Recently a friend asked me for safe icebreaker exercises that she could be used for team building in her company. What did she mean by safe? She meant exercises where there was no vulnerability or sharing of personal information by the attendees. It was such a shame to me because being authentic and letting down your walls to allow people to see the ‘real’ you builds trust and strengthens relationships. I am always saddened when I hear people saying that they cannot be their authentic selves at work. However, even as an entrepreneur, I can relate. I have also struggled with how much of myself is too much to show when trying to attract clients into my business.
Unique ideas didn’t equal business growth:
I have always had pretty unique ideas, but it wasn’t until I fully embraced my eccentricity and allowed it to come out and play in an authentic way that my life and business improved. For example, I created Tub Talks, a web series on YouTube where I interview people in my bathtub and discuss topics on personal and business development. Just last week a new client told me that she was drawn to me because of my Tub Talks and because I am different.
I have also built a tribe of over 400 Kick-Ass Ladies where authenticity is part of the foundation. Every member is encouraged to be their amazing authentic selves and I lead by example. I love it because nothing is off the table. Imagine 50 women coming together to celebrate each other like a professional sports team and spraying each other with champagne. I find the more vulnerable and authentic I am, the more I am attracting the right people into my life and my business.
What helped me find my authentic voice:
- Part of being able to operate authentically is letting go of what other people think of you and your business. You are not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. A close family member told me that my Tub Talks videos are embarrassing, and yet, that’s part of why people hire me. Again, the people who are fans of Tub Talks are the people I am looking to work with. I’m sure that is the case with you and your business. Remember not to take anything personally.
- When my top values are being honoured and are shining through in my business (i.e. playfulness, fun, connection, and humour) that helps attract my ideal clients. It is often those things they want more of in their own lives. My values help differentiate me from other coaches; just as your values make you and your business unique.
Things for you consider:
- What are your top values?
- How do they show up in your business?
The next time you think I can’t do that, change your thinking to ‘Challenge Accepted.’ Have fun experimenting with your authenticity and pushing yourself in your life and in your business.