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Authenticity in business

Finding the most authentic people can be surprisingly difficult, especially in business. I often work with people who have no problem being genuine in real life, but who really struggle with authenticity when it comes to business. I hear from clients that, in business, they have to appear to be mega-successful — not just sort of successful, and not “hey, I’m growing a business here,” but really successful, in order to be taken seriously. Too much of the fake stuff. People believe that you can’t be successful unless you appear to already be successful. But that’s just not true! In fact, it’s just the opposite.

You are a WIP (work-in-process)

I’ve seen “behind the scenes” of a lot of the people who many of us think of as mega-successful, and things aren’t always how they seem. I’ve seen how they struggled. I’ve seen how they did the work and I saw when they were experiencing some down moments. I know a millionaire and he shared how he struggled to get to where he is right now, but the journey was well worth it. Even if he didn’t achieve yet his goals, he was already a millionaire in his mind. So he already acted like one.

We’re all works in progress. Every single one of us. We all have questions and insecurities and fears. It’s how you deal with those internal and external struggles that matters.

You can’t grip on smoke.

Truth is like smoke. You can’t hold on to it. Sometimes—or most of the time, we think we’re so good at hiding our secrets from the rest of the world. But whether it’s a financial crisis, marital problems, personal demons, or something else, even if you think you’re keeping your skeletons hidden, you’re probably not. Truth has a way of sneaking out there and betraying our lies. The truth will always be known.

So be authentic, anyway people will know sooner than you think.

Appearances don’t count as much as truth.

Far too many people seem to think that if you appear to be super-successful, you’ll achieve legitimacy. But it’s not about how you seem, it’s about how you are. It’s not about the trappings, it’s all about the core. If who you really are matches up with who you say you are, then you’ll appear credible, because you are credible. You won’t need to do anything to “appear” like anything else. On the other hand, pretend you’re something that you’re not and you’ll come off as shady and deceptive.

Be authentic

Ultimately, you want to be legitimate. So take the time to build your expertise and knowledge, offer your services at an affordable or discounted rate while gaining experience, and build in the right systems to support your products and services so that you can offer the best service. You’ll build credibility by doing things “right”, and with credibility and legitimacy comes AUTHENTIC success.

Your thoughts

What about you? What do you think makes someone authentic? Are you authentic? What did you do to be authentic? What did we miss?

Let us all know in the comments!

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About the Author

Stephen NellasStephen is part of the Software Jewel team, the company behind Clutterpad and BiP. He's also a regular author for BiP.View all posts by Stephen Nellas →