What is your definition of success?
No seriously, what is it?
Is it money? A house? A car? A boat?
Interestingly enough, monetary gains are hardly ever part of the definition of success for big league entrepreneurs. Their definitions all stem from more meaningful insights. Words like perseverance, active engagement and changing the world are continuously present. And just look at the entrepreneurs themselves: they all have 1 major thing in common, don’t they? They’re extremely authentic.
Authenticity is mostly associated with not acting like someone else and voicing your own truths. It means NOT being pressured into decisions or judgments by outside influences. It is about trusting YOUR heart and your gut instinct and following it no matter what.
Sounds easy enough right?
But being authentic is definitely not the easy road to success. It means that you will potentially have to go against the grain of what is considered ‘normal’. You’ll have to stick your neck out for what you really stand for.
But here’s the BIG secret…there is no easy road to success! Not one that is sustainable in the long run at least, or one in which you will still like yourself. Sorry to break it to you, but it’s the truth; ask any of the big entrepreneurs out there.
Here are 6 reasons that further clarify that authenticity is absolutely essential to your entrepreneurial success:
1. Decision Making Becomes A Lot More Easy
If you are absolutely true and faithful to your vision then nothing will be able to distract you from achieving it. You will no longer spend your time on meetings or projects that do not add value simply because you’re better able to say NO.
This does not mean that you’ll need to become harsh and unsympathetic but you’ll be a lot clearer about what is and what isn’t on your priority list.
Better yet,the more clear YOU are about your vision and the direction your business is going in, the more clear EVERYONE you work with is on this. Meaning that you’ll spend less time explaining yourself, less time answering questions or making decisions for others. You’ll have made sure others can make the exact same decisions themselves.
2. Sleazeballs Will Have Nothing On You
Trusting your own instincts will sharpen your ability to distinguish between those people that are completely honest and those that are not.
If you’re working hard on ensuring honesty and trust in your business, than you sure don’t want to be bothered with people who are potentially dishonest and disloyal. You know upfront that these people will just eat up your time and energy and in the long run not bring you, and your business, any value.
You need to make sure though that you can see beyond any potential short-term gains and focus on the fact that these types of people can seriously hurt your business in the long run. Listen to those instincts and save yourself a lot of trouble!
3. You Will Attract The Most Awesome People To Work For You
What happens to you when someone is not completely straight with you? Does it make you want to listen to that person? Does it make you trust that person? Does that person inspire you to work your very best?
Probably not. No scrap that, DEFINITELY not.
People are inspired by leaders who interact with them in a meaningful way. Who tell them the truth. Who are not afraid to be human and admit to making mistakes (just like they do).
Unfortunately, 82% of people do not trust that their leaders tell them the truth (Edelman Trust Barometer 2013 Annual Global Study) 82%!! That is shocking!!
That means that when YOU are part of that exclusive 18% that CAN be trusted and especially when you’ve made sure that that trust is an integral part of your entire business culture, then there is no doubt that you will attract only the best of the best to your business.
4. You Will Learn At An Explosive Rate
As you’re open to new experiences and you’re honest about the fact that you don’t know everything – yes, that’s right, you don’t! – it will be a whole lot easier to learn new things.
And it’s not just the more elusive spiritual lessons I’m talking about here. It’s also simply the fact that you’ll be self confident enough to hire an expert when it’s required; to acknowledge that you don’t know everything and that you’re open to be taught and coached.
It’s actually one of the biggest pitfalls for entrepreneurs: thinking they know it all and being too stubborn to get some help. Keeping this up just means that you’re digging your own business grave!
5. You Will Never Have Any Regrets
Sure you will still make mistakes and misjudge situations and people at times, but you listened to your gut and trusted that AT THAT POINT IN TIME.
That means that you’ve taken conscious decisions to do whatever it was that you did; even when it was difficult, hard or even scary.
So even when the outcome of your efforts were not as you hoped them to be, there’s no way you will be placing any blame or regrets on yourself. All you’re left with are extremely valuable lessons that you’ll take with you to you next decision.
6. You Will Represent Quality And Trust
You might say NO to profitable deals. You might say NO to some super qualified employee. You might even say NO to being the CEO of the company you founded.
You will say NO when something is just NOT in line with your vision and your truth. And you’re absolutely okay with that!
This requires a lot of guts and ultimately means that you cannot be bought. People, investors, clients, will all recognize this and the right ones will value it for exactly what it’s worth.
The level of quality you bring to the table is undeniable and that means that people can trust you and your product without any doubt. This is simply priceless.
“Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light” – George Washington
As said before, the authentic road is not necessarily the easiest. But it is the one that will take you, and your business, the furthest.
Authenticity Quotes To Remember
“We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be.” – May Sarton
“Why, when we know that there’s no such thing as perfect, do most of us spend an incredible amount of time and energy trying to be everything to everyone? Is it that we really admire perfection? No – the truth is that we are actually drawn to people who are real and down-to-earth. We love authenticity and we know that life is messy and imperfect.” – Brene Brown
“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.” – C.G. Jung
“There is nothing more beautiful than seeing a person being themselves. Imagine going through your day being unapologetically you.” – Steve Maraboli
:Authenticity is the alignment of head, mouth, heart, and feet – thinking, saying, feeling, and doing the same thing – consistently. This builds trust, and followers love leaders they can trust.” – Lance Secretan