If there was a manual that could show you 5 ways to keep your business private would you sign up for it?
This might sound ridiculous but it seems like anybody who is involved in a non traditional business seems to have the same blue print for hiding what they are involved in. I am not a finger pointer and I only say this out of personal experience, most of the things I write about are things I have gone through or from people who I trust dearly that have shared their knowledge with me.
I am a professionally trained chef who started a personal chef business in 2006 THE PEOPLE’S CHEF and did everything I could possibly imagine to stir up business. I made flyers, yellow pages (yes people did still use the phone book), paid advertising, websites and of course let everybody know that I was finally a business owner. It was great, my family spread the word and all of the contacts that I had acquired as a chef in some of the top restaurants in the Philadelphia area were notified that I was movin’ on up.
I incorporated my business and became part of several personal chef associations, spent money on training courses to learn the business side of running this industry. I really set myself up for success and along with my t-shirts and personalized logo how could I go wrong. The great news is that this chef business is still going strong and I have very little overhead, while getting to do what I love.
Forward to 2010 when a friend of mine approached me with a health product that fit a need for me. I like to work out and be healthy and this was an all natural line of goods that had helped him lose weight and maintain his success. I placed an order and he explained to me that there is a direct-selling opportunity aligned with this product which I couldn’t have cared less about. When people noticed the progress I was making and asked me how I achieved my results, they would practically have to drag the company’s information out of me.
I was using the product, believed in the product and had tangible results but I was still hesitant to share my story. I was afraid that people were going to look at me funny because I participating in something that was not familiar to them. I thought that their perception of this home based business that I was involved in would trump the physical goals that I achieved. They personally had seen me transform, they knew me before and after but I did not see the power in that, I only knew that I was afraid to be judged.
I robbed people that I knew an opportunity to feel the same physical benefits, financial gains and personal development experiences that I was exposed to. This was all because I could not get over myself and get out of my own way. If I would have had the same mindset that I did when I was starting my “traditional” business I would have begun to see results much sooner.
I was introduced to a new home based business opportunity (the previous company was not the problem, it was my thought process) and started to use a systematic approach and think like a business owner. This is when I started to see the same benefits that I had in my personal chef business. I started to communicate with people who had the same goals as I did even if we were not in the same company. Positive people, using ethical, consistent practices to help others be successful….these are the people I choose to interact with.
If you have had similar experiences where you struggled to succeed or you had a breakout moment that helped you overcome obstacles (whether they were self imposed or not) please leave a comment and share how you handled them.