You started your business because you wanted to make a move and do something new on your own.
Stepping forward into your new business was a fresh start and leaving the past behind felt good.
But the truth is your past led you to where you are today.
Not only that, it supports you in being brilliant at the work you’re currently doing. And it positions you in a unique way.
I know that sometimes it’s hard to see it, and I promise there is a red thread.
In addition to your background, your personal interests and passions can also play a powerful role in your branding.
Making the Connection
Last summer I was at a networking event talking with a mindset coach I know.
Somehow it came up that she had been an intenstive care unit (ICU) nurse.
I was shocked, really? Why didn’t I know this? Why wasn’t she sharing it?
She didn’t see why or how it was relevant to her current work.
Of course, I shared my thoughts on how I thought it was. More on this in a minute.
Then in September I was on a panel about visibility at the Rise & Lead Summit and I was asked a similar question.
This time it was from a lady who wanted to know how to present herself because she had two different businesses and was wondering if it was better to keep them separate.
You can guess my answer, nope. Because by sharing that she does both things she reinforces each of them and positions herself as a multi-talented person.
So whether you’re doing one thing now, or you have multiple diverse gigs, you can use your background and interests to support your unique brand and build your credibility.
In a world full of average and lookalike businesses why not share your unique background, experiences, and skills to stand out and stake a claim that only you can.
And if you haven’t heard about multipotentialites, check out Emilie Wapnick’s TEDx talk.
The best way to see how this works is through examples. I’m lucky to know a bunch of savvy business owners; I could fill a book with all of their stories.
Here are six stories from some remarkable people I know and how their backgrounds provide support and context for their present businesses.
1) Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Nurse Turned Mindset Coach
The mindset coach who was an intensive care unit (ICU) nurse I already mentioned is Steph Panther.
Here is why this matters. Think about all of the skills required to be an intensive care unit nurse.
You have to be able to stay focused, digest multiple pieces of critical information simultaneously, and remain calm.
And what’s at stake, someone’s life. Whether they live or die. Kind of impressive, right?
If I had to choose between her and another mindset coach with a different background (or with someone who hasn’t shared her background) who do you think I would pick? Who would you choose?
Because all of the skills she used as a nurse she can tap into as a coach.
2) Senior Epidemiologist Consultant Turned Author, Crowdfunding & Self-Publishing Expert
Lisa Ferland has a MPH in Epidemiology. An MPH is a Master’s degree in public health.
Not sure what an Epidemiologist is? Me neither, had to look it up. Epidemiology is the study and analysis of the distribution (who, when, and where) and determinants of health and disease conditions in defined populations.
If you can do this job you have to be detail oriented, manage multiple interests, deal with complicated matters, and be science smart.
If you know anything about self-publishing and crowdfunding, you know it’s all about the strategy and the details.
Knowing about Lisa’s background gives me confidence that she knows how to get the job done and done well.
3) International Banking Expert Turned Writer, Brand Expert, & Yoga Teacher
Sofia Simeonidou has multiple interests in writing, branding, fitness and yoga which all reinforce each other.
How does Sofia’s 10 years in the banking world support her current endeavors?
Beyond the obvious that being in the banking world means you need to be smart, organized, able to manage projects, and follow regulations.
And because she understands the challenges and demands of corporate life she can relate to her clients in a way that someone who hasn’t been in that world may not be able to.
But even for her clients who have not been in the corporate world, she stands out for her diverse skills and knowledge.
Personally, I’m drawn to anyone takes a leap from a safe and secure world like banking and branches out in a new direction. It shows guts and determination, I like that.
4) Child Life Specialist & Army Trainer Turned Health Challenges Coach
Carolyn Parse Rizzo has a clear red thread working with children in health and has added interesting work as an Army trainer along the way before starting her own business.
Her background working in hospitals in the US gave her a strong foundation for her work in Italy and now serving global families with her own business.
And in addition to the serious and important work she does, she also loves to sing and has shared videos of her singing while cooking.
She also shares her morning walks in nature. Her love of yoga is also a big part of her life.
Sharing all of this with her community makes her even more attractive because they see all the parts of her which together are more powerful than only the business side.
5) Economist & Finance Expert Turned Expat Author and Researcher
Mariam Navaid Ottimofiore knows the global life well and has been writing about it for years.
With her background as an economist and finance expert, you can imagine that she knows how to analyze situations and statistics, understands complex world matters, is fluent with numbers, and understands in-depth structures and theories.
Think about those skills in the context of writing and research and it’s not hard to see why she is a talented and successful writer.
And add in all of her global moves along with her global family and you can why see she has an extremely unique position and brand.
6) Electronic Civil Engineer & Sales Manager Turned Empowerment Coach
I don’t know about you but when I hear the word engineer I think smart person. It seems like something complicated and technical that I would not understand. Basically, I’m impressed.
And I know what a sales manager does because I’ve done that job. It requires a different set of skills than those of an engineer. It’s all about building relationships.
So when I hear about an empowerment coach, who has an engineering degree and has been a sales manager, I’m thinking she must be smart, good at connecting, and know what she’s talking about.
I’m talking about Lara Manqui.
How to Incorporate Your Experiences
There are multiple places and ways to share how your past ties into your present.
Here are some ideas to get you started. You can:
• Add it to your Bio
• Share it on the ‘About’ page of your website
• Mention when you talk with people
• Weave it into stories when you talk about your clients
• Include it in your online profiles
• Make the connection in blog posts or videos
Are you starting to see how you can incorporate and talk about your skills from your past in relation to how they support your current work?
So if there’s something you’ve been hiding or ignoring about your past experience it’s time to shine a light on it.
Come on, show us what you’ve got.
© Stephanie Ward
Stephanie Ward is the Marketing Coach for Entrepreneurs who want to create meaningful and prosperous businesses. Grab your FREE copy of the special report ’7 Steps to Attract More Clients in Less Time’ plus business building tips, at: http://www.fireflycoaching.com.
What parts of your background and experiences have you been ignoring?
Share your experiences, thoughts, and questions in the comments section below. I respond to every single comment.