How to Be Your Authentic Self in Business

You see, in order to authentically share my message in a way that would have an impact on my audience, I had to completely let go of my drive to “perform.” But, let me tell you, the “performance” drive was so ingrained in me it took a lot of “undoing” for me to release the expectations I had on myself (and any expectation I thought my audience was putting on me).

Honestly, I used to worry about every detail of my performance, as if there were still a panel of discerning judges waiting to critique my every move.

Ahhhh, but there WAS a panel of extremely critical judges in my OWN mind; until I learned how to be completely 100% authentic, transparent, honest and open when I am “on stage” and off! This authenticity completely eliminated my drive to “perform” and also got rid of the judges in my head while making a HUGE difference in the impact and connection I have with my audience.

So, what does it look like to give up your performance and step into your authenticity… in business?! Over the course of the next few weeks, I’ll share some examples from my own experiences in hopes these will give you a glimpse of how to be your authentic self in YOUR business.

Speak From Your Heart

In my desire to help more people and make a difference when I speak, I did a lot of research to discover the “style” in which to speak so I could make a lasting connection with my audience. I studied with a few mentors that were considered by many to be the “masters” in the field of speaking. These experts had their talks down to a science. Literally; every gesture, every joke, every inflection in their voice, every nod and smile were perfectly executed.

However, these types of presentations always felt sleazy and calculated to me; as if the speaker didn’t really care about the audience. Needless to say, I quickly dismissed what I learned from them and decided to find my own voice! And that’s the best way for you to share your authentic self, too.

Finding your own voice requires you to connect with yourself, connect with the love in your heart and the light you want to share with others. Yes, it’s important to have a few key points in mind to talk about, but what truly gets your audience on board (whether it’s 1 person or 1000 people) is how they FEEL when you’re talking. Here are some questions to think about from the perspective of your audience/your listener:

Do they feel that you truly care about them? Do you come across as authentic to them? Do they feel like you have their best interest in mind? Do you show up as the same person on stage as you do when you’re off stage? Are you aligned with your message? Do you feel “real” to them (rather than polished and perfect)?

These things are what truly matter to every person you talk to in your business. Take some time to contemplate these questions to best assess where you stand now in being authentic with your clients, prospects and audience members.

And, remember, when you forget about what you think you “should” be doing and focus on speaking from your heart, your authentic self shows up… every time!

Focus Brings Long Term Results

This was opportunistic thinking and diminished my efforts as I got started by adding more work rather than focusing on one business. It was all very tempting to try and run them at the same time to see which one would take off. Unfortunately there was no focus and when times got tough I jumped across to work on the business that interested me more.

Opportunistic Thinking Is Bad

If you are like me and see that everything is possible and always keeping an open mind about business ideas, then you will find it irresistible to try new ideas. Trust me I’ve learnt the hard way. So how have I changed this? I’m a huge fan of Yaro Starak’s blog – entrepreneurs-journey.com and one day he wrote a post about his coach Rich Schefren who was launching a new coaching program. As usual most internet marketers have a system to launch their new products and give away a lot of free quality information that can be applied straight away. They do this so they can build rapport with you and show that their information is useful before they start their sales pitch on you. As I knew the information was free and they just wanted my email address, I downloaded Rich’s eBook, the “Internet Manifesto”. If you haven’t read it, I would recommend you get a copy of it immediately.

The Change in Mindset

After reading the “Internet Manifesto”, I had a profound moment that I would change the way I operate my business. My mindset went from “thinking opportunistic” to “thinking strategically” meaning if I wanted to build a long term business I would have to set up the right systems and hire staff to leverage my time. I realised that I couldn’t do everything myself. Rich’s famous flowchart accurately shows how most Solo Enterpreneurs run their Internet Businesseses today. (I’m one of them and have taken action to outsource a lot of my work since then).
Since then I have taken action to sell my businesses that are not part of my goals and made a mental decision to not start new business opportunities.

Focus Is Key

Since I was compelled to find out more, I downloaded the rest of Rich’s series of books which are listed below:

1. Internet Manifesto
2. The Missing Chapter
3. The Final Chapter
4. Attention Age Doctrine Part 2
5. Maven Matrix Manifesto
6. The Entrepreneurial Emergency

Through this series I learned that I needed to focus on one task at a time, not five at a time (today’s generation calls it multi-tasking). Making that shift helped me improve time efficiency and also get tasks completed that generated more money. Additionally, you need to use your strengths to focus on a task and learn to outsource the rest that you are not good at. This is the key to long-term success in any business.