Updated: Feb 23, 2022
Differentiate. Find your niche. Be the most arrogant person in the room. I've received a lot of advice as an entrepreneur and solo human resources and talent development consultant since opening my practice in 2019. With the advice, both solicited and unsolicited, fueling me, I found myself personally conflicted. I started to follow the advice, all of it, some of the time and most of it, all of the time. Then, something hit me.
Overnight, I received clarity and am following my own advice, which I am willing to share.
You see, all of the advice and thoughts about being a small business owner were provided by some amazingly talented experts and those who run successful businesses. Most of the advice was shared with good intentions and I was open to receiving all of it. Once I started applying it, particularly when I found myself in conversations with others comparing what I do to individuals claiming to be in a similar space, I ended up frustrated.
I was spending my time and mental energy trying to explain my services to others or explaining what makes me unique, listing my qualifications and credentials, and just overall working hard at building my business and finding more clients. I found myself in conflict with myself and just the mention of a competitor's name left me stressed and overwhelmed.
Then, something happened, almost overnight, yet quietly whispering to me all along, perhaps a prompt from God or divine intervention. Those happen in business, right?
I had enough of the differentiating, specializing, competing, and explaining, and I opened up my hands and my heart. That's right, I decided when I found myself in conflict with myself or others, trying to apply the advice, or questioning it, I opened my hands--literally and figuratively. I realized there are many pieces to an infinite pie and we do not have to compete for the pieces.
Yes, I made an untested and unscientific decision you will not find in any guru's course, business book, or best practice publication--ever! I opened my hands to receive work, serve others, and be open to opportunities and partnerships. Almost overnight, I received requests for services and proposals for projects, most unsolicited and none expected. Coincidental, perhaps, yet I am not turning back.
For me, this shift in thinking and the simple act of physically and mentally opening my hands, my heart, and my business to opportunities has been a blessing. It has led me to new partnerships and projects, because I have been willing to explore, engage, and connect.
I am leading with my heart and my head, and I cannot wait to see where my open hands commitment takes me and my business next. Opening my hands has been my best business advice, ever.