February can feel like a release after a tough month. It’s not only accountants who struggle with January! You may have more time to breathe after the frantic tax returns or playing catch-up after the festive season. The second month of the year can be a good time to review whether the year has started in the way you want it to.
Did you know that this week is National Storytelling Week? The Society for Storytelling believes that ‘Stories belong to everyone’ and are asking you…
What’s your story?
Building from that, I am asking you what story will you be telling, how will you be telling your story and where will you be telling it?
Hi, I’m Anna Goodwin – Author of five books, Director, Mentor and Trainer for Anna Goodwin Accountancy.
Basically, I take the stress out of finances – both business and personal. From running my own business and helping others to run theirs, I know it’s important to know your own story and know how you have grown from your experiences.
We are all different, so our stories are unique to each of us. By being authentic and open about your own personal business story, you are more likely to engage the trust of your customers, employees and suppliers. It creates a reason for customers to buy from you. It’s important to know your story but tell it in a way that draws people in.
Choose when you will tell your story and make sure it is at the appropriate time. I know in networking events it is important to keep your story brief so that people know what you do and how you can help them but not your life story! Sometimes it may be better to let someone else speak, especially about how good you are at what you do, instead of you telling them!
When I am presenting I tell part of my story but I keep it relatively brief and make sure I illustrate it with examples so that people don’t get bored! I focus on different parts of my story depending on the audience.
The key to teling your story is knowing yourself – warts and all!
In my book, ‘Your Business Your Numbers’, I say:
“By being true to yourself you will find that running your business is easier as you’re not fighting against yourself.”
And this should be communicated in your personal story. Initially it might be that you feel some resistance when you start to look at who you are as a person but stick with it as you will find it beneficial to know yourself. People can sense when you are being authentic and they are getting to know the real you – and that breeds trust and loyalty.
So, before you start shaping your own story to tell others, it would be useful to do some work on understanding and knowing yourself.
Start by asking yourself:
- What are my strengths and weaknesses?
- Am I an ideas person?
- Am I a cautious person or happy to take risks?
- Do I thrive on a challenge or would I rather take it steady?
Also think about how you work:
- Are you happy working on your own or would you prefer to work as a team? – over the years I have come across a lot of people who start working for themselves but basically have to return to employment as they can’t cope on their own and miss the company.
- Are you a last minute kind of person or would you prefer to get things done early?
- Are you happy to delegate or do you feel that you need to be involved in everything at every stage?
I believe it’s crucial to know yourself so that you can work to your strengths and plan ahead to focus on what will suit you as a person when setting your goals. It will also help you find your voice when you are telling your own story with honesty and integrity.
So, give your story some thought – what are you putting out there about yourself? Is it clear and does it engage people or does it put people off?
Next week, I will concentrate on reviewing your business and seeing what you love about it.
Do you want to stay in control of your finances? Why not join my online group? I also offer 121 mentoring and Accountancy services. If you would like more information, get in touch or visit my website.