I am a butterfly. I’ve always been a butterfly.
But I didn’t really acknowledge and appreciate my butterfly-ness, and lean into it and make the most of it, until something else helped me with that and shone a spotlight on it.
Let’s go back a little bit…
After a 20+ year career in marketing, I started my business in 2015 as a social media manager, running other people’s Facebook and Twitter accounts for their businesses.
Turns out that wasn’t exactly what my audience wanted – but that’s another story…
The other side is, that wasn’t what I wanted either. I wasn’t happy doing that all day long, focusing on social media and working in-depth with just a small number of clients.
Now, I can’t remember how I found it, but thank whatever-makes-the-world-work that I did. I found the Authentic Happiness website, and there I found the doorway, the light, the revelation that I needed.
A little bit about them, and why they’re so awesome
The Authentic Happiness website was created by the University of Pennsylvania Positive Psychology Center.
In their words, Positive Psychology is ‘the scientific study of the strengths and virtues that enable individuals and communities to thrive. This field is founded on the belief that people want to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives, to cultivate what is best within themselves, and to enhance their experiences of work, love and play.’
Pretty awesome, huh?!
All the resources on that website are free – there’s LOADS, and it’s really interesting. I warn you – do not click the link if you have something important to do today!
Anyway, I did one of their questionnaires – the VIA Survey of Character Strengths. There’s 240 questions, so I was pretty confident that the results would be worth considering – and OMGOSH were they!
The top result, my #1 strength was curiosity and interest – ‘you find all subjects and topics fascinating’. YES! I knew wasn’t happy just focusing on social media!
Here’s the butterfly bit
And then I remembered.
Back in nineteen-ninety-something, my General Studies college tutor, Clive said ‘You’re like me. A butterfly. Going from flower to flower, a little bit of this, a little bit of that…’
OH NY GOODNESS! It was there all along, I just didn’t realise.
The Character Strengths questionnaire results continued: you like thinking of new ways to do things, you excel at leadership, you love learning new things, and you enjoy doing good things for others.
OK, how to make use of all that?
So I decided that my business would show people all the things I’ve learned and continue to learn, with my energy and enthusiasm at the heart of it, and my own way of presenting things and doing things – YAY!
And that’s what you see today.
Yes, marketing is THE THING – but there’s so many aspects to it there’s plenty to keep me interested, and there’s always something new to learn. Then I work out my own way of sharing that with others, and share it online so I can work with loads of different people.
Going from flower to flower – from topic to topic, from client to client.
I LOVE IT. I am so much happier, you wouldn’t believe. I absolutely LOVE my business.
So if you’re not entirely happy with what you’re doing, think – what specifically is it that you’d love to change?
There’s 3 aspects to how your business works – what you offer (the subject), how you offer it (the service), and what that looks/sounds/feels like (the brand identity). Are you happy with all 3? Just one? None?
Now, I know – I’ve said before that it’s all about your audience.
But if you’re not happy with what you’re doing, you’re going nowhere. You can’t serve your audience properly if your heart isn’t in it. You’ll be miserable and they’ll go elsewhere.
So it’s a combination. Find out what people really want, then find the best way to offer that, that works for you.
Are you truly, 100% happy with what your business offers, how you offer it, and what that looks/sounds/feels like?
If you are, AWESOME! That’s fantastic.
But if you’re like, eh, it could be better but I don’t know what to do differently or how to change it – think.
Properly take time to sit down and think about what you enjoy, what’s working, and what doesn’t line up for you.
Dream the possible dream
Perhaps you’re a solicitor and you’d rather not be in the office dealing with client cases any more. What else could you do? You could create template documents people can pay to download – from letters that appeal a parking charge to booking T&Cs. And they could pay extra to fill in a form and have the template tweaked to their exact needs.
Or maybe you love what you do, but you’ve felt a need to ‘play a part’ and act like you feel others expect. Maybe you’re an accountant who feels they should always turn up in a suit, but you’re much more comfortable in jeans and trainers? I know a woman who styles herself ‘The Barefoot Accountant’. She sounds like my kind of person!
Get a cup of tea, sit, and consider – am I truly happy with what my business offers, how I offer it, and what that looks/sounds/feels like?
If things could be better, what? What could you change? What would you love to change?
In an absolutely ideal fantasy-land world, what would your business be? Now, how realistic is that? How close can you get to it?
You might completely change – say, go from being a professional declutterer to running a pottery studio. I know someone who did exactly that, and OH MY GOODNESS is she happy!
Give me a shout if you’d like some help, or post in the Small Business Support group, or do one of the Authentic Happiness questionnaires – I told you, they can transform your life! I should know, I’m a butterfly…