The Most Important Question You Should Be Asking Yourself: Who Am I?

by Michelle Salater on January 13, 2012

successful business

If a space alien landed in your kitchen and magically spoke English, you would have no problem explaining to it exactly how each appliance worked, what you used each pot for, and why you keep your utensils organized just so. That’s because most of us are crystal clear about the function of an oven, microwave, refrigerator, toaster, and spatula.

But if the same alien asked questions about your business—say, what exactly you do for your clients and who exactly those clients are—would you be able to answer with the same precision? If not, it’s time to get to know yourself. Otherwise, you’re unlikely to achieve the success you want in your business.

Who Are You & Whom Do You Serve?

Even the grammar of that subheading tells us something: “Who” is the subjective case of the pronoun and “whom” is the objective. In grammar, “who” takes active verbs—“who” does stuff. “Whom,” on the other hand, receives action. Or, in the case of your business, your clients (the “whom”) receive the products and services you provide for them.

So what can you learn from this grammar lesson?

First, that it’s essential for you to know your clients (and potential clients). “Who” will always match up with “whom,” just as your particular products or services will match up with only your target audience—in ideal circumstances.

If you cannot offer a detailed description of your ideal client (that is, the person whose needs would be perfectly met by what you have to offer), you need to take time to figure that out. Without a clear idea of your target market, you will struggle to create effective marketing campaigns, design advertisements, and attract business.

The second thing to take away from the pronoun review is that you need to be clear about who you are and what you’re offering to these ideal clients. Business owners who are crystal clear about their identity can answer these questions easily:

  • What products or services do I offer?
  • Who are my ideal clients?
  • Why should these clients choose me and not my competitors? (What makes me different from others offering similar products or services?)
  • How do I communicate with these clients?
  • What image do I create with my marketing materials?
  • How do I measure client response to my marketing materials?
  • How has my brand evolved in the last year?
  • Where will I take my business in the coming year?

Get Clear to Get Results

A number of apparently unrelated problems that many business owners face often boil down to a lack of clarity in the “who” and “whom”—that is, in clearly identifying yourself and your clients.

How do you plan to get to know your target audience better in the New Year?


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1 Cari January 19, 2012 at 2:48 pm

Oh Michelle!  You’re speaking my language!  You are absolutely right…very often the core problem in a business is a lack of clarity regarding what makes that business remarkable and unique.  Of course, in order to know that the business owner has to have taken what I now call The Know Thyself journey!  When a business owner has this type of profound clarity the world will have clarity about the business owner.  It can work no other way! 

2 webcopywriter January 21, 2012 at 5:23 pm

Hi Cari, thanks for the post and the advice! It’s all about knowing thyself and what you want!

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