Enthusiasm is crucial
If someone asked you to think of someone enthusiastic, you’d probably imagine Spandex-clad permed dance instructors from the 80s screaming dance instructions over electronica as they grimaced their way through perfected perspiration. If this is your vibe, totally cool – you do you. If it’s not your vibe, however, don’t let it put you off – because that sure as hell ain’t how enthusiasm looks everywhere. Being enthusiastic just requires you to be passionate about something. Whether it’s all-encompassing adoration for a cause or just sheer, unwavering determination to get the thing done, enthusiasm is crucial for small business success.
Chances are, if you’ve set up or are setting up a small business, you’re gonna be pretty damn enthusiastic already. LET’S FACE IT, YOU’RE HERE AINTCHA?! Small business is rewarding but not exactly easy, so why would you put yourself through it unless you were super enthusiastic about it? The question now is, how can you harness that enthusiasm for the benefit of your business?
Look, it’s fucking cool to be enthusiastic. Sometimes, especially when you’re younger, it can seem decidedly uncool to have passions or interests, but if you think about any business biography you’ve ever read or the life paths of your heroes and idols, they’re going to credit their success to their undying enthusiasm and relentless hard work. It you.
Find your voice
Enthusiasm doesn’t have to be all pink fluff, babes, vibes and love heart eyes/drool emojis; let your own organic enthusiasm shine through. If you’re enthusiastic about good design or slick tech, the chances are that your colour palettes will be simple but effective, and your wording quite precise and to-the-point. If it doesn’t fit your brand, don’t force your enthusiasm into flashy graphics and pink palettes and an exclamation mark every 3 words (unlike my emails, which literally look! like! that!).
Talk about your enthusiasm
We know, we know, your friends and family are probably sick to death of hearing you talk about your business. But chances are they’ll also fully support you in your business, and you never know who’ll see what and where it will then lead…SHOUT IT LOUD AND PROUD, LADIES.
a. The why
People want to know the people who make what they’re buying, the people who sell it, and why it started up. Let them know why you have such burning passion for what you do, whether it’s in your about page, on a blog post, or as part of your marketing strategy.
b. the what
Attract your ideal clients by expressing your interests or values. If veganism, the environment or a certain ethical issue is something you feel super strongly about, let the world know. Your ideal client will most likely share these values too anyway, but moreover the studies show that consumers are more likely to buy from people who they have common ground with (and who they like.) https://www.inc.com/magazine/201703/kate-rockwood/ready-to-sell.html
Showcase how you do things differently
Storytime; I used to apply to jobs with a Kitkat attached to my CV, bearing the words “take a break and read my CV.” It always got noticed, because it showed I cared enough to put in extra effort. (Also – who doesn’t love free food?). Use your enthusiasm to propel you to go the extra mile and stick in people’s minds.
A WORD OF WARNING FROM YOUR FRIENDLY NEIGHBOURHOOD NON-MEDICALLY-TRAINED ENTHUSIAST:
Get the balance right
Don’t we all dream of getting the balance right?! Enthusiasm is a great propeller but it can be confusing if you’re enthusiastic about everything. Use your enthusiasm to investigate new potential avenues for your business and new things you can do to further your world domination; but be wary of spreading yourself too thinly or burning out. There’s a fab Bryony Gordon quote about being you on full beam with the wattage turned up to 11, so don’t burn yourself out so that you can’t shine at all. Find something that helps you take control of it; meditation, exercise, baking, exploring new places…
Keep the passion alive
Doooon’t fret, this isn’t going to turn into some saucy romance column; I’m talking about business passion. Self employment is gruelling long hours, intense hard work and often a lonely endeavour, so it’s only natural that sometimes it gets a bit overwhelming. But don’t worry! Easier to say than do when you’re your only methods of paying rent, but don’t let this overwhelm you. Never stop being inspired; whether this means museums, city breaks (on the ol’ expenses tab, anyone…?) or just taking 5 to read. It all cultivates some seeds in the back of your wonderfully creative brain – and who knows what they’ll bloom into?