Brand VS. Business - What's the Difference?
Correct me if I’m wrong, but chances are that you don’t like when your creative entrepreneurial passion feels like an impersonal transaction between you and some clients. When we invest so much of our heart and soul into whatever it is that we choose to put out in the world, we can find ourselves taken aback when it doesn’t feel as though it’s being received as such.
So what are you doing wrong?
Why is everything feeling sticky and impersonal?
Why does it feel like you just aren’t connecting with your clients?
Operating as a business can work in some scenarios, and in fact, it can even sustain itself for many many years, but a business isn’t what keeps people coming back for more. A business isn’t what people want to engage with, or follow, or learn from, or work alongside of. When it comes to really pushing things to the next level and connecting with whoever is on the other end of your products, services, or anything in between, you need to be operating as a brand--as a real person with an intentional message or belief or value that connects with others far beyond a simple materialistic transaction.
Let me first just clarify something here before we get too deep into this. Sometimes, the word brand can too sound a little impersonal and business-like as well, when in reality, what I want you to think of when I use the word “brand” in this context is yourself. All that you are, all that you believe, and all that you have to offer this world, as a human being, is your own personal brand. That is you.
“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it” - Simon Sinek
I believe that how much you sell or how much you make isn’t the foundation of a successful brand but rather a byproduct. Having a successful brand means that you are connecting with other human beings beyond the realm of whatever service or product that you’re offering and you are breathing meaning into a space in their lives. When people resonate with who you are compounded onto why you do whatever it is that you’re doing, people will buy whatever you’re selling at whatever the cost; because at the end of the day, much like your sales figures, the quality of what you have to offer is another byproduct of how you make others feel.
And what do humans crave more on this Earth than simply knowing that they are not alone on their journey and that they are being seen for who they really are. Unapologetically living your own life and showing up as the truest version of yourself is the quickest and purest way in which two people can connect on a deeper-than-surface level.
Businesses are fueled by growth; they are propelled by the desire for more; to make more, to be more, to grow more, to show up in a way in which they feel as though they are more than everyone else.
Take a second and think about how you’re operating right now, or how you’ve operated in the past...are you constantly hungry for more and chasing after the empty promises that things like huge instagram followings, or in-authentic jargon and captions, or an unhealthy need for publishing is going to give you the connection that you’re craving? Alternatively, are you choosing to show up each and every day--regardless of the numbers and the followers--as the truest version of yourself, and using who you are to connect and share with those in your life? When it comes to human connection, vulnerability breeds connectivity, and I truly believe that that mantra transcends far beyond connection and seeps into all things business as well; because how can we live our own truths as a business owner if the two worlds aren’t intertwined?
Putting pieces of ourselves into all that we do can be hard.
Sharing the real, raw, honest truths of your own journey can feel unfamiliar, especially in the realm of being a business owner, but if there’s one really important thing that I’ve learned as a business owner over the last six years, is that it is because of my own story--not in spite of it--that I’ve been able to connect and sustain relationships far beyond the confines of what simple owning a transactional business would have allowed.
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