This is part two of a series of posts written by Susanna Halonen, Coach, Consultant and speaker at Happyologist. If you missed her first post check it out Letting your passion drive your happy startup
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
Whether you’re thinking about starting your own startup, joining an existing one, or making some change in your current job, you’ve got to consider whether they are a fit with the authentic you. The authentic you is all about who you are, what you do and what you support.
If you work in an area or role that’s not aligned with your inner values and beliefs, you’re more likely to suffer from more stress and conflict in your life.
So how how do you make sure what you’re working with is authentic to who you are? Here are three key elements to think about: using your strengths, doing what you love, and being happy with yourself. Below these sections you will find practical tips on how to put them into action.
Using your strengths
What you’re naturally good at is often what you also enjoy the most. Whatever your strengths might be, you can always embed them into your startup in some way. And here’s why you should:
- It contributes to your fulfilment and your uniqueness.
- It’s connected to happiness and job satisfaction.
- It improves your motivation and performance.
Doing what you love
It’s important that you build your startup, or at least some part of your startup, around something you enjoy and identify yourself with. You could call this your passion. And why should you incorporate that in? Because you will experience more positive emotions, improved wellbeing and a higher level of performance.
You’re also more likely to experience moments of flow. Flow is a peak performance experience in which you are effortlessly performing at your best. Your strengths, experience and skills take over your subconscious, and you become fully immersed in what you are doing, not noticing time go by. You experience enjoyment and get energised from moments like these.
Being happy with yourself
When you’re deciding what kind of startup you want to create, remember to be you. As Oscar Wilde said: “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” Be who you really want to be, not what others want to see. Similarly, build a startup brand you want to be, not what others want you to be. You will be:
- More committed to and satisfied with your startup.
- Feel more empowered and motivated (especially in the face of challenge).
- You will set better goals and you will be more resilient against stress.
You need to explore your natural strengths, think about the brand you personally portray, and what it is that you love to do. You also need to consider what your values are, and then look at how to put all of these to good use through your startup. Follow these practical steps to get started:
1. Take the VIA Strengths Survey online. Check your top 5 strengths and ask yourself: How can I make the most out of these natural characteristics in my startup?
2. Ask 30 people to list your top 3 qualities & from these create a list of top 5. (Hint: You can create a simple Google Survey which your 30 people can easily answer.) Then ask yourself: How can I put these qualities to good use in my startup?
3. Think about what you love to do & how it drives you. How can you incorporate more of this into your life or work? (P.S. If you haven’t already check out Letting your passion drive your happy startup for more.)
4. What are your top 5 values? Identify what’s important to you when you’re making decisions.
5. If you were a brand, which brand would you be and why? Explore what qualities of this brand you’d want to portray and how.
Start exploring the authentic you with the questions above and you’ll discover what kind of brand you really want to build. When you build a startup that’s authentic to you, you will build a successful, sustainable brand which you are happy and motivated to keep working on.
Susanna from Happyologist offers one-to-one coaching, group workshops and inspirational talks to help you find your happiness and fulfil your potential. For more tips and to sign-up to a free weekly happiness newsletter, visit her website: Happyologist.co.uk