Is your past catching up with you?

Written on the 1 October 2014 by Janet Culpitt

Have you ever had a 'light bulb' moment when you recognised how something that occurred in your life made you what you are today and fuelled your passion for what you do? JANET CULPITT outlines why you need to share your story and how easily it can be done by developing your very own biography.

When you run your own business it is imperative you continually promote yourself and the products and services you offer. Hopefully, you are already doing this via your website, promotional material and on social media. But are you also including a background story on yourself? Potential customers love to know the details of who they will potentially be doing business with. By taking the time to develop your own biography you can easily share your past achievements, and tell everyone about your journey and how you have arrived at where you and your business are today.

This can then be shared in many ways and provides a great insight for others looking to do business with you. It's a personal testimonial of sorts.

Steps to getting started

  1. Who is it about? Use your name but make it in third person, e.g. Mary Smith, she
  2. Provide a snapshot of your childhood and background. Here begins your point of difference.
  3. Include details of your studies and achievements. Include both personal and professional.
  4. Outline your career beginnings and progress, including any interruptions that may have occurred, especially relevant to women, e.g. Mary Smith gave up work to have a family which comprises of... Go on to provide details of entry back in workforce if relevant and progress thereafter and how family life was integrated.
  5. Include all current roles, specialty areas, experience and achievements.
  6. You can also include the reasons behind why you have taken on different roles or experiences along with why you have made certain choices and what you felt about them.
  7. And finally, ensure you have your document edited and proofread before publishing it or displaying it anywhere.

Your biography is in effect a story about you (that is things you are happy to share) and it definitely is not a CV or a resume. Developing a like, know and trust biography gives you credibility. Being clinical and only stating your accreditations and achievements does not always reflect the true you and the 'whys' behind what is driving you and your passion.

Through developing your own biography, you gain a genuine insight into your past and you will quickly realise that in essence your history has created the person you are today. 

Always have a trusted friend or colleague critique what you have written before publishing. Make them aware that you want them to express their thoughts if they read something they feel might be detrimental to you or your business. If they respond with a "wow I didn't know that" or "that's really interesting" then you know you have nailed it.

You will be amazed at how writing your own biography can help you to better understand why you are doing what you are doing. It will also help you to refocus and reset your goals.

Be proud of yourself and your achievements. Letting your past catch up with you can be one of the best business testimonials you will ever receive.

Even if you never publish your biography on your website or social media, when you are out and about networking you will be in a better position to tell others about yourself and your business.

Final note: If you are publishing a biography make sure you review and update it regularly. Just like your professional portrait photo or any other business or financial strategy, you need to make sure it remains current and on track to achieve your goals.

Now off you go and check out some biographies on websites!

Author:Janet Culpitt

Any advice in this website is general advice only. The content has been prepared without taking into account the investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs of any particular person. Before making a decision about any information contained on this website you should carefully consider the appropriateness of the information in light of your personal circumstances in addition to the information provided in the PDS of the relevant financial product. You should also consider seeking professional advice from your financial adviser.

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