It seems pretty obvious, doesn’t it? Of course you should be yourself. Why wouldn’t you? Who else would you be?
It’s not all that simple. You may not realize it, but you could be suppressing your real authentic self because you’re responding to the expectations and demands of others.
Think about how our families, friends, colleagues, clients, and even society in general expect us to look and behave a certain way. Sometimes there’s a lot of subtle pressure to conform and move away from who you really are (or who you want to be).
Some people are uneasy with individuality or quirkiness. They disapprove of those who break the mold… and they don’t like to be made uncomfortable.
Many of us have “people-pleaser” personalities. We want others to like us and don’t want to offend. Or we think conformity is what is required to get ahead, and we bow to that pressure. We suppress our true natures, and the face we show to the world is one that we create from our desire to meet those expectations.
However, in my opinion, it’s especially important to put your uniqueness front and center if you have your own business (or want to start one).
There’s an old saying, “There is nothing new under the sun.” And that’s true in that most new ventures are simply a variation on something that’s already been done. What makes yours unique?
Every business is different because every entrepreneur is different. Your personality is what sets your business apart from all the rest. This is important because your customers aren’t buying a service, they’re buying YOU. Lots of other people may be selling what you’re selling, but the authenticity you invest in your brand is what will make the right ones choose you.
For example, I love blogging, and I can’t resist blogging about stuff I’m passionate about. There are thousands of blogs out there about entrepreneurship, business, and marketing. But who else is going to also write about Comic Con or Sharknado or pirates? As far as I know, I’m the only one.
I’ve probably lost a few subscribers along the way because they just didn’t get me. My personality just didn’t resonate with them. But that’s okay, because as my coach Suzanne Evans says, if everyone loves you, you probably don’t have anything real to say.
Fortunately, it looks like Authenticity is becoming a big thing now. Someone has figured out that people respond better to you when you’re expressing your true nature, not some version of what you think they want to see.
There is no one else in the world like you. Your quirky sense of humor, your passion for animal rescue, your penchant for bowling shirts and fedoras… These are the things that make you one of a kind. Own who you are and embrace the things that make you unique, and the road to success in business – and in life – will be a lot smoother.