In our pursuits, we can go far and achieve many things, create a lot of pride for ourselves, but nevertheless, always keeping it “real” is a very important element to consider. Why? Being humble is exactly what can make us likeable. It helps to attract the right people, to inspire, create community and foster meaningful relationships with ourselves and others. Being humble is like the law of attraction: if we tune into ourselves and apply it to our personal life, it can attract experiences we’ve always wanted. If we apply it to our business, it can attract the clients or customers who truly connect with our concept, service, or product.
There are a few things that David and I have learned so far when it comes to that. These are a few principles that we cultivate for our own business and our own life, but they’ve also affected the way we perceive other businesses and people. So here are our very own top 5 mantras which personally help us to “keep it real”, and how being grounded + humble is a foundation for all kinds of growth and connection. We believe they may help you too, so if you’re curious, read on!
Remember & Honour Your Beginnings
We all start somewhere, and some of us have beginnings that are less glorious than others. Some of us started a business out of a filthy house basement or their dorm room. Some of us found their true purpose in life after many failed attempts and/or many years of crappy jobs. I’m sure you might have an interesting story about your beginnings too, and what I advise you is to always be humble enough to honour and appreciate it. Connect to your story, no matter how it started. Beginnings are part of ourselves and they make us who we are. I also find that the people who dare to share those humble beginnings with the rest of the world are the most captivating. Embrace your past, and share it. It might inspire others!
I’m always happy to share my story, and so is David. We also always get excited when talk about how our business started, or even how we about how we crossed paths years ago, in all honesty and humility. My tip: be open to share your story, and never spare the funny/questionable/awkward parts, as they always turn out to be the most interesting 😉
Consider not using (overstated) labels to define yourself
Haha, I know some people could possibly take this one personally, but I’ll say it anyway: unless you’re involved in a large corporation, it just doesn’t make sense to call yourself a CEO. It just doesn’t. Same goes for “chief editors”, “art directors”, “senior designers” and the like. Is it really necessary to use such a labels to define yourself when you run a humble yet perfectly admirable solo or small business? I mean, yes, we know you’re the boss, congratulations, but…consider the following: do these overstated labels ever make anyone more respectable, or is it just a cover-up for a certain lack of confidence? Being small IS powerful in its own way and it has its perks – it’s always classier when you can honor who you are without having to wear the mask of a big shot.
You are good enough. Plus 1) You are most likely cooler than a CEO anyway 2) Still want a label? Think outside the box and find something that genuinely fits you and your personality. It’s no coincidence that we decided to simply call ourselves “a couple of creative folks” 🙂
Be friendly, honest & approachable
In that sense, you can also adapt your behavior to reflect your true personality. Yes, even if you have some flaws. Why hide them when you can make them an interesting part of yourself? Being honest allows people to connect with you and what you have to offer. I personally immediately connect and fall in love with people and businesses that pour honesty and wit into their “ABOUT” descriptions, for example. Keep in mind that the way someone sees and describes themselves can be a real mirror to how people see them in return. An honest and humble person will certainly be more approachable than a person who is afraid to show their true colors. So go ahead and think about what makes you, well… “you”. This, done properly and without ego or personal judgment, will help you attract the right people or those who are like-minded to you, who share the same values in life.
Keep questioning yourself
You might have achieved many things so far. You might have created a name for yourself or perhaps built a respectable reputation of an expert. But bare in mind: the true expert doesn’t define themselves as an expert. Fruitful growth and success only happen when you can be humble enough to keep questioning what you do and how you do it. Never let yourself or your business stagnate because it is “good enough” or because you are constantly booked. Good for you, but that’s just now. The world keeps evolving and so should you. It doesn’t mean you have to change everything all the time – of course, you don’t have to fix what isn’t broken. But just allow yourself to see through the big picture and observe the small details as well. Are you completely happy about the way everything is going? What you would you improve and what would you like to experiment more with? The best things and turning points can happen when you allow yourself to do so – it can be useful to do that even when everything is “fine”. Sometimes, David and I spend hours and hours analysing and questioning things in our lives, whether it’s about our business, our personal lives, our dreams and everything around it. This allows us to keep evolving into better versions of ourselves, and it’s all due to being humble enough to embrace it.
Inspiring people is awesome. Connecting with them is even better.
This one can be useful to those of you who run a personal business that is based on influence, storytelling or inspiring people in general, such as blogging or running a lifestyle brand. I will be honest with you: knowing that you inspire people, at least a few, can feel SO rewarding. I’m so happy when clients tell us they love our work, when readers tell us they love what we post, or when people in general let us know they are inspired by something we do. I always feel very thankful for that, and it’s always an encouragement to keep moving forward. At this point, it’s important not to take this for granted, and maybe even consider what you can give in return.
You can give back to the people who support you, and you can think of creative ways to do so! Don’t just put stuff up passively. Connect with your audience and be available for them. Be generous and answer their questions. Even if you can’t do it right away, just do it at some point. Or keep providing them with things that they can find useful (useful posts, resources, freebies) that align with their interests. Be curious about who these people are and provide them with more than what they expect from you. Nurture those connections that come your way, as you never know what gifts they will bring you.