The boom in online services is a blessing and a curse. On one hand, we all now have so much more access to products and businesses who can help us resolve that issue we’re experiencing, fulfil the latest need we have or scratch whatever itch is niggling us. This is especially true of brands providing services to businesspeople like me and others in the language industry, whether that’s business management advice or marketing coaching.
But on the other, one of the problems with all of these names popping up promising that they can lead you through the minefield of starting up your business, explode your client base or grow your bottom line overnight is that it’s hard to know who they really are.
There are so many coaches claiming they are the best. The biggest. That they can sell you the magic formula that will guarantee business success. I saw one coach promising to teach you how to add 50 clients to your books overnight, no questions asked.
The thing that I always wonder is… how many coaches out there can all be the best? Who even defines what that is?
Yes of course I aim for excellence in everything I do. But if all my competitors can do is shout that they’re the best, what is their point of differentiation from each other?
The reality of the situation is that while there is a growing breed of coaching businesses popping up overnight promising the moon on a stick, what really makes a business stand out is having a point of differentiation. Not being a “business in a box” selling the same thing as everyone else.
In this regard I firmly believe that, as a business coach to other language professionals, honesty and authenticity are my best weapons.
Well, to succeed in business we all need to be able to create our own niche, work out which customers we can serve most effectively and understand who we can really make a difference to. And being authentic, having core values and knowing who you are is the easiest way to tread that path.
Simply put, being authentic is the best USP any entrepreneur can have.
When I run my mastermind group, I connect with professionals who are looking for one (or more) of three things:
- an accountability group
- a community of intelligent, driven, like-minded professionals
- help learning how to do something they don’t already have expertise in.
With regard to the last point, I can only make this work long term by guaranteeing help in areas where I have a wealth of knowledge and experience. I don’t pretend to be an expert on everything, and I don’t try to push advice in areas I’m not proficient myself.
My virtue is that I talk the talk, but I also walk the walk. I share the highs and lows of being a language entrepreneur. I provide candid advice based on the real-life mistakes I have made. I advise where I’ve achieved the most success.
I’m privileged that the people I work with are serious professionals who want to run a profitable and sustainable business long term coupled with the lifestyle choices which are important to them – and they’re prepared to work to get there. They aren’t looking for a quick fix or a business in a box who claims they’re the best.
They understand that by working with me, they will benefit from the fact that I’m equally honest about what I can’t offer as I am about what I can. They know who I am and what I stand for. They know that in addition to providing business support and coaching on multiple levels, I am down to earth, take a holistic approach, am pragmatic and always consider the bigger picture. And that is so important to me, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Because you can hire the best marketer or go on the best sales training course, but if you’re not authentic you’ve got nothing. And for me, knowing my business – and myself – are the real deal will always outweigh everything else.
If you’re a language professional yourself and would like to book an informal chat, then please click here.