This week we chatted to Cat Paterson, A.K.A the Straight Talking Ginger, about how to reign in that monkey mind and create your very own YOUprint. Read on for some serious straight talk!
Hey, I’m Cat, a straight talking strengths detective for gritty and determined entrepreneurs and willing accomplice in creating your freedom and profit YOUprint (ditch the blueprints).
As an ex-intelligence analyst for a national covert agency, profiling you and your business is my game, so you can play to your strengths and consciously create a business that you can’t wait to jump out of the perfect temperature bed for.
I work with you to love your life and business, work with the perfect customers and create your legacy.
Lead. Stop Following.
What’s your best tip for someone who is rebranding?
Know thyself. Be you, 100%, warts and all. Get clear on your core values, your strengths, what you care about and what makes you tick and weave THAT into everything you do. People buy from people and branding is the perfect stage to showcase your personality and attract your people.
Don’t be a cookie cutter version of someone else. Own your quirks!
What’s your take on starting a business, and which tools can people use to get them organised?
I’m always up front and say starting a business is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. It’s not all cocktails on the beach (or other one-dimensional social media post). Go in with your eyes open, be prepared to make mistakes, learn, tune into your gut and your unique Modus Operandi (your strengths) and do things your way. That’s the only way that counts.
Productivity and being organised is my little vice. I love a plan and love being the idea butterfly catcher to creative types who love the big picture but struggle to execute on the plan.
Everyone has their own way of doing things, YOUprints remember, so, if you’re creative use a visual planner like trello or a bullet journal. If you’re about timelines, projects and milestones, a colour coded excel spreadsheet will be your best friend. Out connecting with people? Then a diary and a way to capture contacts will be big on your list.
What is the biggest misconception when it comes to turning passion into business?
I really feel for new businesses who are starting out and drown in a sea of information overload, not knowing who to believe or what information is up-to-date. I don’t believe there’s a magic elixir or silver bullet to running a 6 figure business.
I also don’t believe it needs to be all hard work and hustle, 5am morning success routines (unless that’s your gig) or selling your soul or doing anything that compromises your values.
A profitable, sustainable business rarely happens overnight but it does happen when you know what you’re great at, where you are and roughly where you’re headed. The route can change.
How can people define their strengths?
Take my YOUprint quiz of course (ha!)
Most people focus on their skills and not their strengths. Skills are learned behaviours that we pick up along our merry way in life. Strengths on the other hand can be pretty elusive to us because they are so innate. Ask friends what you are the ‘go-to’ person for. It might surprise you what they say but it will be something that you do naturally that you assume everyone else can do.
How can your personality affect the way you run a business?
Imagine you’re an introvert and are told that you MUST go and network every single day and get out there. Maybe you’re an extroverted multi-passionate entrepreneur and are told you need to pick one thing and focus. None of that advice is going to work or you might try it for a while then give up because it’s not how you’re designed, thinking you’ve failed miserably.
Your Modus Operandi (M.O. – operating system) is unique to you. Your way is the only way. If you stop peeking over the fence at what others are doing and how they’re doing it, you can spend your precious time more effectively by working out how you do things and do that. You’ll feel more at ease and have a lot more fun. That’s a promise.
How can you harness your personal skills?
Skills are so useful when running your own business. Most of what we’ve learned or picked up can be easily transferred, however my caveat is always if that skill is not a natural strength it should be on your hit list for delegating and getting help.
Work out your hourly rate and record the amount of time carrying out a task that lies outside your strengths and comfort zone. It adds up pretty quickly. Could you get someone who does have that zone of genius and get it done in half the time so you can get back to doing what you love? Worth a thought.
Something you wish you knew when you started?
Shiny objects don’t solve problems. If I had a £1 for every time I thought ‘If I just have X, Y or Z’ that will be the thing that makes my business take off.
The majority of the business owners I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the years all reflect the same thoughts. We all came to the same conclusion eventually, sometimes later than was helpful for their business I may add.
You need to know what you value and who you are, a product or service to sell, people to buy it and accountability to make it happen.
Don’t do it alone.