We can’t do it all ourselves. + Case Study: Anne Caulfield, ElevateEdge

We can’t do it all ourselves. + Case Study: Anne Caulfield, ElevateEdge

Aug 2, 2018 | Personal branding

…”If a business fails and it’s not in your name, no one needs to know. If your business fails and you’ve put your name to it, everyone knows. If your business fails and you’ve put your name and your face to it, everywhere you go, people will know who you are…”

This was a conversation with a client recently, that had been her fear. Almost 3 decades in business, this powerful, intelligent, savvy woman has realised that she’s been getting in her own way, holding herself and her business back. She’d been hiding, but she’s ready to stop. She now knows that by putting her name and her face to her business, it is far less likely to fail. Not simply because it’s got a human in front of it, but because she is now taking ownership of her power, acknowledging her gifts and energy as unique to her and despite her fears, putting everything into taking her brand, and her business, to the next level.

These are the fears so many of my clients express. They’re also my fears, as I plan my own branding shoot , I sit here with irrational thoughts running through my mind (What if I don’t look good? What if people judge me? What if my brand isn’t strong enough yet? Why have I never felt so bad about my body in all my life? What if my wardrobe isn’t ‘me’ enough?…) To each of those questions I can counter with a strong and rational statement, but I have to own that vulnerability and work it out so that I can take my brand to the next level.

Visibility is hard! You open yourself up to judgement from others and from self. But the flip side is that in facing those fears your visibility will create instant impact. Becoming visible in your brand lets you project your authority, show up with integrity and own your power. And all of that creates success, (and because you’re in business for yourself, you get to define what that success really is!)

We can’t do it all ourselves

This particular client has learned one of the most valuable lessons in business – that we can’t do it all ourselves. In the same way that athletes, football teams, and professionals have managers or coaches, we need coaches too. To really excel in our businesses, we need experts to guide us. Investing in yourself and your business can be hard but we’re worth it, and believe me it pays off.  As business owners we can achieve a lot by ourselves, but we can’t do everything – nobody can. Have a frank and honest look at the areas where you’re struggling, your weaknesses. Instead of wasting precious hours battling with these tasks, employ an expert in that field to do the work for you, the results will speak for themselves. Business Coaching can make you more successful, fact.

Walking my Walk

I’m writing this the day before my shoot. It’s going to be really interesting, and of course a little bit unnerving, to be on the other side of the camera. But I’ve found an incredible photographer that I trust and I know she’s going to guide me through it. This is one in a long series of investments I’ve made in myself for the good of my business. I got into the whole concept of personal branding in 2009, when I invested in a branding course with Kathleen Shannon, from the Being Boss podcast.

The course really helped to build the foundation for how I now consult with my clients. I made this investment before I even had a business or knew what I wanted to do, and as the investments in myself have grown, so have my successes. The proof is in the pudding, so to speak! I’ve been a member of group coaching networks online, had one to one coaching with some absolutely incredible mentors, I’ve attended business intensives, and employed marketeers for support and what I’ve realised is that you’re saying two very clear things when you invest in yourself. First of all you’re telling yourself that you’re worth investing in. Secondly you’re showing the rest of the world that you’re worth investing in and you’re showing your potential clients that you’re worth investing in, and that is HUGE.
I took a huge leap of faith when investing in one to one business coaching, but it’s paid of and my business is thriving.

Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together.”

James Cash Penney, Founder of JCPenney

Getting Clear on Who you are, what You do, how you communicate it

So what’s the biggest lesson that I’ve learned from being coached? Hands down, the biggest thing we can learn from being coached, and the biggest benefit we can get is CLARITY. In my experience, there are different levels of clarity.

Sure, you can have a broad idea of what you want and a vague idea of how to get there, but when you get specific on what you want and create a clear and concise roadmap for yourself, that’s when things really start to happen. Something I’ve come to realise over the last year is that having structure – knowing exactly what it is that I want to achieve and having a definite structure around that, really helps to alleviate the stress that can come with running a business. I’m sure many of you can relate to that stress and how debilitating it can be to your success.

Gaining control comes with clarity and clarity comes with structure, and often we can’t create that alone. Being able to give that clarity to my clients is something that’s becoming increasingly important to me in my business. The core of my business will always be working with my clients to create a powerful visual brand, but I see increasingly the necessity for supporting that with my expertise around strategy, structure and clarity. Helping my clients forge the roadmap for their own success.

It’s not enough to know where you want to go

Here’s a nice analogy for you. We drive an electric car and there have been a few close calls when it comes to keeping the car charged, but luckily we’ve never had any big issues because we’ve learned how to be ‘electric car drivers’. It’s a new way of doing things and was definitely a bit of a learning curve in the beginning. Recently, I stopped to top up the car but the charge point wasn’t working – this is something you have to face as an electric car driver, so it’s one of those things that we’ve learned to work around. However, there was a woman at the station who was driving her husband’s electric car. She was totally out of battery and didn’t have enough to get to the next charge point, because she just didn’t realise she needed to plan her route in a certain way. She knew where she wanted to get to, but she just hadn’t considered all of the variables, she didn’t have the right road map!

I’m currently working with a client on getting her visibility out there, her name, her message and her image. This analogy is one of the things we spoke about, because ultimately she knows where she wants her business to be, but she doesn’t know how to get there, and this is where I come in! I can help her strategise and gain the clarity she needs to reach her goal. It’s not always enough to know where you want to go, sometimes you need a bit of guidance as to how you’re going to get there. In my own business, I look back at this time last year and I knew where I wanted to go, but didn’t really know how I was going to get there.

The strategies that I’ve implemented throughout the year, with the help of others, and talking about my business and how to grow it, has brought me to this point where I’m halfway through 2018, and I’ve already grossed twice as much as I did last year. How amazing is that?

My biggest fear for my clients is that they end up with a folder of beautiful photographs, that are sitting on their desktop and they don’t know how to use them – that’s just not good enough. I want to help my clients strategise so that they can use their images to achieve their goals and do what I’ve done, create the business that they’ve always dreamed of.

If this is something that speaks to you – having more clarity and structure in your business along with the perfect visual images that show your authenticity, please get in touch, send me a message I’d love to talk to you.

About anne

Anne’s business is ElevateEdge and she is a Business & Performance coach to ambitious professionals and business owners, supporting them to develop the mind-set, strategy and influencing skills to perform at their full potential, achieving success with ease and confidence.

Connecting with the person behind their career or business is critical for Anne, she’s all about supporting work-life balance, working smarter not harder.

The Shoot

Anne’s shoot happened all the way back in February of this year but because it was so cold still, we didn’t get to finish it. We stuck to the incredible interior of the incredible Alex Hotel instead! And now, before the summer is out, Anne and I have scheduled a quick follow up shoot so that she has the images that tell the full story of who she is.

It was important for us to capture the freshness that Anne brings to her work, that while she works in the corporate world, she brings so much more to the table. I’m so looking forward to catching up with her in a few weeks and finishing what we started!

All images by Firechild Photography | Personal Branding Photographer Dublin, Ireland

If you’d like to talk more about how you can get more clients with stand out, authentic images, book a Step Into Your Brand Session with me today!

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