My daughter and I have a joint Apple Playlist called #bossup where she shares her favorite tunes and I try to educate her on all the amazing music from my life. (haha emoji)

She recently added “Girl in the Mirror” by Bebe Rexha from The Ugly Dolls soundtrack. Some of the lyrics are really poignant, both for my 13 year-old daughter and for this 40-something year-old mama.

I’m tired of my flaws
They fill me with anxiety and doubt
Honestly, I’m done with hating pictures of myself
And tryna be like everybody else

And I see so many influencers and entrepreneurs with thousands of followers…and they all do so much of the same thing. No one seems to be really original anymore. They use all the same rhetoric that it makes me wonder: who are you?

Building relationships starts with YOU

I’ve been vocalizing this for some time now, and I thought it was time to write it down. My theory on the future of small business (and big, too) is that those who focus on building genuine relationships with clients and customers will be the ones who succeed.

People buy YOU.

It’s not just a product or service that people buy. They are buying faith in you to steer them in the right direction. We are seeking a relationship we can trust in a sea of endless social media BS. We want genuine connection. So how do you be you in this world?

How to build client relationships

Be Y.O.U.

So many people are, like the song says, “tryna be like everybody else.” From buying the clothing influencers wear to jewelry and perfume—so many want the status of being like other people that they forget who they are. Here are 3 things you can consider when trying to figure out how you will be Y.O.U. in your business.

Y=Yourself

I know, I know—sounds a smidge cliché. But let’s be honest here: just be yourself. If you focus too much on being something you’re not, then the pressure and reality of you maintaining a lie for the long term is impossible.

I’m goofy. I laugh at my own jokes. I smile too wide and I cry about everything. I could afford to lose about 20 pounds but I enjoy a glass of Malbec and good company, too. I’m honest.

If people don’t like these traits about me, that’s ok. They can find someone else who resonates more. But at least they know what they’re getting when they meet me: ME.

O=Observant

To be a leader, you must first be a good listener.

Sometimes, you just have to tell yourself to shut up and listen to what others are saying. What do they believe? Why? Why do they feel the way they do? When we learn to observe—and listen—we can reflect and learn more about ourselves, too.

I could have just reworked the whole “find your why” system for this blog post, but instead I’ve worked through my own belief system based on my observations in business and in life. I developed an acronym and wrote a blog post on it, and I will continue to talk about with entrepreneurs and business owners.

Be observant and develop your own theories…and being unique will come with the territory.

U=Unique

Don’t be the one who copies; be the one others want to copy.

Ok, so that might sound like it goes against what I said earlier. If you’re going to be anything, be authentic. People will respect you more for not trying to prove how great you are, but rather for the fact that you show it in words and actions.

Figure out how you can educate others about something particular in your field and show how you’re unlike the next person in that expertise. Remember: you don’t have to come out and say that you’re unlike anyone else; show it.

You’re YOU. Now what?

Know who you are, and put yourself out there. Develop a strategy for what you’re selling, and put Y.O.U. into every part of it. Need help? We have a free branding course for that. 😉

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