“Be what you are. This is the first step toward becoming better than you are.” ~Julius Charles Hare
A couple of weeks ago I was enjoying a dinner date with my hubby and there was a table of some cute female 20-somethings next to us. Every time any of them asked the server for something, or asked a question about the menu, or asked for something on their order to be customized, they apologized. All four women did this.
I listened and realized how many conversations I hear that start out with an apology for making a request for what they want. When something triggers me this way I always ask myself how it’s a mirror for something in my own life. Where was I apologizing for what I wanted?
What if we just said what we wanted to say?
Truth: I’m committing to be on time and would love it if you can tell me what time it is.
“I’m sorry to bother you but I would like to let you know what program I have coming up because I think you would be a great fit.”
Truth: I believe in you and I know what I have to offer you will make a difference for your life. I care enough about you to make sure you know what options you have to have the life you want!
“It’s not a big deal, I can call you when you have more time. Sorry to bother you.”
Truth: I could really use some support right now and would appreciate just a few minutes of your listening heart so I can feel heard and loved right now.”
Pay attention to conversations around you and the conversations coming out of your mouth – now notice how many apologies are attached.
WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IN YOUR BUSINESS IF YOU STOPPED APOLOGIZING AND JUST ASKED WHAT YOU WANTED TO ASK? SAY WHAT YOU WANTED TO SAY? AND SAID YES ONLY TO THE THINGS YOU WANTED TO SAY YES TO SO YOU DIDN’T HAVE TO APOLOGIZE LATER FOR RENEGOTIATING?
What would happen if your words and actions were authentic to what you really wanted and who you really are?
So this brings up the point of is too much authenticity damaging to your brand? There is no clear cut answer. What works for you will not work for the next person. You get to decide.
Yesterday I swore on a video I was recording. It wasn’t the best video I’ve ever done but I was on a role and out slipped a cuss word. Not the worst cuss word I’ve ever said, but there it was.
It was one of those things that I thought “Of course, this is the best take yet and I don’t want to re-record this damn thing.” There I go again, I swore again.
Was it unprofessional? It’s all perspective isn’t it?
Will people dislike it? Possibly.
Will other people appreciate my authenticity and human-ness? Possibly.
Do I care? Not really. Is it any of my business if people like it or not? No. It’s me – all of me – swear words and all.
My clients will tell you that I’m real, I’m candid, I’m honest and I love them. What you see is what you get.
When you stop pretending to be someone else, the people who are looking for you will finally see you. When you stop trying to appear all “buttoned up” and “professional” and “perfect” you will be REAL to your ideal clients.
We are in the age of business and LIFE where people want real. We’re done with fake. We’re done with facades. We’re done with lies. So can we also be done with apologizing for wanting what we want?
Successful (long-term) business is about being real. It’s about providing real value with real results. Imitators and fakes won’t last long. The second something gets tough, they’ll break down and spin off.
Real people creating real value for others will last. It’s that simple. Tenacity outlives fads and talent any day of the week.
Wanna win in your life and business? Be clear with who you are, what you value and the value you create for others. Then share that in your authentic message. Even if it includes a swear word. 🙂
The bonus with you being authentic means that there is no competition. No one can do exactly what you do exactly the way you do it. Be bold – be you. No one else can imitate that.
“He who trims himself to suit everyone will soon whittle himself away.” ~Raymond Hull