Jann Arden was bleeding to death in Toronto yesterday at 5:30am where she was staying at a hotel to speak at a Woman’s Conference I was attending yesterday. At least, that’s what she thought. In fact, after 4 hours of waiting at the ER she found out that it was simply a pre-menopausal hiccup.
How is that relevant to you, the small business owner whose business itself may be bleeding to death? Jann’s re-telling of an embarrassing and potentially a life threatening event gave me a glimpse of a best in class case of authenticity in the public eye that I want to share with other small business owners.
Here’s what I learned:
When You Are Honest, People Connect Deeper With You
Jann was sincere from the get go telling us funny stories of growing up and the heartbreaking recounting of her brother’s 20 year incarceration. She already had me at ‘hello Toronto’. However, she didn’t truly connect with me until she said ‘I wasn’t going to tell this story today’ and went onto recount her horror story of the bleeding, telling us how she was wearing pants that weren’t buttoned up and were being held up by the girth of her hips. This is a highly personal and potentially embarrassing story. Why would a world renowned singer, author and speaker share such private things you might ask yourself. It’s because she was the most human and vulnerable person in that whole lineup of speakers yesterday. And that made me want to believe her, trust her and listen to anything she had to tell me. What opportunities do you have to do the same in front of your customers?
Authenticity Means You Care Less About Failure Than Others
I wonder how many professional speakers who get paid tens and thousands of dollars to speak would risk looking unprofessional or offending people or grossing them out would have shied away from the topic of their very painful and personal health challenges they had a few hours before going on stage? The fact that Jann was willing to do so only made me certain that she felt secure in her right to be earning that money as a top notch, in demand pro. What are you afraid to reveal that is keeping you from being your true authentic self in front of your customers and colleagues? What would it look like if you finally let go of those fears of failure?
Like Attracts Like
When people are scared to be authentic, they feel REALLY uncomfortable with others who are willing to share and share and share. In fact, a term coined TMI has come out meaning Too Much Information has been shared. It’s been my experience that you attract the kind of people who are at exactly the same level of comfort in their own authenticity as you. So if you want more clients who are ideal for you, you need to reveal the true you more often. Make sense?
Your Lack Of Courage Can Kill Your Business
When you are inauthentic, you refuse to tell people who you really like and who you really dislike to work with. You’re afraid that it will drive business away and let you starve. This inability to define who you truly are in the eyes of your target market and amongst your competitive set is killing your business. It’s making you generic, it’s letting you blend in with all other nameless and faceless businesses.
So stand up for your true authentic self like Jann did and tell stories of who you really are and how you really live. You will not only feel better as a person but will attract the kind of attention and business that you will thrive to.
- How to increase your brand awareness with apps (epicagear.com)
- Why opening up about failure makes you a more ‘authentic’ entrepreneur (venturebeat.com)
- How to build a strong social media brand – fast! (projecteve.com)
- 3 Secrets to Developing Your Personal Brand (synergymanagedsolutions.wordpress.com)