[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]I felt a strong pull this week to speak to people on a personal level about what being in business feels like. I’m talking the good things, the bad things, the really exciting and the REALLY freaking nerve wrecking things.
When I started Berman Media PD, Inc. back in 2014 I was completely uncertain about what was going to be the outcome of this venture of mine. I felt confident because my mentor who was helping me along the way was very successful and very hands on when it came to making sure I was too. I would say it was a very easy beginning in the sense that the most stressful thing I had to worry about was getting a business license from the city in order for me to run my business out of my apartment. Really very little stress and just a lot of excitement.
Fast forward to June of 2015 and the “stress” of running a business on my own became very apparent. I had since bought out my mentor on the pages I was running, and therefore had to be in charge of everything while he took a ghost roll in the background. I was petrified. There was so much that I already was really good at, felt confident in doing and did on a daily basis without any question as to my ability to do so. However, when my mentor set me completely free to do things and run things I felt like I was destined to fail and wasn’t going to be able to do it without him.
I spent the next 6 months feeling like this. Non-stop. Every week I thought, “this is the week that all the money coming in is just going to stop because I am for sure going to mess this up.” These feeling came and went in waves over the next several years and have since come back in droves simply because I have spent almost the last year working on expanding what Berman Media Pd, Inc. does. There is so much uncertainty and anxiety in that.
I think that there are several things that can help anyone who is facing this FEAR that comes along with owning your own business, running your own business or in my case doing that all while also trying to expand it…..by yourself.
Be Open to criticism: Don’t see it as someone being mean
One of the best things I ever did for myself in the process of expanding my business was being open to criticism. If I am honest I used to see it as a negative. I used to (and am still guilty of it on occasion) get very defensive and closed off to anything that anyone had to say to me about how I could or should be doing things. I thought it was some kind of an attack on how I was doing things and that it was a bash on the success that I was having.
This was totally the wrong way to look at things.
Criticism is now one of the things I honestly welcome the most. Being successful in owning your own business takes a village, even if you are the only one working for the company. Because I work so heavily with social media , specifically Instagram, I get a lot of feedback from others on the platform, which includes completely random strangers. A lot of the times I look someone up that reaches out to me with advice, check their website, email them directly with questions, or simply research what it is they are telling me is the way to do things. Sometimes they check out, and sometimes they don’t.
Example: Just the other day I had my realtor client reach out to me about some feedback he had been getting in regards to his Instagram page from other realtors, friends, other business owners and even his wife. They were valid concerns considering dealing with a Realtor is very different than running a page like my business page (@bermanmediasocial). Initially I was frustrated thinking that people who knew nothing about Instagram were trying to tell me something to fix, but instead of letting the frustration ruin my day I instead did a bunch of research on the exact topic. Read several blog articles, looked up “top realtors” on Instagram to see what they were doing differently, and then I came back to my client with what I think we could do better.
Criticism if you welcome it can actually lead you to some big, and GOOD, revelations about your business.
Think about being unique, but value driven
I used to think that being unique meant that I had to be completely different than anyone else in the market in order to stand out and be successful. This is SO untrue.
Being unique can come in many different forms, including something as simple as how you respond to other people in comments or how you present your business on your social handles. I have ultimately come to the realization that being unique for me involves focusing my efforts on being and having a “value-driven” mentality.
My goal with every single post on any social channel is to deliver content that resonates with people. Even if I can connect with and help ONE person, I feel like I have done what I set out to do. Every client, every follower and every person that sees my content should be up-lifted, motivated and feel empowered to tackle their life on Instagram.
Speaking with authenticity is worth more than anything
The number one word that you should ALWAYS think about when running a business or starting a business is to focus on authenticity. When it comes to social media especially, we don’t have the chance in 99% of cases to actually meet the potential customer or client in real life, therefore they are relying simply on what we have presented to them online.
When it comes to Instagram specifically I tell everyone to NEVER buy comments, followers, or do the bots as they call them.
Because the first thing lost when doing any or all of the above is your credibility and authenticity. If you are buying comments it is not you! It is not your voice and in most cases you automated comment will have little to nothing to do with what the post actually was. Personally I just find it annoying when I see these kinds of comments on my own content from people.
Take the time and the effort to be authentic because it will go SO far when it comes to bringing in new clients and retaining them for your business.
In review I think that running your own business is an amazing thing. It is empowering, liberating and freeing. I LOVE that I don’t work 9-5 in a cubicle in a high rise building. I love my flexibility and while it is inspiring, it doesn’t come without scary parts. I have focused on being open to criticism, creating high value content, and being authentic in my communication with potential clients. In doing so many of the fears that I have simply become things that I know how to address without the anxiety that used to be attached to them.
You can too!
Related article: Do I Need an Entrepreneurship Degree to be a Good Entrepreneur?