• Sara Marsden-Shreeve

The Business of Being You!

The Business of Being You, the image tree blog
It's time to show the real YOU out there

As an Image Coach, I often meet incredible women who run their own businesses and who ask me to teach them how to boost their self confidence further by tapping into their potential and showing them their natural assets, both physically and mentally.

One's image, for me, is not just about what you see but what also comes from within which is why I practice an holistic approach.

So on one hand, I could help with their professional image and wardrobes (see how to get work-wear savvy here ) and on the other, by improving their mind-set and confidence or teaching them how to embrace their bodies in a positive manner .

However, I'm also asked to help give insight into their personal business branding too, maybe give it some colour, oomph or identity, in keeping with their business and personality.

In many arenas of life, first impressions count. whether we like it or not, but for me the key is to tune into our 'self' and embrace what we already have in order to show the world and then step out with it.

This is a process I use for both personal, social and business arenas and always encourage it in my clients.

Through my own personal business journey, I have also applied the same foundations consistently and believe that authenticity, confidence and identity are the 3 most influential and important parts of business development, especially for an SME, because for the most part “YOU” are your business.

By working on yourself, you work on your business in a positive and more healthy manner that can only deliver successful results and incur progress the more you do it.

Being you gives your business a meaning, a voice and creates clear messages so that potential clients can hear, relate and buy in.  IDENTITY

Seeing a logo/brand makes something visible and gives it a name but it can be brilliantly relative to many potential clients out there who share the same values.

In addition, your personal image can also help translate that brand/logo further by showing “you” to others more effectively and help boost your esteem at the same time.   AUTHENTICITY

Feeling passionate and believing in yourself shows others your professionalism and skill-set as well as showing that you mean business and no more so than when your inside matches your outside. CONFIDENCE

So you see, in this world where people do buy from people it’s a great time to be yourself and learn to "Rock What You’ve Already Got" so don't be afraid and stand up and be noticed.

It’s time to step out from amongst the noise of competitors and make your mark with everything you have to give, Something that we often forget to include... the thing that makes us most remarkable is YOU!.

Sometimes, we believe that we are not very interesting, have nothing unusual to offer or provide a service that is a bit 'run of the mill', but I'm a strong believer that we are ALL amazing and have individual talents.

Woman with ideas, The Image Tree Blog, The business of being you
You ARE full of the GOOD STUFF

Your business is always evolving and finding your niche and your voice can take time because for the most part, it's not always clear from the get go. So don't be afraid to drill down from time to time.

As consumers and people, we love to see the human side behind everything and social media platforms encourage this through their “story” options, so what’s yours and are you sharing it?

  • Are you a passionate and cat-crazy person who wants nothing more than to wear quirky prints or jewellery and appeal to like-minded feline lovers with your kitty themed wares?

  • Maybe you are what you wear? Look at Jojo Siwa and her millions made from making her own brand of hair bows from just wearing them on a tv reality show. (See Dance Mums)

  • Are you a life coach who loves to dance? What a great way to show prospective clients how they can break down the big things into smaller steps.

  • An accountant who is great with numbers and practices magic in your spare time? What a great pairing to show clients how well you work miracles on their books.

  • Do you have distinctive features or assets, a unique dress sense or love anything with hearts on it…? These could be a great basis for a brand, shop or line of products relative to you. You only have to think of Lulu Guinness or The Rolling Stones for their use of lips in this example.

All of these are gorgeously unique and believe me, you can apply any of these things to your business and brand in order to personify your message, whatever that might be.  

Gardening woman, The business of being you, The image tree blog
You can't beat a niche that love and suits you.

So, with all this in mind, let's do a little bit of brainstorming and find out how my Top 3 Tips for identifying potential hot spots can aide your self-development and tune them into your business ideal. Identity, Authenticity & Confidence.

You can get clear and align yourself with your message and/or USP (unique selling point) and get some synchronicity. It doesn't matter if you're just starting out or well established it's a good practice to carry out.

Let's start with Who You Are..


What does this word mean to you?

Definition: "Who a person is, or the qualities of a person or group that makes them different from others" (Cambridge English Dictionary)

Iris Apfel Quota
Iris Apfel. American Fashionista

This lady is one of my all time inspirations and at the fabulous age of 98 ( at the time of writing this) is noted as being the 'Accidental Icon' due to her eclectic dress sense and rejection of blind fashion ideals.

Iris loves being different, collected many fabrics, jewellery and objet d'art as an interior designer and inspired many to dig deep and wear their personality, often attending fashion shows in her own unique style and then going on to give lectures on all manner of inspiring angles of fashion and style her way. Look her up, she's awesome.

With Iris in mind, think about finding your "Visibility in Business" for this section...

  • Let's have a think about who you are and what you do now... Go grab a paper and pen and try to honestly answer the following questions in as much detail as you can.

I love stationery so I have a beautiful notebook dedicated for all my mind maps and brainstorms and often update them or go back to remind me of my goals and see my development.

  1. Do you have a personal story that encouraged you to start your business? Maybe you overcame or were inspired by something or someone?

  2. Why did you choose your area of expertise?

  3. What is your Why? Why do you do what you do? Core values etc..

  4. What makes you unique?

If it helps, you can read my story here at Sticks and Stones Built My Business..

  • Now, write down any of your talents, assets, likes, loves, interests and passions. You can write loads or just list random words to get you started and they don't need to be relative to your work either. Some might not be obvious so give it some thought as many of us don't spend time thinking about the good stuff consciously.

Maybe you love a certain colour and have it in all of your branding or wear it all of the time? Maybe you have a pet with character or work a certain way that gives a unique perspective?

You can become synonymous with any one thing, no matter how big or small and use that to your advantage.