Our thoughts and words have immense power.
The power to change perception, to make people feel and to inspire action.
The language we use (when speaking to others, but also to ourselves) makes a difference.
These simple mindset and language shifts have made a big difference
I noticed some big shifts in my confidence and attitude when I started paying attention to the way I think and speak about myself and my business.
Here are three simple mindset and language shifts I’ve made that have impacted my business positively.
1. I changed the way I label myself and my job
What do I do for a living?
“I am a business owner.”
I’m not a “solopreneur” or “freelancer” as I have called myself in the past.
Business owners (myself included) are often guilty of downplaying what we do by using language that unfortunately diminishes our work.
While ‘solopreneur’ is a sexy, catchy buzzword, it puts the emphasis on the word ‘solo.” Who cares how many people are or aren’t around while you rock your work?
And please don’t even get me started on the word ‘freelancer.’ Labeling yourself a freelancer takes away any ownership or autonomy over what you do. It’s not a title that commands respect, and often times clients think of “freelancers” differently than they do “experts” or “strategic partners” they hire for their expertise.
At the heart of it, no matter what you do, you’re likely a business owner. Or a founder. Or a CEO. (Choose your favorite title!)
Think about it this way:
If you’re a writer with bylines from publications, you run a business.
If you’re a graphic designer working with clients, you run a business.
If you run an Etsy shop selling your wares, you run a business.
When I changed the way I speak about what I do, I noticed a significant change in the way people reacted to me. I noticed a new level of professionalism and respect.
Plus, I feel like a badass when I tell people I’m a business owner! It’s something to be proud of, and I hope you’re proud of what you do too.
2. I tweaked the way I explain JL&Co to others
I’ve added two simple words to the way I explain what JL&Co does to others: “go-to.”
Thank you, Jaclyn Johnson for this gem of a tip! While reading the Create & Cultivate founder’s book WorkParty, I was struck by a story she told about deciding to call her former company the “go-to influencer marketing and events agency.”
She writes: “How did we become ‘go-to?’ Simple, I called us the ‘go-to agency’ and said it over and over again until people believed it.”
Absolutely genius. A lightbulb went off in my mind as I read those words, and I immediately decided to reframe the way I talk about JL&Co and what we do.
Rather than saying, “Oh, I run my own communications business. We specialize in content management”, I’m pivoting to say, “JL&Co is the go-to agency for content management.”
Boom. Two simple words. Big, big difference in meaning.
3. I stopped calling my projects/passions/business “little”
Confession: I’m writing this tip here for myself, as much as I am for you reading.
Have you ever heard someone say, “Oh, I have a little blog” or “My little side hustle”?
I definitely have. (And I’ve done it before, too.)
Please stop calling your business or your side hustle or your passion project little or small.
By doing so, you’re literally telling people it’s not a big deal. You’re diminishing your hard work and telling others (even if you don’t mean it) that they really shouldn’t care that much because it doesn’t really sound like you do.
Whatever you’re working on is important. If you’re dedicating your time, energy and expertise toward something, it matters. So please don’t downplay it.