You are what you say you are

Post by Katie Dunne for the Kindness in Business series.

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When creating a business it is important to be kind in many different ways. You should be kind to potential customers in order for them to trust and like you so that they become actual customers; you should be kind to the customers that you do have, so that you give them the value that they have paid for and they keep them coming back; but first and foremost, you should be kind to the business owner: yourself.

For a long time in the beginning of my (very) slowly growing business, I wavered between “I can do this!” and “Who am I to do this?” I have heard over the years that this is commonplace for many entrepreneurs who are just starting out, and even for some who have been at it for a while.

I found I was not being very kind to myself or my business when I would go to networking events and say, “I’m an event planner…but I’m just starting out,” or “I’m trying to be an event planner.” I would laugh it off and always felt a little foolish saying things like that, but I also felt like I would be lying if I didn’t add the “trying” part. In my mind I felt because I was building my business and did not have proof to back up a claim that I was really an event planner yet, I had to tell people I was just starting out.

During one networking event something happened that changed all of that. I went to an event as my introverted self and when I said to someone “I’m trying to be an event planner,” she looked at me and said, “you ARE an event planner.” I smiled at her and repeated her words, “I am an event planner.” It changed everything.

Saying it out loud, even the very first time changed the attitude I had about myself and the way I look at my business. I updated my elevator pitch and my website, sent out my first ad, and booked my first actual event! Letting the world know that I am who I say I am really worked. This business is not just something I try at anymore, it is something I give my all to, and it is exciting to let people know that.

The realization that one woman gave to me is that no one is going to take you seriously if you don’t take yourself seriously. Saying things like “I am just starting” or “I’m trying” sounds like you have given up before you have begun. Those words make you sound defeated and not confident in your abilities as an entrepreneur, and not feeling confident in yourself is not very kind.

When I would say I was “trying” or “just starting out” It felt like I was trying to justify something that didn’t need justification. Then I decided to be kind to me and embrace who I am. I made the shift to saying “I am an event planner”…period. That is who I am: event planner, founder of my own company, and accomplished event blogger.

I made a shift and my business followed. I learned from that woman you are what you say you are. And that’s important to remember every day. So, who are you? Say it out loud, and feel how great that is.

Through her event company Expertly Dunne Events, Katie Dunne helps stressed out hostesses who feel lost and overwhelmed to clam down, regroup, and plan the best party ever. 

She believes that a happy hostess should feel like a guest at her own party, so she can enjoy herself and spend time with her friends, rather than worrying about filling glasses and tending to the coat check all night. 
To find out more, visit

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