THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Serial Entrepreneurship…Making Waves Is The Best Thing You Can Do For Success

It is inherently human to desire some level of success, whether personally or professionally. For many of us, stepping into a role of leadership is crucial to achieving this success. Yet, leadership is not just for the sake of leading. True leadership is discovering our unique path of creating an impact. When we impact people, our leadership can truly flourish, and I believe our success is entirely contingent on it.

When you ask yourself the question, “Why do I want to lead?” what is the real answer? Now before you read on, I encourage you to pause and take a moment to honestly consider this. 

If you are embarking on a journey to lead, I can only assume it’s because you have something big to share with the world. Any of us on this path feel like we have something to give, otherwise, we wouldn’t be considering leadership in the first place. But when we dig a little deeper, what is really driving the bus behind us wanting to lead?

Is it because we desire a sense of validation from leadership? Maybe we feel obliged in leadership, as we never wanted to lead but felt we had no choice? Maybe we want to lead merely so others will follow? 

Or maybe we want to lead because we wholeheartedly believe in our ability to make waves, create a real impact in people’s lives, and to confidently lead them to success?

I know, I know. That last answer feels like we hit the jackpot and if it were completely true, we’d already have aced this multiple-choice leadership quandary. But it’s not that simple. Before we can be great leaders, we need to be frank with ourselves about why we want to lead, and most importantly, we need to discover what we are truly leading people toward.

I like to call this discovering our unique point of impact. This is the touchpoint where we begin to change lives, make meaningful connections, and create long-lasting, profound impact. Discovering our unique point of impact is like uncovering the gift that we were meant to share with the world and I believe, our success completely depends on it. Here’s why:

If we have not discovered our unique point of impact, our reason for wanting to lead is likely ingenuine. We feel we have a lot to give, but we have not honed it and it’s palpable. We do not move with authority. We question our impact and professionalism. Our confidence is fleeting, as is our message and our cause. We do not act with the integrity of a leader, the consistency, or the expertise. In this online day and age, we perceive leaders everywhere, and it imbues a sense of leadership for the sake of leading. For the accolades, the prestige, the validation of leadership. We view leadership plainly as a path to our success.

As I stated before, it is inherently human to desire success, whatever that means to you. However, if we have not discovered our unique gift for impacting people’s lives, then we might as well be leading ourselves to the means of an end. I share this with you from experience.

After 5 years of serial entrepreneurship, trying and failing with different business ideas and freelancing gigs, I am now the proud owner of Cove Branding, a full-service Branding and Design Studio specializing in Brand Strategy, Custom Logo Design, Website Design, and Brand Photography. Cove Branding is the first business I’ve had that is making money consistently, perpetuating itself, and receiving rave reviews from my clients. What gives? 

I am  24, having started my entrepreneurial journey at just 18 years old. You could assume my earlier “failures” had all to do with being young, having no idea what I was doing, being self-taught in marketing and design, being inexperienced, and lacking the mindset to succeed. With all that being said, what I didn’t have were the tools to make an impact on people’s lives – and it showed. 

Back when I first started my entrepreneurial journey, I didn’t know what I wanted – I just knew I was meant to be an entrepreneur. I saw owning a business as my plane ticket to a successful life. When I look back, it wasn’t about being in service to others, it was about finding a service to provide to grow a successful business. I was misguided to say the least. 

The worst part of this time (aside from lacking the ability to close clients) was that I constantly questioned my impact, and rightfully so, as I wasn’t seasoned enough to make an impact to begin with.

Leadership should begin and end with service. It should be a human-centric approach to greatly impacting people’s lives. And not because you decide you are making an impact. But because the people you are impacting are coming back to you again and again, expressing how you have helped them, tearing up on client calls, referring you to their friends and family. It is for this reason that I believe that once we realize our point of impact, we cannot fail.

So what does it really mean to “make waves” in our entrepreneurial and professional roles? Furthermore, what can we do right now to discover our unique point of impact and step into leadership like never before? Here are 5 tips for making an impact that I can leave you with today:

1) Learn to Connect: You are a person before you are a business or an employee. Don’t be afraid to show yourself. There is no one else like you who can give how you give.

 2) Become A True Expert: The internet makes it look like it will happen overnight. It won’t. Get curious. Become hyper-focused on learning, practicing, and evolving. The confidence from true expertise cannot be faked.

 3) Identify A Need: What is lacking in your industry? What is lacking in your company? How can you fill that gap so wholly that your value is undeniable?

4) Take Consistent Action: None of us wake up knowing how we’re going to change the world. You just have to set upon a path, even if later on you realize it’s not the right one. You’ll only get to where you’re going by moving on from where you’re at. 

5) Be in Service: If you are devoted to being in service to others, giving real value, and to impacting people’s lives, I promise you, that you cannot and will not fail. 

If we do not discover our unique point of impacting people’s lives, we will never be great leaders. We will always question our impact. A leader is someone who can confidently light the path for others to follow, with candid self-assurance that they are in fact leading others steps closer to success. If we doubt our own impact and choose to light the path anyway, we may lead some to success while never finding our own. 

Ara Marquez is the CEO and Founder of Cove Branding, a full-service Branding and Design Studio based in Wilmington, NC that specializes in Brand Strategy, Custom Logo Design, Website Design and Brand Photography. Ara is a completely self-taught entrepreneur, marketer and brand designer with over 5 years in the industry. She has a passion for helping small businesses grow and succeed by empowering entrepreneurs with targeted brand strategy and captivating designs that showcase what they do, who they do it for and how they do it better than anyone else. She is also a mother-to-be!