owning it

Truly owning your space means offering something that no one else can. It means tapping into your strengths, your inspirations and your interests. It means defining your offering based on what you do uniquely well, rather than being led by industry norms or expectations.

It means carving out your own very unique space in an over-crowded market. It means buying yourself enough time to do the best job you can. It means only working with people who respect you and your work. It means never having to compete on price. It means showcasing what makes your work uniquely brilliant rather than ‘marketing’ in the expected sense. And that results in a steady stream of excited people waiting to work with you.

It means running a successful, inspirational and sustainable business. Which is a pretty incredible place to be, isn’t it? It certainly puts a very different spin on how you go about marketing and promoting your business, doesn’t it?

When you’re stuck in the hustle, it can be hard to see the wood for the trees. Constantly pulled by lists of things ‘to-do’ rather than the instinctive draw of your inspiration, running your business can feel like a drudge. When you’re stuck in the hustle it’s easy to feel pulled. It’s easy to surround yourself with noise. To lose your own clarity and vision and instead just ‘get through’.

Taking the time to work out where your unique space is requires dedication. It’ll take vision, confidence and bravery. It’ll mean letting go of the work that doesn’t feed your soul, that doesn’t light you up and that isn’t really your best work. It’ll mean accepting that you’ll turn away more work that you say yes to, but that there is more than enough work to sustain you.

It requires you to think big, be bold and find that unique spot that only you can own. And when you do, you’ll find that magical things happen.

When you’re the only company who can deliver that design/ photography/ flowers etc with quite the flair and vision that you bring, your clients will wait for you. They’ll be prepared to invest in you. They’ll trust you.

And in turn, you’ll find you can trust your business.

Secure in the knowledge that no one can do quite what you do, you’ll find you hustle less. You rush less. You stop chasing down every single lead and let the right ones float to the surface.

You can take the holiday. And I mean properly take the holiday: a total digital detox. Without needing to ‘show up’ on Instagram or check your emails or call your team every day. It’ll all still be there when you get back refreshed. And because you’re now trading on creativity, it’s essential you give yourself space to rest.

It means you can focus on what you do best whilst sharing what inspires you and working in your flow. It means you can put your energy into your creative work and stretching yourself and your skills rather than thinking about ‘marketing’. Because when you get this right, marketing is little more than showcasing the value in what you do. It’s about sweeping your audience along with you, creating anticipation for what you’ll do next and demonstrating just how brilliant you are.

Its about owning it. About working from a place of strength, confidence and utter uniqueness rather than looking over your shoulder at what everyone else is up to. And it starts with your magic.

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Carole Patilla

I think you’re right but it takes time and experience to build up the confidence to actually realise this! After 5 years of running my own business, I’m just getting to that place and it’s great to have your words popping into my inbox as a reminder. Also thanks so much for your inspirational talk at our Flowers from the Farm conference last month – lots of lovely feedback on it in the conference evaluations, you left people feeling inspired

Fiona Humberstone

Hi Carole, thank you for your lovely words – glad to be of assistance!

My hope is that in writing this post, it might be the catalyst for change for some creatives much sooner than five years 😉 There is no reason you can’t set the bar high from the get-go and really streamline your offering into something that’s utterly unique. It feels counter intuitive, almost like you have to ‘earn your stripes’ before you’re allowed to niche, but I disagree. Start as you mean to go on is always the best policy.

And if you’re running a really established business and are just in the process of refining, then hurrah! Hurrah to you for having the confidence to refine and elevate your offering. It’s never too late – or too early for that matter!

Hilary Hartling

I’ve been thinking about just this for several of my clients right now, and am really inspired to dig into for my own brand – as I know we will – on the Retreat in Mallorca in a couple months. That’s how I’m treating myself to step away from my business and focus on my brand for a precious few days. xo



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