Businesses today are all about the relationship. We want to buy from and sell to the people we connect with. I buy from Marie Forleo because I love that she’s not afraid to laugh at herself, she knows her shizzle, is generous with her information and she’s one sassy broad.
Marie is herself and I like that.
Look at those folks you admire the most. Here are two of mine – Amelia Earhardt – damn, if she didn’t light the world on fire! Tina Fey – nerdy beauties rock. You know where you stand with her and she doesn’t care if you aren’t happy about it.
What I learned at RHHLive – above all else and any amazing tips on how to rock entrepreneurship – be your freakin’ self! Why do we love Marie Forleo and Kris Carr? Because they are so completely themselves and they revel in it. (Oh yeah, that’s me above a long time ago. Being myself. With my dolphin. We are AWESOME!)
“People don’t connect with logos and taglines; they connect with other people.” Amy Jo Martin, Renegades Write the Rules
The danger, then, is thinking that in order to make it in our industry, we’ve got to be like them. They’ve got it down, right? They’ve got it going.
Here’s what happens when we copy others. From a pure business perspective, we don’t stand out. We’re just part of the crowd. And frankly, it feels like shit. Like you really don’t know what the next step is. How could you? You’re busy trying to be someone else but you’re not them.
It’s like paint by numbers. Do they even have paint by numbers anymore? If you’ve ever seen one, you’ll know the piece looks dead and plastic. And if you’ve ever done one – well, there’s no worse a creative wet blanket than painting by someone else’s instructions. Boring, boring.
When we’re ourselves, all of our energy can go into what we do and how we be; we don’t waste any energy pretending to be anyone else.
When we are ourselves, we attract our perfect clients. They know whom and why we are. No energy goes into trying to be the vendor our not-so-perfect client wants. The attraction is unmistakable.
“This above all; to thine own self be true and it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.” William Shakespeare, Hamlet
Being yourself means that there are going to be some people who don’t like you – maybe a lot. So what? If they don’t wanna hang with you, why would you wanna hang with them? This is as true in your personal life as it is in business.
As Chelsea Handler says “If everybody likes you, you’re obviously not doing something right.” Right on, sister!
How do we be ourselves, then? Because from an early age we’re taught to survive by not standing out. We are taught to blend in and be part of the group. Years of that bullshit and it’s a wonder you have an inkling at all that you’re not being yourself.
The “inkling” shows itself in several ways.
1. We are depressed. Life feels like a bit of a drag when you think about it.
2. Doing things by rote is a way of life. Yucch!
3. Our businesses don’t thrive. Hell, WE don’t thrive!
4. You don’t want to get out of bed in the morning. OK, cold rainy weekends don’t count.
There are more, I’m sure, but you get the point.
Using the above as a barometer for not-being-yourself, if you aren’t being [fill in your name here], then what? It comes down to self-discovery.
I’m still figuring this out, but here are a few things to try.
1. Writing helps. Any kind. They say you have to write a lot to discover your “voice” which is really just another word for “your self.” I think that’s true.
2. Doodling. What is it that you draw over and over again when you’re not actively thinking about something specific? What does the symbol mean to you? Are there any clues there?
3. Check out the pictures from your past. Take a look at that little girl that was you years ago. What was she like? Cause you are she.
4. Notice. Notice when you feel less than. Notice when something feels a little off. Notice when you say “yes” but want to say “no.” Those are the times when you aren’t being you. Then figure out what you really want to do or say and then do it.
So what do you think? Do you think being yourself in business is a good idea? What have you given up by being yourself? What have you gained? How do you figure out who you really are?
Please respond below and let me know your thoughts. And as always, if you like this post, please share with your friends (because we all know it’s nice to share…) by going social below!