How to Write an About Page

Ugh! The infamous “About Me Page”. Just about every website and blog has one. Probably the hardest content you can ever write is your about page! Especially if you are shy or if you are a self proclaimed social misfit or an introvert. Personally I don't care to write them either. I don't even like the question in conversations! When I am asked, they usually get a blank stare back from me.

 

The conversation goes something like this:

 Person: “So tell me about yourself.” (putting me on the spot)

Me: blank stare…. (like a deer caught in the headlights) yet my internal dialog is usually “What do you want to know? In relation to what? How much do you want to know? What are you trying to find out? How far back do I go? Why are you asking? and on and on…” On the outside, if they are still standing there, my response is usually a laugh with a response that brushes away the question.

Most of the time, this is how we all end up writing our “About” page. We attack it from the position of “defending our lives”. You see, traditionally, this is where most people place a “resume” and list all of their achievements and accomplishments and accolades. For companies, same thing usually led by the mission statement. Sure, that's great if you have an impressive “resume”. But what if you don't? Or you don't feel like you do, or that just doesn't matter to you? And, after all, does it really matter for the Entrepreneur?

I was on a coaching call with one of my clients and I was inspired to write this post to help you as well. I flipped the script for them and I hope to do the same for you. My client has been working with me in creating their foundation for their business and they are well on their way. They had been in the re-design phase of their business and their website and all of their social media.  They were on a role and the transformation is thrilling. For the first time, they felt at home on their website as each page transformed with them. They knew exactly what they stand for and what they are here to bring forward for others. Then came the revamp of their “About” page. The one they had was so not who they are and what they are about.

So let's talk and get real about: How to write an authentic About Page you can be proud of (and live every day).

I could go list my degrees, my professional career, and the fact that for the past decade I have owned and run my own self funded companies.

But does that really matter?

30336597804_67f2096dd6_hNo! My achievements have little to nothing to do with yours and my bank account or sales volume don't either (at least it shouldn't). I know there are people who would disagree with this, but I often find the objections are self serving in the end. If you have ever been coached in athletics, the best coaches were not the ones who got the gold medal, they were the ones who pulled out the greatness in others. They worked behind the scenes to help develop the future gold medalists.

Does it really tell you anything?

Somewhat, but not really.  It can drop clues about me, but it doesn't tell you the really important parts. You might guess at some things (like my tenacity), but the picture of how it is (or is not) relevant for you does not show up in the model.  In fact, this can really backfire if you get too braggadocios. I don't know if you have ever tried, but it is very difficult to work with a braggart and frankly, when I see a long litany of achievements I wonder if they have the ability to set themselves aside to serve me.

So what does matter about me?

You! That's it, pure and simple. You matter.

People who work with me work with me because they desire a solid foundation for their business (and yes their life). They are on an individual  journey to grow personally and professionally.  When they read “About” me, they are reading from the personal perspective of how it relates to them. Are we in alignment? Can I add value for them? Can I help them achieve the goals they have in their life and business?

So when you write your own “About” page, flip the script and make it about the audience. The people you serve, the ones you want to attract, your tribe. Write about them. Speak to them. Even if you have no followers yet, speak to the ones that will come.

So here is your handy 5 point checklist to write by:

  1. Lead with the recipient in mind. You know who they are
  2. Guide with transparency. Be your authentic self.
  3.  Write as if you were talking to a friend. Your words should flow from your natural diction
  4. Show your values. What is important for you is probably going to hit their top ten as well.
  5. Tell the truth. They will find out eventually so honesty up front is the best policy.

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“Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.”

To Be a Guru, You Need Guru Status

landscape-821573_1920To be a guru you need to have guru status, but how do you get that if you are just starting out? Turns out there are steps you can take to move yourself up in social standing to hit the guru level. One of the best parts of carving your own slice of the dream and building your own business is that you are in control and you can decide where you want to go. If you want to be the leader, then all you need to do is start behaving like it.

Sounds simple, but there really is work involved and you need to commit to it and do the work. You can reach the highest height but you do need to take the steps to get there.

Here are some simple steps that will help you get started if you want to lead and dominate an industry.

You need to have an opinion: You need to have your own vision and opinion on topics that matter to people you want to serve. Do the research and the reading for yourself. Listen to opposition and cultivate your own assessment and analysis. One of the worst things you can do is take someone else's opinion and not add value. It's like posting auto quotes.

You need to be unique: It's okay to agree with others and you may share similar ideas and values, but you are a unique person with your own perspective. This is what others need to learn from you. It is the one thing that you are the only one in the universe who can deliver it. One of the saddest things I see and hear is when others “borrow” someone else's story and try to pass it off as their own. This is a sign that they are not confident and not ready to lead.

You need to be seen:  OK, don't panic. I'm not saying you have to start doing videos or live video postings. Video is not for everyone. Although I will say you need to have your picture out there so they can at least see the authentic you. We all like pictures even though many of us don't like having ours taken. So what I mean by being seen is engaging with your followers and people in your target market space.  It's one thing to post, but the step you want to remember to do is comment and engage with others. It is about helping others so the most important step is reaching out and encouraging and commenting on others posts.

You need to be heard: Sure videos, webinars, and podcasts are great ways to be heard but don't forget all of the other channels you can use to be heard. Blog posts and social media posts are also great ways to get your value content out there in front of your audience.Authoring a book and getting it published is another way to get your message out there and have it heard by the masses.

30850191134_7976e7064a_hYou need to help others: Every great leader shares what they have learned. They pass it forward and add their unique perspective to make the lessons richer. To share what you know that might help others to reach a higher goal means you are adding value. If you want to hit guru status than you need to be adding great value for others. People who are in “guru” action are also spending a great deal of their time encouraging others.  They know that to be elevated you must elevate others first.

You can start these steps no matter where you are on your journey to becoming a guru. Even if you are just starting out. It takes time and effort, but there is nothing stopping you from getting to the top!

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The Unshakable Vision

SnowflakeVisionThe very first step every Entrepreneur MUST take if they hope to be at all successful, is to create the unshakable vision for your dream future.

Stand up or risk falling

Have you ever heard the phrase “You have to stand for something or you will fall for anything”? In case you missed it before, let me introduce you to the phrase and the significance of its meaning for you in creating your ideal business lifestyle. No matter who you are or where you come from, if you are reading this article then the chance is that you have the same choices as any human being around you. No matter how low or how high up in society the person may be, we all have the same choice. We can choose to be led around by others, giving up our personal power and signing off our rights to aspire to greater things. Or, we can choose to make a stand for ourselves and create the life we envision.

Falling in line may seem like it is easy to do. Let someone else worry about all the details, all you have to do is show up and do the minimum to get by.  And it truly may be easy and feel like there is little to no resistance. You go in, do a little work, collect a paycheck, you may even get time off with pay and have your medical needs taken care of for you. Seems like a pretty sweet deal. Especially when you consider standing up for yourself means you may end up in the unknown and at times this can seem a bit frightening (and at times it is).  So we trade in our time and push someone else's dream forward. But what you have missed is the fact that you are, and always will be, just a cog in the wheel. Easily replaced, not critical to the vision, and in other words highly expendable.

Just when you think being complacent and numb just might work for you, the rug gets pulled and your balance is off. You were let go, laid off, down sized, right sized, divested, demoted, transferred, and any number of life altering actions taken that impact you greatly but you had no say in. Then it hits you, the real meaning of “You have to stand for something or you will fall for anything”.

You already have a vision, you just might not be aware of it.

You just realized you fell for the false security and sold yourself short. You had traded your vision for someone else's and you might not have even liked their vision. Heck you might have not been aware that you replaced any vision you may have had for yourself with the one the “company” gave you. At the very least, you let it control your destiny. They had guidelines for you and told you when you may or may not be promoted, what tasks you may or may not do, how much you were allowed to earn in pay. But don't worry. It's never too late (or too early) to take charge and create your own vision to stand for. And the best part, when it is done the right way, you can have a very strong personal vision while respecting  a company that may employ you for a time. It doesn't have to be all or nothing, you can have a solid unshakable vision for yourself and still work for someone else. After all, you may need that “angel funding” to help while your dream company gets its own legs.

It is so important to actively engage and create your own vision

So the first step you want to take, before you go any farther down any road, is stop and create your true unshakable vision. Notice that I stated that you need an actively engaged vision. One that you consciously created. I chose my words specifically and carefully. Your vision, like anyone else's vision, is yours alone. We are all here to do something, to bring something forward for others and only you know what that is. We are all able to make the world a better place and create our own wealth in the process. But the vision of what that is and how we live in it is unique to every person. We can all go through the same steps to creating an unshakable vision, but the vision itself won't be the same for any two people.

It's like snowflakes. 07f7dd2fa6755993ffb478aeccda6d29

The vision you need to get clear about for you is what you want for your life. You make it so real that you can feel as if you were already there.

P.S. If you want help in the process of designing your Unshakable Vision, check out the self paced guided workshop I created for you.

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Develop Your Plan Before You Jump

DevelopPlanBefreJumpNo one would ever think of jumping out of a plane without a plan so why would you start a business or launch your career without one? I always find it fascinating when people just jump into one thing or the other or launch themselves without ever conceiving a plan. Even a half baked plan is better than nothing! Maybe we all need to take a lesson from sky divers. Would they ever recreation jump out of a plane without a plan? The answer is no.

Follow the plan that hits the zone

In sky diving they target a landing zone. This is where you are supposed to land at the end of your jump. It's all been planned out and timed to precision. All you need to do is follow the plan and you will have a fun jump that goes according to plan and avoid any land offs* or bounces.*

Sounds simple enough. Develop the plan and stick to it. Sure, to a seasoned veteran with many jumps under them but not for the novice. No one ever expects the beginner to develop the plan. There is a great deal that goes into a well developed plan from weather conditions, jump style, chute style,  type of plane, terrain for landing, to the jumpers themselves and all of their vital information .  It takes time and practice to be able to develop a solid plan for yourself.

When the margin for error is Zero

In sky diving the margin for error is so tight you might as well call it zero. Any error can result in serious injury or even death so you don't want to leave things to chance or make wild guesses. Your plan has to be well developed before you ever jump. In business we have a bit more latitude, but why not develop a plan that is solid and fool proof?

You can make your best guess and wing it. Worst case is failure but definitely not death. So why not let inspiration guide you? Well, if you want to wander around aimlessly and never get to your destination then no problem. But with the rest of us who want to achieve a goal, we need a plan to get there and chances are we would like to get there as soon as we possibly can because there are other goals we want to create and hit. We only have 24 hours in a day. There is no time  for wasting it on efforts that don't land you where you need to be.

Develop your plan before you jump  

Tandem_SkydiveSo if you have never jumped before, how are you supposed to be able to create a safe and effective plan for landing? You don't. You work with others who have gone before you and have done it so many times they can teach you how to do it and how to avoid mistakes they may have made along the way. Then you practice with experts who have your back. Literally and figuratively.  As your skill and knowledge grows so does your ability to tackle more and more complex jumps and plans. Eventually you can jump solo.

Who knows, one day, maybe you will want to pass on your learning to others. You may even be that tandem instructor one day where not only your life, but the lives of others is in your hands. You may get to be the one to introduce someone to the biggest thrill ever: Entrepreneurship.

*A Land Off is when you miss the landing zone. A Bounce is when you land to fast causing your body to bounce. This can result in severe injury or even fatality so you  never want to do this. Obviously!

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Believe it to achieve it

BelieveItI think I have heard this phrase so often that I am almost numb to it. So many people toss it around that it seems to have no impact on me anymore. But somebody must have caught me on the right angle with what they were saying that this phrase landed in my ear. Rather than pass it off as drivel, for some reason, I took the time to really read the words and think about each one and the totality of the statement.

I repeated it as a mantra when I was on a power walk:

Believe it to achieve it.

Believe it to achieve it.

Believe it to achieve it.

Then BAMM it hit me! I began to think on this in terms of my own life experiences. You will never get to where you want to be if you do not believe it can be achieved and, more importantly, that you can achieve it. The belief you have will limit where you go and what you do. If you believe you cannot do something and you tell yourself it enough times, you never will do that something. But there is a positive opposite to this (thank goodness). If you have the belief that you can do something then you will do it.

Why do I believe this statement on a personal level?

I don't think I did at any deep level at first. It sounded good, but come on, you can't really speak something into existence and just because you want to believe something doesn't make it real. Or does it? Here is what I did. I took the statement and then examined my life. I looked at my past and things I had accomplished that I was proud of or that I did not think I could do. It did not have to be miraculous. Then I transported myself back to the time long before the event, when the idea was a seed or when I was challenged (dared) to shoot for a goal way outside of my comfort.

I remembered how I felt and what I was thinking and I remembered chucking my preconception and allowing myself to just believe I could do it. For those events in my past, I was willing to suspend doubt.  Failure was not an option and nor was I going to back down. I believed I had achieved it already.

If you can't think of an instance in your own life, think of other great achievers who succeeded against what others may have believed. History is full of them. Edison knew he would create the incandescent light bulb, he had seen it. It doesn't matter that it took 200 plus tries. Teddy Roosevelt knew he would be President and in fact he holds the record for being the youngest president, just 42 when he took office.

How do you begin to believe?

It's like asking ‘Where do the seeds of faith take root?‘ But I believe faith and belief in things not seen come from the same place.  From deep inside where hope resides. Where you quiet the cynic and shed away years of negative programming from yourself and others around you. Where you allow for possibility. It starts with a desire, a wish, an idea, an inspiration. Once you have formed the seed, you begin to “experience ” it. You become familiar with the feelings, the texture, the visual aspects  With the right nourishing the seed takes root and becomes a deep knowing. It becomes so familiar that it's as if it has already happened or you have already achieved it. Then it's just a matter of the rest of the world catching up.

What if you are still having trouble really believing?

Sometimes you just need to trust someone else's belief and that has to get you through. I never thought I could ever run a marathon. A full 26.2 mile marathon and live to tell the tale. If you had met me, you probably would have said the same thing at the time. But I did not have to do it all on my own. Turns out someone I respected who had done it said I could and I was willing to believe him. He believed in me even though I could not see it.

So no question in my mind I could do it. I had never ran before, I had no concept of how far 26.2 miles was but I believed I could run it. After all I had 12 months to train and this guy said that was plenty of time. So before I stepped out the door and before I went anywhere in my shoes, I already had a clear vision of me running in the last half mile of a full 26.2 mile marathon and I was smiling when I did it. Janice_SiliconValleyMarathon06

Fast forward the 12 months and I did just that, not just once but several times and a few more afterwards. In my short three year marathon career, I did 4 full marathons, 3 or 4 half marathons and 2 10k fun runs. And in each one, I had enough gas in the tank to run it across the finish line, held my head up high and carry a big ‘ole ear to ear grin.

Can you achieve anything you want?

Perhaps. I do not know.  I am willing to believe so! There is physics and the physical law to contend with and my scientific rational mind would have lots of great arguments about why something is not possible. But then the artist in me awakes and says “What about Quantum physics?” All things may be possible and are happening at the same time and reality in the physical world is our manifestation and manipulation of matter. Wouldn't that be cool?! Definitely worthwhile to investigate   But for now I know I can tell you from personal experience, that beliefs do create your reality.

As far as you creating your reality, why not work in belief that it is already here?!  Is that any harder than the negative?

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