Staying in Your Lane & Building a Business That's So YOU!
In my reflections from last year, there's one thing that keeps popping up. It won't leave me alone, it springs to mind when I'm driving, walking the dogs, in the bath! And it's a biggie: What does staying in my own lane look like? How can I do things my way? Can I find more ease in my work and do things that best fit with my strengths, ‘zones of genius’, my special sauce, if you will? How can I make my business more ‘me’?
You know when you have a gut feeling that the outside noice is influencing the way you’re building your business? Yeah, that. And it’s hard right, there’s SO MUCH noice out there. You must be on Pinterest; You’re telling me you don’t blog weekly!?; What, you’re not on Instagram?
I was speaking to Fiona Barrows for an episode of my podcast recently and she said something that made a lot of sense; the people who are enjoying their business and thriving are doing it their own way. I couldn’t agree more.
So, what does staying in your own lane look like?
Whilst I’m hoping for one big lightbulb moment to answer this for me, I have an inkling it’s not going to happen like that. There’s going to be a lot more digging and experimentation involved but I’m looking forward to finding out what I’ll discover.
Just from a few weeks of asking myself all of the questions at the top of this post I’ve already had some ah-ha moments. I wanted to share what I’ve been doing to dig out some of those answers around what it means to stay in your own lane.
Go deeper into yourself
I’ve realised that finding your own path is about going deeper into yourself and not looking externally for the answers. As cheesy as it sounds, the answers are inside YOU, not in someone else’s YouTube video or ecourse. I’ve been unfollowing anyone on Instagram I found myself comparing my life and business to or just muting them for a bit if I didn’t want to unfollow. I’ve also been unsubscribing to any emails from people who are influencing my business ideas too much. What I found was I instantly felt clearer and had a freer headspace after doing this and it made for a good starting point for getting more clarity on my lane. A clean slate, a blank canvas.
Get started with journaling
Journaling was my next step, this is one of the most powerful ways I’ve found of tapping into my intuition. If you don’t journal or haven’t tried it before try starting some prompts, like the ones below, to get you started. I’ve also got a video on How To Get Started With Journaling if you’ve no idea how to take your first steps into journaling.
What came easily to me over the last few months in my business and life was…
The elements of my work and life that I’ve enjoyed the most over the last few months are…
The most unique things about me and my personality is…
One challenge I learned a lot form over the last few months was…
If there were no ‘rules’ or ‘shoulds’, what I’d do to build my business is…
Take a personality test or several
Sometimes we struggle to see our own strengths because they come so easily to us. It took me years to find my flourish for planning, productivity and seeing a situation and finding ways to make it more efficient/ simpler/ better. It was taking personality tests that helped me learn more about myself. A few of my faves are:
16 personalities for spitting out some suggestions on what your strengths might be to help you get started.
Gretchen Rubin’s four tendencies for learning about how you’re motivated.
Wealth dynamics – the grossest name and not free like the other two but probably the best and most ah-ha moment inducing personality test I’ve taken.
Imagine there are no examples to follow or people telling you what you should do
What if no one else was doing what you’re doing or anything similar, how would you be growing your business? If there were not other examples, if you were the first person in the world to grow a business like yours, how would you do it? Mull this one over for a bit.
I hope those questions start to spark ideas in you that you can start experimenting with over the next few weeks and months. The best and most unique thing about your business is YOU and the more you can let your magic shine the more ease you’ll find in your work and the more individual your business will be.
This post appeared first in one of my Side-Hustle Letters which I send out every fortnight packed with my seasonal musings, exercises and prompts to help you level up your side-hustle and links to resources I’ve recently enjoyed. If you’d like to join my mailing list, just sign up below.