The first two letters in the word ‘business’ are significant. B U. Be you. In order to have true success in business, you have to be true to yourself. Be genuine and transparent. Embrace your strengths and your weaknesses. Your positive traits and your flaws. Your successes and your failures. Let your personality shine through. Not the mask that many people wear to hide who they are or misrepresent themselves as someone they are not. Your potential customers and team members want to know who they are doing business with. Now is not the time to shy away from them.
Has there ever been in a time in your life when you have not given yourself enough credit for everything that you have accomplished? Where you played down your achievements in a way that went beyond humility and bordered on self-effacing? There is nothing wrong with being humble and avoiding the trap of being prideful. However, when you take it to the point where you not only deny yourself the joy of a job well done, but deny others of knowing about all that you have to offer this world in the form of your skills and talents, you are doing everyone a disservice. Don’t be afraid to share your achievements with people. They are a part of who you are.
Have you ever felt ashamed of something even though you knew deep down that you shouldn’t feel that way? Take me for example. I really used to hate having my picture taken. Although there were tons of pictures of everyone else in my family, finding pictures of me is was a rarity. One day I realized how unfair this is for my children to not have those mementos to look back on. After all, how would I feel if they refused to ever let me take pictures of them? So many memories would have not been documented for us to peruse at our leisure. And when I reexamined the fear that were responsible for my hatred of pictures, I realized how silly it was and got over it. Sometimes you have to do that. Get over yourself and open yourself up to things.
It can genuinely be difficult to truly be yourself with some people. Especially with people that you do not know. Many of us have walls put up that are seemingly insurmountable. And that is what makes us feel safe and secure. However, there is something very brave in being able to overcome a fear of judgment and letting people see you for who you truly are. And, believe it or not, even when you are upfront about flaws or mistakes, people can respect that. Admire it, even. That’s because humans are flawed. There is not a single one of us that is perfect. And when a business owner can come out and confess to a mistake or admit to failures, it makes it easier for people to relate.
I, myself, have spent the last year being (for the most part) very ‘presentable’ in my business. I stifled my true personality and somehow went back to that ’employee’ way of thinking. WHAT? What was I thinking? I don’t know, but it really began taking a toll on me. I started filtering myself, tampering myself down for fear that I would insult someone or be taken the wrong way or be *gasp* looked down upon.
The thing of it is, some people will like you for being EXACTLY the way you are – and some people won’t. I had this point drilled into me on Christmas Eve, of all days! People who don’t have a CLUE who I really am, nor have any intention or desire to GET to know me formed an opinion of me. A very disappointing and entirely misinformed and STUPID opinion of me. Not based on my actual person, but on their own crazy, selfish and ignorant standards of judging other people. And it really hurt – for a moment.
And then, I realized something – their opinion of me was fucked up, for sure, BUT it was not my reality. THEY were the ones who choose to live in that kind of Holier-Than-Thou craziness. I didn’t have to participate in it and I certainly wasn’t missing out on anything if they didn’t want my presence in their lives. THEY were the ones missing out!
This whole scenario made me realize that no matter what I do, I will never be able to please everyone. And that is PERFECTLY OK! The people who I want to do business with, the people I want in my personal life, the people I want on my team, are the ones who will be drawn to me for being the freakin’ amazing person that I am.
Cocky? Live my life and come as far as I have and see if you don’t have a healthy dose of confidence. 😉
My point is this… just B U! In life, every area of it, including your business! The people who are meant to be in your life will be there and you will be able to filter out the losers who can’t handle your Awesome!
To Your AUTHENTICITY!
~ Carrie A Medford
Perhaps you have your own story of how you overcame something, how you made a mistake or experienced a setback and bounced back from it. Tell us about your struggle in the comments below.