3 Reasons Why Authenticity is Key to Your Business Success
Being authentic in business sounds easy—just be honest, right? Well, yes and no. Since you were drawn to reading this article, we can safely assume you’re not someone who's in business to scam people for money, so honesty probably isn’t a problem.
Being authentic, however, is more difficult. Authenticity goes beyond simply being a good person; it encompasses who you really are, your why, and all your unique parts. As women and small business owners, we often feel like we must be more to succeed. We must be more like the entrepreneur we look up to, we must be more assertive, more confident, heck, even more interesting!
This is not authenticity.
Authenticity comes from knowing yourself and creating a business that plays well with all of you. Now, I know this is easier said than done(!), but learning to let your authenticity take the wheel in business is crucial if you want to achieve your goals.
Here are 3 reasons authenticity is key to unlocking success in your business.
1. People Are Attracted to Your Business for YOU
Think of the entrepreneurs and brands you love. What is it about them you love? In most cases, the things you just listed are authentically them. When you are working in and on your own business, are you creating a brand that is absolutely true to you or a version of you that you think you should be?
An easy way to answer this question is to answer another: when you’re creating marketing materials, reaching out to potential clients, or choosing what you want to look like each day, are you trying to emulate someone else and do what you think others want or are you choosing what you truly want and how you want to connect with others?
It may sound amazingly simple, but if you are totally true to yourself when running your business, you will have more success. Acting in a way that you think you should rather than what is authentically you simply won’t feel right. You will feel less than honest with both your clients and yourself, and will always feel that there’s something wrong. Worse, your potential clients will either feel it too and not hire you, or you’ll attract the wrong clients for you.
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2. Authenticity Allows You to Make Genuine Connections
Think there’s no such thing as the wrong client? If you’ve ever had a client that was a lovely person but just totally not aligned with you, you’ll know that there is! Not every client is the right client. If you’re not being authentic in your business, you’re not going to attract the people (clients, team members, partners) you’ll thrive with.
You are someone who wants to create change in the world for others. You want to help them, even if it’s simply to feel good. If you’re serving the wrong clients, things won’t flow smoothly, and you won’t get the rave reviews you need. You’re going to find marketing and doing the work hard, and have more problems.
When you’re authentic, your clients will be willing to grow with you and your business because they know, like, and trust you. Similarly, you’ll get significantly fewer clients who want to haggle on your prices and question your expertise.
Authenticity builds strong connections with the right people who will become life-long customers and sing your praises to others.
3. Authenticity Allows You See the Bigger Picture
When you are authentic to yourself, you stop trying to live up to what others expect you to be, do, and say. This means that any negative feelings of being untruthful to yourself and your customers will be washed away and allows you to be present. This lets you see the infinite possibilities ahead of you.
When you’re authentic in business, you’ll be able to outsource more easily what you know you’re not good at. You’ll be able to say no to the projects that aren’t in your zone of genius. Essentially, authenticity allows you to say no to stress and drive straight toward your vision.
How great does that sound?!
As an entrepreneur, you l-o-v-e the big picture stuff. Most of us would be happy to sit in that daydream each and every day, and we’re great at dreaming up paths to get us there. The big problem is that we’re often so busy limiting ourselves (I can’t achieve that until I’m more X and less Y) that we lack the courage and strength to actively fulfill our grand plans.
Authenticity in business doesn’t mean you have to bare all – but it does mean you need to be aware of your strengths and play those up. And to know your weaknesses so you can work around them. Of course, we should grow and change, but we can’t become something we’re not. Pretending we are is not only exhausting, but it repels customers. Authenticity makes you a magnet for your ideal customer.
Of course, it’s not just about getting more business. It’s also that you feel the best when you’re being yourself in your business. That makes not only your work life better, but the rest of your life as well.
Great—now you know why authenticity is the key, it’s time to find out how to implement authenticity in your marketing and business. The best place to do that? Grab my book The Authentic Marketer today…read it and put everything you learn into practice. Enjoy!
Linda believes that small business owners can step into a better version of their business when they embrace authenticity and become more fully themselves. Her 25-year marketing career has included Kimpton Hotels, Jamba Juice, and Disney helping her clients win awards and placements in publications like The Wall Street Journal and TIME Magazine, as well as on the front cover of WIRED magazine. You can visit her website here: lindabasso.com or join her FB conversation.