Last week I devoured Pia Silva’s book, Badass Your Brand and I can’t stop talking about it. I am encouraging my team and my clients to take a look at it too - because it represents a major shift in the way we think about service-based industries. With a major shift towards more professionals taking our businesses out of corporate offices and to more freelance-style work, there can be a “lost boys” kind of mentality.
We seem to do one of two things when we shift from working for “the man” to being self-employed.
1. We copy a corporate world style approach - Pia calls this “Me Too” Brands
Trying to be like our former employers, we wine and dine clients. We submit proposals, we bid for work, we spend beyond our means. This is an expensive way to operate and a challenging way to compete on the corporate landscape.
2. We sell ourselves short.
This is clear in Pia’s story of her original mindset, in her case studies, and also when I look at my portfolio of clients and the mindset shifts we’ve been able to achieve it is so clear to me. Many of us, when we go on our own, underprice and either under or overdeliver. We lack confidence or we have a broken money mindset… This can be solved through branding.
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What does it mean to have a badass brand?
Pia approached her mindset shift knowing there was a lot of competition in her industry and they needed to change the way they were approaching business. Instead of running the race with other brand-building companies, they got off the racetrack and started to parkor (my interpretation…) through the business landscape. I honestly feel that no matter how many of you read this book you will get a different takeaway.
For me some of the major learnings were:
1. They started to work within their means.
Having employees is one of the biggest expenses in the business. With a nimble team of two, herself and her husband, they could achieve more financial freedom. In our own team we have decided to control our growth over this last year - keeping our team lean and changing up the way we work. I was caught up in trying to be like the agency I worked for prior to going on my own and quickly learned that this was not working. Reading Pia’s approach really solidified this for me. Jena and I can get a lot more accomplished when we work symbiotically as extensions of each other, instead of trying to manage an entire team. I loved Pia’s approach here and how her husband and her were able to nail down what they are best at.
2. They “took their own medicine”
Pia and her husband put themselves through their branding process and came out better for it on the other side - taking it further than they ever could otherwise. Have you taken yourself through your own process?
SIDEBAR: Having clear processes in place will save you time, money, and help you draw boundaries! What's more, they'll help you delight your clients by clearly outlining what it looks like to work with you. WE LOVE solid processes.
3. They changed the way they pitched.
Her winning formula includes an introductory product, and then one major product. When you simplify your offerings it will allow you to become the expert in your field instead of simply a service provider. You will draw clear boundaries, stop selling yourself short, and start making a deep impact.
4. Her division of time.
Only 50% of your time should be spent on your business, 25% on learning and growing your business and personal projects, and 25% on whatever you want! I love this model and have been trying my best to implement (not good at rules...) and am encouraging my kids to do the same. Some school, some self-development, some play!
Stop looking to your left or right. If you do, you will develop a limited mindset that will keep you from moving forward. You have moxie, kid. Go out there and use it.
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