For those of us who want to run successful businesses on our own the first step that must be mastered is to “Identify your Identity” – according to Roger Hamilton.
And, as the entrepreneur behind Wealth Dynamics, Entrepreneurs Institute and GeniusU.com, and a community of over 500,000 entrepreneurs, he’s is a very good place to say this.
It is a foundation that has helped me considerably, and one I refer back to regularly.
I also refer to it when I help people develop clearer LinkedIn profiles. I work with them to identify their identity, if they are unclear.
So, what does this short phrase mean, and why does it matter?
The meaning of Identify your Identity
Identity is remarkably important. There is a lot written about ethnic, sexual and religious identity. The phrase Identity Theft has more of a financial meaning, because of the financial value of identity.
To entrepreneurs in this context it refers to our personality, skills and experience and essentially the value we can offer to others. It relates to the position in the market that we will occupy. It defines the area where we would like to become the go-to person.
It’s rather like the players in a successful football team. Each player has particular abilities, and maybe for some football is not their best match, so an alternative sport or activity is a better option for them. For those who have football related talent ideally the manager ensures they play in a position that optimises those skills. They know their position and master their fitness and skills for their role, work on set pieces and different moves, and their individual performance and consistency improves, as they raise their standards, benefiting the team.
The value when you Identify your Identity
Like players is a team sport, we as business people and professionals are delivering value to others in exchange for financial and other recompense. This can mean there is a complex set of interactions. These become less complex when our identity and role is clear, to us and to others.
Returning to the football analogy, other players know they can pass the ball to the player covering a particular position with confidence. And when that player receives the ball they know what to do with it, whether to pass it on to others in different positions, or to shoot at goal. This is so much more effective than when school children play football in the playground, where they all chase after the ball.
For independent consultants – identity is crucial as this helps attract future clients and projects around your specialisation, because you are a leader in your field.
For business owners – identity is what helps you align your strengths to those around you, as clients or delivery partners
For coaches and trainers – identity relates closely to your skill at working with multiple clients to help them achieve their goals or learn new skills.
Identity still has value for those who are business leaders who have set up companies and now have a team of people working with them. Having a solid understanding of how we each create value is beneficial for teams as well as for individuals.
The challenge to Identify your Identity
Having worked with hundreds of people to rewrite their Linkedin profiles I’ve encountered many types of challenges that have been barriers to people gaining clarity about their position quickly. In general it seems to take 2-3 years for people who leave company employment to identify a new identity, role and business model.
Some of the challenges that make it important but also difficult to Identify your Identity include:
- Fee earners and managers familiar with a company structure may not appreciate how much work is brought their way because they are part of an established team and business process. Going solo means taking on the business development, marketing and sales role, as well as delivering the fee services or products.
- Senior people, especially managers, may have become generalists, working with others who are the specialist subject matter experts. Going solo, as a consultant especially, means being incredibly clear about the value offered, and the type of client challenges and opportunities that they can tackle. And then communicating it clearly to others.
- Needs and roles are moving forward rapidly, especially at the cutting edge of business, due to the digital transformation that is storming through commercial and public sector organisations. Therefore an identity that is aligned even with the market of 5 years ago may be unappealing to today’s buyers.
- People are not taught about the need to identify their identity clearly, or how to identifying their identity, or provided with tools. As a result they may rely on common sense, conversations with peers, or re-skin what they were previously.
Unless identity is addressed well the impact may have great implications, financially, physically and emotionally.
Raising awareness of the importance of Identity
The video below, part of a structured approach to entrepreneurship by Roger Hamilton, provides a clear outline of the value of Identity, and how to go about developing it.
The pathway to Identify your Identity
If you’ve watched the video you may well want to know a little more about what the next steps available are.
One of the best ways is to start by using as online tool, as this is low cost, readily available and is an ideal catalyst for thinking through and researching options.
You can access the Wealth Dynamics test through the link on the graphic below, (which contains my affiliate link).
Helping people to develop their Identity
Once you’ve taken the Wealth Dynamics test I offer telephone reviews and action plans to help people understand the report and prepare to follow an appropriate path as a result.
If you’d like a debrief call please book via the link below. The debrief call is 50 minutes.
I will review your profile report before the call and provide follow-up guidance after the call.
The cost of a debrief call is £195
I will offset £95 if you then go on to engage me to rewrite your LinkedIn profile as a result.
The combined cost of a Profile debrief and re-positioning LinkedIn profile rewrite is £495.
I look forward to talking with you really soon and helping you become a more successful solopreneur quicker.
PS. If you’d like to know more about the 8 ways that entrepreneurs create value click here.