The Research Triangle Park

On The Menu Recap: The Art of Self Discovery in Business

By Author Jan 15, 2019
On the Menu Shawn Ramsey

Shawn Ramsey On the MenuFrontier RTP’s “On The Menu” series has gone tremendously well so far, and we are excited for 2019. We hoped to bring an event that would kick start everyone’s year with great success, so we began with a topic centered on the backbone of your company – you!

January 10, we invited expert Shawn Ramsey from The Art of Moxie to talk about the role of self-discovery in business. With 20+ years of experience as a strategic communications consultant and entrepreneurial coach, Shawn’s goal is to empower communication among entrepreneurs and help them reach their objectives.

The art of self-discovery for business is like therapy. It’s not a bad thing at all, just an important stage of reevaluation to inspire yourself again. Shawn explained it is essential to understand where you are in your business journey, and how your role as a leader is key to getting where you want to be.

Begin this process by asking the questions that no one wants to ask: Am I the right person to lead this organization? What motivates or scares me in this business? Do I know that customers want what I am selling?

Shawn dove further into detail, demonstrating that this understanding of yourself can determine changes you need to make in your business. If you are clear on your purpose, your next plan of action, and can identify the right people or tools needed for the job, you will be able to communicate more effectively to grow your business.

This reminded me of planting my first flower seed when I was nine; just like the seed required certain conditions to grow, it is key for business owners to equip themselves with the right knowledge and tools to create the best growth for the business.

Though the start of the process is this evaluation, it is also helpful to get feedback from others. Shawn advised to be cautious of self-perception, because chances are, we would always pass our own tests! Another interesting take from the room was that in the pursuit for perfection, some might view themselves in a harsher light. I definitely agree with both sides of the spectrum. Ultimately this exercise revealed that we will always need a second opinion to determine a realistic viewpoint.

On the Menu Shawn RamseyNext, Shawn showed that there is no “set model” for the perfect business. Any CEO would want to make the best decisions for their company, but could easily strive for too much if they do not determine the right changes to make. When considering things like what you think your customers want vs. what they actually need, or deciding on a concept you think will be well received vs. the concept that will actually be successful, it is important to take what only applies to you and your goals. Instead of being a “yes” person, you have to ask why.

Shawn explained that’s because people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. While most companies should always aim to profit, that is considered a result. Your why is a purpose, cause or belief; it is the reason your organization exists. By focusing on the why, you can find new motivation in yourself and a difference in how audiences will view your business.

Following that, she asked everyone in the room to write their personal WHY statement:

“My goal is to ____ so that ____.”

In making your contribution and impact clear, you will be able to find the right direction for your company, and attract the right audiences to your success. I am personally a big fan of Etsy, an e-commerce website that was B-corporation certified. After learning about B-corporations at our first On The Menu event and their strive for a balance between purpose and profit, it definitely built my loyalty to the company.

Lastly, Shawn reminded us to turn the insight we gathered today into action. Finding your way is the first step, but the real work goes into walking the walk. I thoroughly enjoyed this topic because the principle of staying true to yourself can be applied in everyday aspects of my life. Using why as a compass to making decisions can definitely help us live our best lives.

Our next workshop is On The Menu: Intentional Networking on February 5. If you’d like to attend our upcoming On The Menu workshops or see what else is going on in RTP, check out our events page!