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You Are Your Business: Who are you?

By November 3, 2014Branding, Business, Resources
Your are your business, who are you cover image.

You Are Your Business: Who are you?

One of the greatest lessons we’ve learned as we’ve started our own small business is that YOU ARE YOUR BUSINESS. So, who are you? Your business is a direct reflection of what you choose and what you don’t choose. These specific distinctions that define who you are and what you stand for are your business’s purpose; your vision and your mission.I find that these questions are often difficult for people to put into words. We as small business owners have so many crazy thoughts, ideas, questions, and dreams, that it can easily feel overwhelming and

I find that these questions are often difficult for people to put into words. We as small business owners have so many crazy thoughts, ideas, questions, and dreams, that it can easily feel overwhelming and lacking of any productive direction.

By defining your purpose, you provide the creative clarity and confidence that you need to be successful and move forward in a clear direction.

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Think hard about your WHO, WHAT, WHY, and HOW. The answers might come quickly for some people, and for others, they will be more difficult. But it is all about your personal process. These aren’t supposed to be easy questions. To quote the brilliant blog ninja, Regina, 

“If it was easy, it would be an insult to your creativity.”

These will take time, wine, trial, and error. So get cozy, creative, and contemplative as you explore and discover the golden nuggets of awesomeness that make you, you. Let’s begin:

 

1. WHO:

You are your business, but who is your business for? Who is your audience? Who are you trying to help? Who do you hope to influence through your products or services? This should be a specific person or group of people who are all connected through a common goal or purpose?

 


2. WHAT:

What do you aim to do? What is your purpose? What do you focus on? What are you trying to accomplish with your business? This should be specific, and targeted directly to the individuals of your “who”.

 


3. HOW:

How do you do what you do? How do you accomplish your what? How do you deliver your products and services to your who? Think action words, verbs. Physical and mental actions. Think of as many as you can and then go back through each one and select the ones that best complement your what.

 


4. WHY:

Probably self-explanatory, but also one of the most important questions of all. Why do you do what you do? Why is this important? Why is it important to you, but most importantly why is it important to your clients?  And why should people trust you to help them?

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FREE RESOURCE!

Download this FREE worksheet and start exploring the specific elements that make you, you. Print it out, or copy and paste it into your favorite word processor and use it to help you define your business purpose; Who are you? What do you do? And why it’s important? 

Who Are You Brand Identity Worksheet by Whiskey and Red

Finally, tie them all together. Look at each answer and see how it relates to the others. Visualize the story that they tell through their answers.  This will be the you that your audience will identify with through your brand and business.

Write them down, say them out loud, and say them often. The more you say it, the easier it gets to say. The easier it gets to say, the easier it gets to hear. The easier it is to hear, the easier it is to believe. And when you believe in yourself, so will your clients.

Keep these questions accessible and refer to them often. Update them as you and your business grows and expands. And above all, believe in you. You are your business.

If you find this worksheet helpful, please share with friend and family who might find clarity in it as well.

See you in the comments!

 

Sincerely,

Julie and Steve

SO, HOW CAN WE HELP YOU BUILD YOUR BRAND?


PHOTO CREDIT: © Dollar Photo Club

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Julie Harris

About Julie Harris

Julie Harris is the founder and lead designer of Whiskey & Red. Based out of Woodland Park, Colorado, Whiskey & Red specializes in small business branding and WordPress website design. They collaborate with small business owners, at all levels of industry, helping them translate their offline business into an online digital experience.

27 Comments

  • Regina says:

    Julie, this is such a valuable concept you’re presenting–and so true. We are our businesses, our businesses are us.

    I love that you had such a creative childhood and young years; I feel like I “get” you even more now. Thank you for putting this wonderful post together, and that worksheet is ultra beautiful. Love it. And, I really appreciate that you mentioned my quote. Thank you.

    I can already tell that this is going to be one of my favorite (and most beautiful) blogs to check in on. Yay. You’ve done an excellent job with your design and content. I can’t wait to devour more and more.

    • Awww thank you so much, Regina! I know I’ve said this many times before, but you have been such a huge mentor and friend to me through this process. I am so happy you enjoyed this post. Reading your content always stirs new thoughts in my head that I am super excited to share here in the near future.

      Your quote, “If it was easy, it would be an insult to your creativity” is one of my favorites! Reading that the first time lit a fire in me to make a point to always feed off the frustration and difficulties that are presented to creatives like us, and use it as motivation and reassurance that I am on the right track. If it was easy everyone would do it.

      Thank you again for all your kind words and amazing support! I have so much more fun surprises I can’t wait to share, so stay tuned!

  • Erika Madden says:

    Love this post, Julie! I also really adore what you said here: “These will take time, wine, trial and error.” 😀 That is soooo true. We often start out with one thing..and over time discover that we need to shift. But having a good foundation to launch from really does make the difference between growing success and standing still.

    • Thanks, Erika! 🙂 I know I have personally spent a great deal of time, trial, error, and of course wine, as I have explored the answers to these questions for myself. And almost every time I go through them, I discover something new that I’ve never explored before. This foundation is more than just a starting point, but a consistent backbone for our business to continuously build strength from as we grow.

  • Peace Julie. This post is awesome and focuses on the very core of any leader, even the hidden one who ignore themselves.

    Believe it or not, this makes sense to me, trying to help emcees I work with on tracks getting exposure they deserve with my radioshow, and doing it smarter in this game thanks my Cool Tips online.

    Keep shining for real !

    • Thank you! I’m so glad you enjoyed this post and found it so relevant for yourself and the musicians you help in your business. I completely believe that these core concepts are important in all facets of life, especially when you are pursuing your passions, professionally or personally. Understanding where you come from and why you’re here is essential to understanding where you want to go and how you want to get there. I love that you are out there helping other entertainers better express their art and find their audience. Music is a huge part of my history. Thank you for all you’re doing for the industry.

  • Marianne says:

    Wow Julie, I think it was serendipitous that I just happened to read this today. I am writing my ebook and this is the first chapter in it because I think it’s the most important piece before you can start identifying any part of your design.

    I am definitely linking to this from my chapter for your worksheet, brilliant! And it’s gorgeous too btw. 🙂

    • Thank you so much, Marianne! I’m super excited you had a chance to stop by, and I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I completely agree with you too; to me, this should always be one of the first considerations when starting a business – understanding who you are, what you stand for and how that translates into your business and brand. It really makes all the other design and development questions so much easier to answer and brings a stronger sense of creative clarity to your professional goals.

      I would be honored to be included in anything you share. Thank you so much for including me. I absolutely love your site and your #DYOB Blog Tour has been awesome! So many brilliant creative people all working together to make the web a more beautiful and valuable place to engage. I can’t wait to hear more about the ebook you’re working on, too! So exciting 🙂

  • Marianne says:

    So glad you have enjoyed the tour! Ill admit I regret not asking you to be part of it after finally looking through here. :/ sorry I took so long to do so. But there will be more!

    • No worries! Im just so happy you discovered my little creative corner of the web 🙂 I don’t plan on going anywhere. Next blog tour – I am so on board! Until then I am throughly enjoying all of the amazing content from all the designers and creativepreneurs you’ve brought together.

      For anyone reading these comments who doesn’t know what we’re talking about, check out the #DYOB 2014 Blog Tour here: http://bit.ly/1Gf458J

  • Marta says:

    Wanted to say thank you! I started a new blog this summer and have had the hardest time of taking my main message and creating a core set of blogging topics. But that simple question “You are your business : Who Are You?” and your words below the flood gates seemed to open.

    That is what I was struggling with, not being me or at least not being a complete me and it just didn’t feel right. After reading your post I wrote down the topics I wanted to write about and that would tie into my central theme and it felt great. Ran it by some fellow students in a class I’m taking and got all positive remarks and comments. It was great!!

    Thank you 🙂

    • Aww Marta! You just made my day! I am so so happy you found it so helpful and that it helped you get to that “ah-ha” moment, bringing with it a creative clarity, so you could convey your own message.

      I was in the same place you seem to be not too long ago. I felt like I was on the right path but for some reason, little pieces just weren’t fitting quite right, and it just wasn’t me. But these simple, yet vital, questions really helped clarify so many others that follow, and helped bring out the real me in my business.

      I’m so glad you have a supportive circle of peers you can run your ideas by. Sometimes just sharing your thoughts out loud with others helps the ideas flow. Never hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns you may have, or to just get a second set of eyes on something you’re working on 🙂 That’s what I’m here for.

      Thank you!

  • Olivia says:

    This is such wonderful advice, Julie! I feel like these concepts can also apply to bloggers. Thank you for sharing these tips — I’ll definitely be bookmarking them for future reference!

    • Thank you so much, Olivia! I completely agree with you, these concepts are universal whether you are a blogger, business owner, writer, designer, teacher… When I say “business” I mean all creative entrepreneurs out there creating their legacy in their own way. I genuinely believe that blogging is a business in its self. The most important element, no matter your profession, is to always be fearlessly authentic in everything you invest yourself into.

  • Becca says:

    These are great things to think about! I have dreams about one day starting a business online, and I’ve heard it said before that working online allows for innovation and creativity, but it’s not easy! Thanks for your inspiration.

    • Thank you, Becca! I really love your blog and totally believe that you are capable of achieving your dream to one day start your own business. To me, blogging is a business in its self and the opportunities it presents for personal and professional growth are really incredible. Starting a business is never easy. But again, to quote the brilliant Regina, “if it were easy, it would be an insult to your creativity.” Working online allows you the opportunity to reach people and places you might not otherwise reach. I am so truly thankful for the people I’ve met online through blogging and social media that I have come to consider as real friends, online and offline. But I always make a point to unplug from my beloved technology and enjoy the world around me. That’s where the majority of my real innovation and creativity come from 🙂

  • Mindi says:

    Your site is lovely, Julie! Clearly, you’re a talented designer and savvy businesswoman!

  • […] week we talked about the importance of knowing who you are and what you stand for because you are your business. Above all, it is critical to understand your who, what, how and why. […]

  • […] started off this series discussing the importance of knowing who you are and what you stand for in your business, and then moved into discussing how to apply those unique qualities that make you you, into your […]

  • […] those of you who have started this series from day one, together we’ve explored who we are in our business, applied those unique discoveries into our businesses’ brand, and then worked on developing an […]

  • […] a domain name is to identify your audience and your brand. I highly recommend Julie Harris’ post You Are Your Business: Who Are You? and downloading her free […]

  • Holly says:

    Hi Julie! Thank you so much for this post. It’s going to be so helpful for me right now. I’ve just recently started a personal/career blog and reading this post has shown me that I can do a lot better in my focus.

    ~Holly

    • Julie Harris says:

      Thank you, Holly, for taking the time to stop by and check out this post. Defining who we are and what we stand for in our brands is truly the key to clarity and confidence as we move forward and grow. Even if we don’t have everything figured out yet, knowing who we are helps with all the other questions that come up from branding, to blogging, and even to product development. I am so glad you enjoyed this post. Good luck with your new blog!

  • Julie,

    This website is beautifully designed, fresh, and welcoming. I am not one who usually replies, but this was necessary. I am the Social Media Manger for the small company, Uploma, and though I’ve been at it for almost a year, I’m still a rookie in the business world. I have hope that your words will inspire in visual ways through the company I work for, and I would love any extra advice you or anyone else has to give. I’m all ears [and eyes].

    Celina

    • Julie Harris says:

      Hello Celina, Thank you so much for your kind words on my website. I am so thrilled you stumbled into my blog. Definitely get nosey and look around. Also, check out my free resources page (resources in my menu) and take advantage of some of the free printables I have there for business branding and development. And of course, never hesitate to reach out and ask questions. I am always here to help.

  • Sandy says:

    Thank you ! This post is very helpfull and inspriring. I will nose auround your blog (which looks great) as soon as I finished this comment.
    Au revoir !

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