You can't be of any value to anyone, if you aren't first being authentic, and true to yourself. Entrepreneurs must create an authentic brand.
How many of us have changed like chameleons to win someone else’s approval only to feel it’s just too difficult to continue doing whatever it was we did to win it?
Or how many times have you eventually opened up to reveal your true self - in any kind of relationship - only to be stomped on because your true self didn’t live up to the expectations your acting job sold on your behalf?
Surely it would be much easier to just BE yourself all the time…
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To be true to who you are inside, and just naturally surround yourself with people who admire and share those qualities….
Right? To be AUTHENTIC and allow the Universe to sort out who plays what part in your life.
But, most businesses never learned this lesson, and are “acting” like something they’re not… and suffering for it.
Lately I’ve been wondering why we, as entrepreneurs, are taught almost the opposite when starting a business.
In the last several years, there’s been a great deal of talk about following your passion in your business.
Certainly I’m a big proponent of this. But realists will point out that just because you have a passion for something, doesn’t mean it’s marketable. And, whenever you’re starting a business - and especially if you plan to seek funding from investors, you’re going to need a solid business plan that outlines a “need” you’ve found in some market and how you plan to fulfill that need with your product or service.
Now, that’s the traditional way - the very well established and accepted way - of starting any business.
I want to start a business.
I’ve figured out that this particular demographic over here has what appears to be a need for a particular solution.
They like things a certain way, and I’ve figured out a way to BE that solution I think they want.
My investors are happy because I’ve shown them ample evidence of this perceived need, and shown them my ability to produce a product or service we all think they’ll buy.
My friends and family are all supportive of this new venture of mine because, when I explained it to them, it made sense how I could make a lot of money selling my solution to fix this particular group’s problem.
Oddly, there are a bunch of questions that neither my investors and partners, nor my friends or family thought to ask me…
How do I feel about providing this solution?
How does producing this product or service fit into my own life’s goals and ambitions?
How does this particular group in need that I’ve identified fit with me personally?
How do I fit in with them?
And most importantly, how long will it be before I’d rather gouge my eyes out with hot pokers than spend another day providing this solution to this particular group of people because I’m not really doing anything with my life or business remotely close to what I really want to be doing???
Finding a niche and fulfilling a need is great.
But when you need to change the way you present yourself, or do work that doesn’t feed your Soul, simply to maintain a business you started so you could be attractive to some group of people, it becomes impossible to sustain.
You can’t do it forever, or even for very long. That’s why so many businesses go out of business in the first year.
You need to be authentic first, and then fulfill someone else’s needs.
You need to feed yourself first, spiritually, then do the action work to solve others’ problems.
You need to make sure you are fulfilled, and uplifted first, or you will never maintain any strength to fulfill or uplift another.