There are 45 posts on tonyseel.com about starting an online business. When I talk about the 3 things you need to succeed with an online business, I usually talk about the normal components of an online business like a website, email list, and a blog as part of your website.
Today, we’re going to take a step back from that. Today, let’s start with clarity. The first part of the clarity that is essential for your business must be about who you are.
1. Who Are You
Success with your personal online business starts with the question, who are you? Start with the easy questions that will help you answer that more global question – your age, gender, education, experience, skills, interests, and location. With an internet business, location is less important, but it’s part of what defines who you are. Go a little deeper and think about your values. What’s really important to you. What are your non-negotiables, those values that you will absolutely not violate?
Next, what are you passionate about? To paraphrase writer Jeff Goins, what the one thing that you can’t not do?
You see, I can tell you what I’ve told many others, that the most profitable niches online and elsewhere for personal businesses are generally in the areas of health, wealth, and relationships. But, if the person you are doesn’t fit any of the niches in those categories, you can still be successful. In fact, if your clear on who you are and what you have to offer to the world, you can by highly successful.
So, dig into who you are. Think through this. Reflect. Cogitate. Don’t rush. Take your time answering this basic identity question: who are you?
Next, ask yourself the fear questions like, what’s holding you back? What is keeping you from enjoying the success that you were intended to enjoy? I believe that every one of us was put on this earth for a reason. Every one of us has a purpose for life. Once you’re clear on what that purpose it, you can work toward defining your life mission, vision, and the values that you bring into business. This all feeds into clarity about what you are best suited to do in business.
That’s all #1, and we’ll put it all under the heading of personal identity.
2. Finding Your Voice
Once you have clarity on who you are and what you are called to do, it’s time to tell the world what you have to offer. Your voice is unique to who you are. It comes from your family, friends, neighbors, schools, and all your life experiences. It comes from your education, work, skills, and interests. Your voice expresses your personality and your message. It is all about the unique you and how the unique you communicates to others. Your voice is you – your personality and message. It’s what you bring to this world that is of value to others.
3. Talent Stacking
#3 is what Dilbert creator Scott Adams calls “talent stacking.” Put a list together of all that you’re good at. Include not only what you’re good at doing at work, but also from your family time, recreation, hobbies, church, and other community involvement. What do you do well? What do you really enjoy doing?
Scott Adams worked for Pacific Bell as a financial analyst, among other things. It wasn’t what he wanted to do for the rest of his life, so he did a personal inventory. Scott says, “When you add in my ordinary business skills, my strong work ethic, my risk tolerance, and my reasonably good sense of humor, I’m fairly unique. And in this case, that uniqueness has commercial value.”
He didn’t mention anything about his cartooning skill, but he was able to take that skill and his unique personhood, create a comic strip in 1989, and the rest is a part of our cultural history. Today, Dilbert is published in over 2,000 newspapers in 57 countries and in 19 languages.
What commercial value does your uniqueness offer to you?
So, your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is get absolute clarity on your personal identity, find your voice, and do a personal inventory of your talent stack. All this adds up to what some call your “defining difference.” Find it and you’re well on your way to business success!
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