By Aleise Kay
If you had asked me what it means to be authentic in business two years ago, I don’t think I would’ve had an answer for you. If you ask this question to anyone, you’re guaranteed to get plenty of different answers, but today I want to share mine.
When I first got into the world of online business, I was focused on all things “perfect”. I had the perfectly curated Instagram feed, making sure I showed up to say the perfect things, the perfect amount of social media followers, and the best mentors in the game. But after my first year in business, I felt nothing but failure. I wasn’t making much money, but more than anything I felt like a fraud.
You see, I thought that was just a part of the game. That’s how I’d make it big in my business online. I’d have the perfectly curated Instagram feed with thousands of followers, but a surface level presence with very little impact that mattered. It felt fake, but hey. That’s what everyone else was doing.
But eventually I got tired. I got tired of focusing on what was “perfect” and “appropriate”, instead of focusing on just being real. On my hunt for perfection and acceptance, I had created a business that wasn’t even mine to embrace and love. It was all based on the mentors I had and the big names I’d grown to idolize. It was based on what I thought would get me followers and get me paid. It was based on what I thought people wanted from me versus what I really wanted for myself. But at some point none of that is enough. It’s never enough. Because eventually you get tired of looking in the mirror of your business and seeing everyone else…but yourself.
It was in that realization I knew I had to make a choice. I realized that if I was going to be broke in my business while being fake, I didn’t have anything to lose by just being real.
But for some of you, the cost may seem a lot greater. Maybe it’s followers, valuable connections, or money. Or maybe it won’t cost you any more than your pride.
I was done feeling like a fraud in my own business. I made a choice to break away from the fold and create something for myself. I had to choose to make my business something real. Something that was truly authentic to me. Something with a powerful message that would never go out of style simply because it was mine. I would speak up on uncomfortable topics without fear or judgment even if everyone else refused. My values would no longer be compromised. I would show up and let people know when I felt like I failed even if people deemed me less credible as a result. Not because any of this is cute or easy…but because it’s real. This is who I am and I decided that my business will be a direct reflection of just that.
Was I afraid? Yes. But I understood that my fears around my own authenticity weren’t just going to disappear. It was time I made a decision and addressed my authenticity gaps for what they were. So before you go and rip your business to shreds in the name of authenticity, take a moment to look in the mirror. Understand that my surrender to authenticity didn’t start within my business. It started within myself.
Authenticity within business looks different for everyone. It’s time you figured out what that looks like for you. If you know this is you, if you can relate to where I once was and sometimes still am, secure an Authenticity VIP Day here. Make a decision to stop treating authenticity as something that has to be optional. It was never meant to be optional, you’ve just been deciding it has to be.
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