my detriment, but I know what is important to me; I wear my values like a badge of honour! This precedes my business; when I was employed I made sure that the organisations I worked for cared about equality, social justice was community minded and not purely money driven.
This continues with my business now. As a social entrepreneur (there is that word again) I make sure I protect some of my time to volunteer my services to the most vulnerable parents that need to get back to work. The blog is not a marketing tool; it is purposely written as a handbook to help people help themselves. And it works too.
How to find your business voice
This to me is the key to doing business my way. I will show up to a networking event in my Converse trainers; as what I wear doesn’t impact my abilities. My measures of success are not just numbers on a page (although we all deserve to be paid well for the work we do). It is the ability to say “NO” to things that don’t work with the school run. To able to say “Yes” to things because they interest me, without having to wonder if they are “on brand”. I AM my brand, and if they feel right to me, then they are a YES.
What that means for 2018 is I am working on a children’s book, writing for other websites, creating workshops, volunteering, coaching, and mentoring; all while my next generation are at school.
My clients tell me that how I run my business gives them the power to create a work-life balance that works for them. From the out of office that states that I AM NOT AVAILABLE AT THE WEEKENDS to being honest about how much I mither, I hope that doing my business my way helps others do the same. I may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but wouldn’t the world be a very boring place we were all the same!
This blog was written in response to the wonderful Judith Morgan’s call to uncover the range of business styles through her blogfest, supporting her new book Your Biz Your Way. Find out more by reading all the blogs here.
What a woman after my own heart! We hardly know one another yet but we already have so much in common. You know that thought you open with – about attempting things and seeing what happens – is what I write in the blurb on the back of my book, we are going to learn this by doing it. And you probably also know too that I do all my work and go to every meeting in a pair of sparkly silver or pink Converse trainers!
I agree with your definition of entrepreneur but I find it makes a good collective noun anyway for those of us who are engaged in work of this nature, whatever it is. And I don’t think you can go wrong following your principles and values and, again, they aren’t about our work per se, they are about us and the version of ourselves we bring to our work. Well done for continuing to lead the way in this, I think you are slightly ahead of the curve in recognising that while perhaps you and I couldn’t do it any other way, our clients crave it too whether or not they know it yet.
Saying no, steering by what feels right, boundaries, honesty… you are very wise, and so you can relax and trust yourself because you’ve got this! Thanks so much for joining in and helping with the Blogfest. I am immediately proceeding to spread word of you far and wide.