While talking to a group of business owners recently about one of our courses, I mentioned some topics that were covered, including authenticity. One of them stopped me and said, “I don’t even know what authenticity means in this context – how does that apply to me and my business?”
I was glad she said that, because it opened my eyes to something that many overlook in their marketing (me included, apparently!). We forget that our audience hasn’t read everything we’ve read or researched everything we’ve researched…and we create a gap. A gap between what we believe is important and what our audience sees as important.
So, I sidestepped for a minute to bridge my unintentional gap, and it went something like this…
What does authenticity mean and why is it important? Authenticity is a word many people understand in its literal sense, but not its application. We know that it’s about being honest and real, but how does being authentic impact our lives and our businesses?
When you are authentic, you’re powerful. You know who you are and you’re not afraid to share yourself with the world. It’s a state of confidence and self-acceptance. An authentic business leader naturally attracts followers, as well as business opportunities, because people sense their openness. They build relationships based on trust and compassion.
When you are NOT authentic, things aren’t so rosy. Lack of authenticity is at the root of many challenges we face as individuals, business leaders and parents.
Business Leaders lacking authenticity continually wrestle with lack of engagement and loyalty from employees and business partners. Inspiring others is impossible without a solid connection to your own inspiration.
Speakers and trainers lacking authenticity become talking heads. No one will buy into what you’re saying unless you believe it wholeheartedly and can effectively convey your enthusiasm.
Salespeople lacking authenticity don’t sell as much because they can’t convince their customers that they have their best interest at heart (because deep down, they don’t).
And don’t forget this isn’t just about business…
Parents lacking authenticity miss chances to connect and grow along with their children. When you aren’t authentic, you send the message to your child that it’s not OK to be yourself – to open up, make mistakes and be vulnerable – and that who you are isn’t “good enough.”
Friends lacking authenticity aren’t truly friends. They are life props. If you don’t feel good enough about yourself to show your true colors, you’ll end up attracting fair weather friends – the ones who are only interested in the rainbows and not the rain.
Living “on the surface,” makes it difficult to build strong relationships that are essential to personal fulfillment and business success. When you align with your own authenticity, not only do you attract others who are also coming from an authentic place, you increase your own power to connect and grow exponentially. And who couldn’t use a little more of that?