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When thinking about how to be more myself, I am reminded of a scene from my favorite Disney movie, Aladdin, where the Genie (voiced by the late Robin Williams) is giving Aladdin advice about Jasmine and morphs into a bumblebee and says, “just beeee yourself.”
Many times we can get caught up being someone we’re not to put on a certain facade for business-sake. We all want to appear to be that smart, innovative executive who can handle anything. It’s not about faking who you are, it’s more like being scared to be who you are.
This week’s question was one I’ve been asking myself and have fielded more questions about in recent months –
How can I be more ‘me’, who I am, in my business?
Businesses are built on relationships and personal touches. With the evolution of digital and social media marketing, businesses are more vulnerable than ever. There’s an air of transparency that hasn’t been seen since the Middle Ages. Mark Schaefer recently put together a Slideshare that makes 5 points about that exact topic.
He points out that…
- Business was person to person.
- There was transparency.
- There was immediacy.
- Success depended on word of mouth.
- There was a primal need to connect.
Before the first radio advertisement aired in 1920, that is how business was done. There were no ads yelling at you on the side of a bus, during your favorite TV program or after your favorite song. I am seeing a trend that goes back to what Mark wrote about – being yourself in your business.
So why should you be yourself in your business?
You allow your community to get to know you.
By being ‘real’ and letting the community in on yourself, you’ll find more personal & meaningful connections will be made.
It shows your true personality.
Show your funny, entertaining side. If you’re a sports fanatic, like me, share it! No one wants to follow a boring robot. Showing your true personality will show the world you are a real person.
Being yourself in your business allows you to relate and be empathetic.
When you can relate to someone, a common bond is made fostering a relationship that could lead to a new client or a new business partner.
The reasons aren’t that complicated. Being yourself in your business should be second nature. Depending on the industry you’re in, you may feel a little constrained in doing so but it’s still okay to be yourself.
So now, how??
You can be more of yourself in your business by –
Writing from the heart.
If you blog, write like you are talking to your best friend (just exclude the gossip!). Write what’s on your mind and heart – you’re wanting to form that bond while being yourself and there’s no better way to do it that to just write from your heart.
Interact with your community.
This should be a no-brainer, but you wouldn’t believe how many people who claim to be social media “experts” simply do not respond and interact!! Respond to comments, make funny jokes where it’s appropriate, even make fun of yourself! In business, communication is a two-way street.
Like interacting, this should be a no-brainer, but there are many people who hide behind their computer screen and portray a persona that is not them. Being honest also applies to plagurism. Do not EVER pass off work (no matter the industry) that you did not do. Honesty is part of your character.
Show your failures…and successes.
Nothing shows how real a person is is when they admit their failure. Every person has them (including me) in their professional lives. CEOs, CFOs, the mail clerk – everyone has failed at something at sometime. It’s okay to admit them. I did – it was hard, but I found a great support system by doing so. On the flip side, it’s okay to show your successes as well. Just don’t become a braggart and alienate everyone.
Give away free advice – to an extent.
Yes, I did just tell you to give away free advice. Nothing is a bigger turn-off than going to someone you respect to ask a question and being told that you have to pay a certain amount of money for them to answer it. Giving away free advice shows your community you value them and want to help them. The more complicated stuff? That’s what you would need to charge for. Being very aware of your time.
Share parts of your personal, non-work life.
I love it when people share bits of their life outside work. You really get to know a person when they let you in on what’s going on outside of the professional world. For example, here’s a few pictures from my life!
See? It’s not that hard to be yourself in your business.
What are some ways that you be yourself in your business? Share with me below!
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