I am my business

I am my business is not a tagline for an advert. It may be a good one. 

No, this tagline is for you. Yes, you, the businessperson. You are your business.

I want you to understand this and live by it.

If you can say “I am my business” then you are.

What is your business? What are you?

It’s time to pull the elevator pitch out of the bag.

I have written about this before so I won’t go through the details of how and why you have an elevator pitch, only to say this, if you are your business, tell me.

When I say tell me, I don’t mean bore the pants off me. Tell me all about your business.

Tell me in a few sentences why you are your business. 

2 people in an elevatorThe elevator pitch in action.

Do you own your business? No, stop. Of course, you own your business or you are starting your business. Tell a story of how you started.

In a few sentences, tell me your story. Make it interesting or I’m shutting down. I’m thinking about how to get rid of you. What am I doing tomorrow? I wonder if the kids got home alright. I’m thinking of a hundred things and nothing about what you are telling me. You boring, boring person.

bored personBoring, boring. Not the slightest bit interested.

So get my interest and get it quick and hold my attention. How ya’ gonna do that?

I tell you how you will NOT do it. By speaking in a monotone, un-enthusiastic and completely uninspiring voice

I am my business, begins with your mindset

You have heard of the adage. “Change your mind change your life”. Well, what I want you to do is change your mind when you are in the business. Say “I am my business”. Whenever you are going to sell your product or service, remember, “I am my business”. What about interviewing a candidate for a staff position? “I am my business”. 

InterviewingInterviewing a potential staff member or greeting a customer. "I am my business".

Stay the course. Say it at every opportunity. It doesn’t have to be out loud. Say it to yourself.

Recognize the situation you are about to enter and say it. Go on, say it to yourself. “I am my business”

Apart from work-life balance, this has to be the most dominating thought in your mind.

A Pearl of Wisdom

Here’s another little gem I’ll give you for nothing. I want you to write it down and memorize it.

“You are what you are and where you are by the dominating thoughts that occupy your mind”.

Got it?

Writing in a notebookThe powerful magic of writing in your notebook. Never underestimate this task.

Now write it down in your notebook. Do not type it into a computer. Get used to writing things down in longhand and see how powerful that can be. There is something magical about writing with a pen or a pencil in a notebook. Trust me. You will remember it and understand it a lot better.

If you are business, what are you? 

So, where were we? Ah yes, I am my business. We have covered the elevator pitch and touched on a bit of mindset.

Now I want you to write in your notebook in longhand with your pen or pencil, what is your business? 

If you are your business, tell me what you are. Write it as if you are writing me a letter. It doesn’t have to be a short story. Write about 500 words.

I know this sounds silly, but if you do this exercise, it’s amazing what comes from it. 

Give it some thought. 

It doesn’t have to be done in one shot. Create a draft and change it until you are happy. Keep this in your notebook and refer to it from time to time.

This is a great way for you to get a handle on “I am my business”.

How I got to be, I am my business

I remember clearly when my mentor got me to do this exercise. It was probably 2-3 years into my business. I’d been going through a slump in production mainly caused by growing pain. In reality, and in simple terms, I’d become too big for my boots.

I was suffering from delusions of grandeur. I had a one-on-one with John my mentor, and he listened. It was palpable the silence. I kept on talking till I thought I’d exhausted every issue I was dealing with. Then John asked these profound three words. “Who are you”?

It knocked me off my seat. What the…

What was he talking about? I want answers, not some quaky shrink bullshit answer. 

I am Daryl Pratt. What else do you want to know? The same question came from John. “Who are you”? By this time I’m really getting snarky. What a waste of time.

He asked me again. “Who are you”?

I attempted to put together my list of achievements in business and personal life. All the assets I’d accumulated and so on. 

Again, the question came. Finally, I asked, “What do you mean”?

By this time, I suppose nearly 30 minutes had transpired with this conversation. After what seemed an interminable pause, John spoke.

I remember it so well. Even after so many years have passed. He said, “You are your business. That is all you are, it is all you will be”. He explained I had created a solid business. I had started a family. I had significant assets. 

Intense listeningYou need to listen and listen with intent. Listen to experience.

“Daryl, you are your business. Never forget all the things you have and are going to accomplish. It is because of your business and how you conduct yourself both professionally inside and outside the business”.

What do you stand for?

He then instructed me to go away and write a letter to him stating exactly what I am, what I stand for, and what are my business values. What are my life values. What are my dreams and aspirations. Write me a letter. 

I thought at the time this was a dumb idea. 

I did it. I was instructed to keep it to 500 words. I thought 100 words would see me out. 

I wrote over 1000 words. I had to stop and revise it down. I actually posted it to John. No email in those days.

writing a letterWrite till you cannot write anymore, then review and re-write. Then make an abridged version. Then you are getting there.

We met several weeks later for a catchup and to discuss the letter. 

John pointed out I had made a good job of the task but now I need to refine it to a couple of sentences. Then memorize it. This will become your mantra, so to speak. This is what you will know as “I am my business”. When I look in the mirror every morning, I need to understand this statement, “I am my business”. 

My mantra, my slogan, “I am my business”.

As time went by, my slump subsided. I was back on the horse and great things were happening. I was more humble. I listened more. I cared for my staff and clients. I did random acts of kindness. My family noticed a difference in my attitude. I was no more too big for my boots. I was my business. I turned it all around. This became my mantra, my slogan, “I am my business”.

one on one business meetingBe humble, compassionate and listen. Remember, "I am my business", in the business or out. You are the business.


What takeaway can you get from this?

If you do the exercise by writing it all down in longhand, it will be a step in the right direction. 

Get yourself an experienced mentor to bounce issues and ideas off. 

Make yourself an elevator pitch.

You decide who and what you are. Make this the dominating thought that occupies your mind.

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Go you good thing.

Experience isn't the best teacher, experience is the only teacher.

cliff climber

Confidence comes from experience