Keeping it Real: Being Authentic in Business
I’m Samantha, the founder of Neapolitan Creative where I’m a bootstrappin’, brand developer for female entrepreneurs. One of my favorite things to do is helping people be comfortable with who they are and connect the puzzle pieces to build a successful and fulfilling brand.
From a young age we’re encouraged to be unique, think for ourselves and to not follow others. Growing up we heard cliche metaphors like “if your friends jumped off a cliff, would you do it too?” So why should it be any different now that we’re adults running our own business?
Starting a new business can be scary, exciting and at times confusing. It’s easy to look to others for guidance and direction and even easier to compare what we’re doing to what others are doing and eventually falling into the trap of information overload and copycatting. The truth is your clients aren’t looking for the same thing that’s already out there. They’re looking for different and unique. So be YOU, think different and stand out from everyone else.
Here are some of my favorite tips to help you become the most authentic version of you in your business.
Keep it Simple
You’ve fallen victim to the information overload. From newsletter freebies to webinars and ebooks. You wanted to gather and learn from all of the information that is out there. After all learning is good for us, right? Well, yes but only when you’re doing it for the right reasons. When you start to hoard information because you might need it later or it could be a good reference guide, it starts to be at the detriment of you & your business. All it does is create clutter and that clutter becomes the fog that keeps you from seeing where you need to go. You become a sponge just absorbing everything or, worse, a mirror that starts reflecting other people. After a while you’re emulating what everyone else is doing and you’ve lost sight of what makes you, YOU. So take a minute and unsubscribe from the newsletters, delete the unread ebooks and turn off the webinars. Say no to the information overload. Stop signing up for every freebie, webinar, newsletter that remotely ties into what you’re doing. Be specific about the people you follow, connect with and learn from. Choose only those that align with your core values as a business owner. The ones that truly inspire you, motivate you, challenge you and push you forward as the best version of you.
Keep it Fun
You started your businesses because it was fun, right? You didn’t do it because you wanted to spend countless hours building someone else’s dream. You wanted to build your dream and to have fun doing it. I challenge you to do just that. Break out of your comfort zone and build your confidence. That wit, charm or adventurous spirit that hides when you’re among strangers, let that out. Don’t dull your light in fear of what people will think. Have fun and be yourself. When you’re having fun, I guarantee those around you are having fun too. Those that aren’t, well they’re not your target market. Let them go find someone who is dull, monotonous and boring. To truly stand out, you need to be you and have fun. That’s when your light shines the brightest. It’s when you will be happy, fulfilled and building that dream you saw before you took the leap.
Your light shines brightest when you’re having fun. Click To Tweet
Keep it Honest
You have those special stories, experiences that help others understand you, learn from you and connect with you. Use them. Tell your stories and how they’ve shaped who you are and how they helped you grow and learn. Show your clients how you’ve developed as a person or an entrepreneur and how that can help them be better at what they do. When you pull from your own experience you accomplish two things: you ensure that you’re being honest, true, and genuine and you allow your people to connect with you and that connection creates a bond of support, referrals and fans that shout from the rooftops about you. So open up, be vulnerable and share your stories. Your people want to hear them and get to know the real you.
Keep it coming from your Heart
You started this business for a reason. Don’t lose sight of that. Check in with your core values, your why, your mission statement. What is your driving force? Ask yourself if what you’re about to do aligns with your core. Does it feel good? Does it feel right? If you’re not sure, ask yourself why. What doesn’t feel right? Is it fear or is it intuition telling you to stop? (Not sure how to tell the difference? Marie Forleo has a great video about how to know whether it’s Fear or Intuition. If it’s intuition, listen to it. If it’s fear, move past the fear and push forward. Your intuition will guide you and keep you on track. Your core values are your markers for knowing if you’re on the right path. If you stay focused on those and create from your heart, you’ll never have to question if you’re being authentic. Your heart always knows where you need to go.
So, when you feel like you’re losing yourself and you’re in a fog, take a step back and ask yourself if you’re keeping it simple, fun, honest and from your heart. You can only be truly authentic in business when you’re being your most honest self. While others are being sponges and mirrors choose to stand out & think different.
You can only be truly authentic in business when you're being your most honest self. Click To Tweet
What is one thing you can do, right now, to have a more authentic business? Tell me in the comments below.