Relationships are the cornerstone of doing business. People are much more willing to hire individuals or companies they have a connection with.
If you don’t bring who you are to your job or business, if you’re in business for the wrong reasons or if you dread going to work every day, your customers will see right through you—stopping you from reaching your full potential.
This connection that we crave when building a professional relationship comes from sensing that someone is authentic—meaning they are truly passionate about their work, and their personality shines in the way they do business.
When you meet these people, you know it; you can see the excitement on their face, and they are genuinely eager to work with you. You’re probably excited to work with them as well.
You also know it when you meet people who are just the opposite, even fake in some way. Perhaps they’re distracted, cranky or dismissive, or you just get that nagging feeling that they don’t mean what they say. Or maybe they’re so worried about not being good enough that they simply try too hard.
The bottom line is inauthenticity is a huge turn-off.
If you want to have greater success in your business, you simply must be more YOU. Here are four ways you can bring authenticity to the work you do:
1) Define your life’s purpose
What’s your purpose for getting out of bed every day? The answer is uniquely yours; maybe you’re trying to change the world, or maybe you’re trying to take care of your family. Once you’ve settled on what it is you’re bringing—not trying to get, but bringing—to this life, ask yourself in everything you do, whether it’s business or personal: Does this serve my purpose?
Remember your purpose when times get tough. It’s easy to get burned out or frustrated. This should help fan the flames of your passion.
2) Create a mission statement
This is like defining your purpose, but for your business. Why are you in business? To serve others, make people’s lives easier, share knowledge, make people safer, bring equal opportunity? When you’ve developed your mission statement, post it on the wall where you can see it. Let it be a reminder to keep you on the path that your heart and your passion defined for your business.
3) Develop or revamp your brand identity
Who are you? What are you all about? What words and images best describe you? When someone comes to your website or sees your logo somewhere, they’ll make a split-second decision about how they feel about you and your business. You need to develop a look and feel that expresses who you are, who your company is and the unique value you bring to your customers. This creates an immediate connection and understanding about who you are and what you do.
The same goes for when you interact with your current or potential clients in person or over the phone. Let them see your personality, passion and purpose. Don’t try too hard to convince them that your product or service is the right one for them. Don’t let your fear and insecurity cause you to work so hard at proving yourself that you end up looking worse than you feel.
4) Treat your competition like you would treat your customers
No matter where you are in your business, just getting off the ground or years in, how you deal with your competition can make a huge difference in your success. You’ll see people out there who are afraid that people will steal their ideas, so they guard them closely and are wary of you. You’ll also find people who don’t think there’s enough room in the market for you and them, so they’ll tear you down in front of others.
What these kinds of people don’t realize, though, is that you gain greater success by trading competitiveness for collaboration. This doesn’t have to be a dog-eat-dog world. In fact, the more we do to help each other be successful—in every way—the more successful we become. Just like Robert Green Ingersoll says, “You will rise by lifting others.”
People are very diverse; they have individual talents, interests, wants, and needs. By understanding that others’ paths are not, and cannot be, the same as yours, you’ll start to see how their success will not derail yours. The people around you are not a threat to your ego, your relationships, or your business—unless you make them one. If you leave fear behind, you are free instead to lift them up and help them on their journey. You can make your competition your advocate, and vice versa.
Authenticity is not about acting or pretending—it’s about being. Bring that to your business and you’ll start to see the change you’ve been looking for.
Find out what’s keeping you from being authentic in your business:
CLICK HERE to join us for our FREE teleseminar on Friday, May 24th at 4:00 p.m. Central time.