Don’t Forget to Be Authentic

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I’ve been there, and chances are you have too…

ceramic dollIn the quest to put forth a splendid professional image of ourselves and our businesses, sometimes we act more like ceramic dolls on a shelf (perfect, unblemished objects) than the genuine, warm-blooded human beings that we are.

But our fellow humans can’t relate to this untouchable, inauthentic behavior! That’s why it’s so important to bring your genuine self to the table…because if we want to connect with other humans, we need to be human. Vulnerable. Authentic. REAL. No fakey exterior, no sitting pretty at the top of a crystal tower where the people on the ground can hardly see us, much less understand what the heck we’re saying. A novel concept, right? But it’s all too easy to forget.

So, to help you remember, I found these excellent words of advice in The Fire Starter Sessions by Danielle LaPorte:

“…forget about being impressive and commit to being real.”

“Let people see the full scope of what you’re doing. You can be modest and powerful. Factual and engaging. Facts + feelings = genuinely compelling.”

I second what Danielle said, and advise the following:

Don’t Forget to Be Your Authentic Self…

  • On Your Website, so your visitors & blog readers can get to know the REAL person behind your business.
  • In Networking/In-Person Situations, to give the person you’re talking to a full three-dimensional snapshot of YOU…not some carefully-constructed facade they can’t even relate to.
  • During Interviews…be they live on video/audio, or just a written Q&A, let those listeners or viewers get a sense of your personality.
  • In Your Client/Customer Relations: Be professional, but DON’T hide your personality or try to be abeautiful mess pristinely perfect ceramic doll on a shelf. Human beings may be beautiful messes, but hey, that makes us interesting (and vibrant, and unique, and the list goes on)!

And how to be authentic without over-sharing? Showcase the essential qualities & quirks that make you YOU, but leave out the gory details — like the fact that you work all day in your home office wearing nothing but your skivvies, or what crazy things you did in Vegas last weekend (unless your business is in planning wild bachelorette parties — then it might work). 😉

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About Barbara Austin

As the graphic designer & founder of Sweet Dreamz Design, Barbara loves working with women entrepreneurs to brand their businesses. She shares a variety of small business advice and anecdotes here on the blog. Check back every week for new tips, inspirations, and how-to articles, or subscribe to get regular updates in your inbox each week!

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