On doing things your own way

'You are the best person in the world at doing things your way'. It's an interesting thought, don't you think? There's no-one else in the whole world who has the same approach as you. You have your own unique attitude, thought process and vision. And no-one can replicate that. It's uniquely yours.

A great number of people who set up their own businesses do so to emancipate themselves from the world of having to follow someone else's rules. And why not?! There's nothing like the freedom of being able to do things your own way. And yet so many business owners get so bogged down in watching how the competition do things that any shred of originality is lost; it becomes a race to conform or to try and desperately replicate what the competition do. What a waste.

When you feel paralysed by the belief that the competition are doing things better than you, remind yourself that that's simply not true. Your customers have a choice - they could spend their money wherever they like, but choose to buy from you because there's something about the unique way that you do things which resonates with them and makes them smile.

Be bravely, boldy original

One of my dearest business friends occupies a very serious, grown up job in the financial sector. Convention says that she should wear a blue suit, use lots of complicated words and behave in a conservative way. But this just isn't her. Instead, she wears bright florals, even brighter lipstick and calls everyone poppet. She gives people 'virtual hugs' down the telephone (ask me how, it's ridiculously cute) and is totally lovable. Her clients adore her for the warmth she infuses into the way she does business! Is she any less talented for her softer approach? Absolutely not; she's at the top of her game. Not only is she incredibly clever, but she makes her subject much more engaging and less overwhelming - all because she's fearless in displaying her personality.

Don't be a lesser version of someone else

I get it. Finding your own voice can be hard! But rather than being a second-rate version of someone else, blaze your own trail. You'll find it so much easier to win the hearts of the people you most want to work with when you're just you.