For some business owners and senior executives, talking about themselves is difficult – they are used to talking about their business or their team. However, there are circumstances where you need to be able to talk about what you bring, and what defines you as a leader… and a useful first step can be to think about introducing yourself in terms of your passions.
A couple of recent experiences with clients got me thinking about how you can put your passions at the centre of your personal brand. This is basically about channelling your passion to communicate impactfully.
Business owners and founders have passion in spades
While business owners (and particularly start-up and scaling founders who are looking for investment) have plenty of passion, it can sometimes derail their communications if it’s all they’re getting across. However – while business acumen and track record are essential to your credibility as a business owner – communicated well, passion can be part of a strong personal brand that creates trust. After all… if you don’t show passion, how are stakeholders going to be convinced that you will have the drive to do the hard yards it takes to achieve big things in business?
For founders and other business owners who are used to talking about their business rather than themselves, leading your personal brand with your purpose and passions can be the perfect way to introduce who you are as the leader. Talking about why you got into business in the first place, and why you care about your vision, is a great way to give some insight into who you are and what you bring to leading the business.
These were the subjects of conversation at Venture X HQ’s inaugural roundtable, focused on ‘Founder Personal Brand’. I asked participants – female founders of new startups and scaling established SMEs – ‘In order to step up to the next level in your business, who do you have to become?’
The responses were categorised into
- ‘How others have to see me’ and
- ‘How I have to see myself’
– and both are important. ‘Becoming’ your next best self in business is about seeing your own potential and then demonstrating it to others. But this is challenging for founders used to talking about their business brand and not their own brand! Before moving to talk about their personal strengths, abilities and track record, it was helpful for some to begin with their clear sense of purpose and passion.