Starting a business, brand building and the importance of trust

Starting a business, brand building and the importance of trust

In the last couple of weeks I have been approached by a number of HR consultants starting out on their own as coaches/consultants, looking for advice, feedback and guidance on how to build a sustainable business. Giving my time for this is something I love to do given that, whilst a long time ago now, I have been in their position and was lucky enough to have some great people around me who did the same for me. Unlike them however, I had spent my entire career in sales and marketing so in some ways the prospect of starting a brand from scratch was not terrifying. But translating brand theory into practice did turn out to be the best learning and growth experience of my life when the thing you are selling is you (rather than something that comes in a bottle!).

So for anyone else thinking about it, here are my own reflections and I hope they help:

1) Seeking out others who have created what you want is definitely worth doing. Truth is though that the path to success looks different for everyone, depending on your previous experience, reputation, passion and unique talent. The essence of what you bring to the table, both in terms of what you do and how you show up is different for us all. So just copying what someone else does rarely works.

2) It takes something else I think to translate that essence into something that drives value. Requirements that are mostly to do with mindset and how you connect with people. If you hate networking, then that is something to get over and learn to love pretty quickly. Preferably well in advance of you making the move to go it alone. People buy from people. And the more you love to connect with people whether they are going to buy or not, for what you can give rather than what you can get, the better.

3) Finally I think there is the most awesome life lesson to be learnt. Being the client, especially being in a senior position within an organisation can give us the illusion of power. Take a step outside of that and you are no longer in control of timelines or decision making. You have influence of course, but you are not in control. In fact the only thing you do have control of is you (and how you approach steps 1 and 2). Something which for some of us can take a bit of getting used to 🙂 The irony is, of course, that the more you accept this simple reality and relax into not knowing what will come, and when, the easier it gets. Stress, push, get driven, frustrated (with yourself or others) and everything becomes hard work and less attractive all round for you and them.

So for me, a successful brand is in essence about trust. Something I think it is worth practicing on the inside as much on the outside.

If you would like to get in touch, share your own insights, experience and learnings I would love to hear from you…

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