Enlightened Leadership Blog | It Takes Heart | August 2021

Launching a business is an interesting, challenging growth experience. Thousands of books are available to read. Podcasts are plentiful. The internet holds a sea of information. Folks offer advice and opinions. Some want to see you succeed. Others, not so much. At the end of the day, none of that matters. A founder chooses what they find.

Company is Alive

The first step in starting a business is to believe in yourself knowing that you’ve got the confidence, humility, mindset, grit, and stamina to make a go of it. Now, fast forward. Decision to plow ahead made. Product/services outlined. Legalities complete. Company has a name. Your company is “alive”. Celebrate because you brought it to life. You’re a founder. Next, get ready for heavy lifting.

Value Lives Within

During the process, many entrepreneurs discover that we intertwine ourselves with our brand. What does this mean? This communicates that our vision, our principles, our creativity can live within our brand and enhance the value of our products or services. We blend aspects of ourselves with our business. However, to craft the right brand requires some mentally exhausting strategic thinking. Fill the coffee cup.

Support the Brand

The pillars supporting the brand are critical. In other words, how are you packaging your brand? More importantly, what does your brand communicate? If your purpose truly means something to you, then it will resonate with customers.

After countless sleepless nights filled with new ideas, 4 am brainstorms, post it notes, paper, pens all over the house, gym, and car, I learned the strong columns required to hold up a brand, along with dig deep questions to ponder, include:

  1. Tag line – what impactful, few words describe you/your brand?
  2. Mission statement – what do you set out to accomplish while providing value to customers?
  3. Brand colors – how do you want your customers to feel?
  4. Logo – which look will be cemented with the company name and brand colors?
  5. Images – which images will be associated with the brand?
  6. Website/social media – what will customers learn? See? Do?
  7. An unwavering commitment – which aspect of you will you bring to work daily?

Make a Commitment

The seventh pillar is my favorite; an authentic commitment must come from the heart of any entrepreneur. To forge ahead in this area, think about your daily life and contemplate three key questions: How are you unique? What do you offer others? What is important to you? Take your time on each one. The reveal is a commitment that reflects you. Mine flowed naturally one day before sunrise, “Be kind. Be a giver. The universe knows the difference.” When you unearth your higher purpose, you feel it. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Go ahead, build your pillars. Listen to your inner voice. Intertwine the real you with your brand. Make a commitment to not only your customers, but to yourself.

by Jennifer L. Musser