First – check out this 20 minute video on advertising in a crises. It gets real hot at the 10 minute mark. It comes from the NYT best selling author and Wizard of Ads, Roy Williams (who I’ve been a student of for over a decade). It also relates to what I wrote about a couple weeks ago before the shit hit the fan.
On to the goods…
It took me awhile to realize who I was (more on that at the bottom of this post). Plus, I continue to discover new things on a seemingly daily basis (reminder – I do have a toddler). I literally spent 20 minutes last night discussing with my wife what she thinks I do well. After all – we have lots of time on our hands. Find some time and ask your partner or a friend what they think you’re good at.
What is authenticity?
I’ve been on quite the authenticity trip lately, and here’s why – it’s imperative to your brand. Whether it be a personal brand or professional brand, people will see through your BS.
My wife, and I started our e-commerce store, Ever Rose, with the mindset of being as transparent as possible. The same holds true for my ‘Guy with the Bow Tie’ brand, and the community magazines I used to publish. Be authentic, and you’ll start to see amazing results.
How real are you?
Stop and ask yourself this. When you wake up in the morning are you excited about doing what you’re doing? Even in these times.
Maybe you are, maybe you aren’t, and I’m not going to preach about ‘doing what you love’. I want you to get real, because if you aren’t REAL you’re robbing this world of your natural talents. And if you aren’t being real when you step into work whether it’s your business or not – you’re only hurting your bottom line.
It’s inevitable your business will kind of be like you.
It will stand for your values, and your beliefs. You are your business, and your business is you. And that’s okay. It’s when you or your business starts to be something it’s not that you start to lose.
There are so many options available to consumers to poke holes in your BS. If you claim to be the world’s best chef, but a quick Google search discovers you’ve only flipped burgers at McDonald’s, well BS meters are going to start going off. Just be yourself, and someone somewhere will have a connection with who you are, and what you stand for.
If you think you’re boring, then tell people about it. Say, you’re really boring, but damn do you ever make a good pizza or build a great garage. The more genuine, and open you are, the more genuine, and open people will be back to you.
This comes to mind as I’m working with an inspiring entrepreneur who’s going to be launching an online platform shortly where you can use Bitcoin to book hotels online.
He lives in the Southern US, and is originally from India. He runs a couple hotels, and as such he started getting fed up with OTA sites (Expedia, Trivago, Travelocity, etc…) eating into his margins, and taking away from his LOCAL business, and the LOCAL economy. So, he does what any entrepreneur or savvy business owner would do – he’s fighting back. He’s so passionate about creating a fair, online portal for hotel seekers that he decided to build his own platform, and it’s going to be launching soon. His company is a reflection of his personal beliefs, and feelings. He’s REAL.
Your Personal Brand
You hear it, I hear it, we all hear it…BE YOURSELF! And it’s so true when it comes to business, and especially in times of a crises. When I was starting out, I was trying to be something I wasn’t. I thought I knew it all. I thought the world was at my finger-tips, and I was humbled quickly…very quickly.
Whether you like it or not, you’re being judged everyday. People are Googling you and colleagues interact with you at work as they try to figure you out. On this note – have you Googled yourself lately? What comes up? Anything?
When I made the change from the corporate world to being self-employed, I was going back to my original self. The guy who I am at home, and on weekends. The guy who I knew I wanted to be when I was growing up. I dropped the act, stopped caring about what others thought, and started being REAL.
It’s not easy – it took me 10-years to figure out who I REALLY was, but it all started with my gut. How I felt in the morning was a HUGE indicator of who I was and what I wanted to do. I went from wanting to hit the snooze button repeatedly to bouncing out of bed, and ready for the day ahead.
I can’t tell you how many strong connections I’ve made by showing people who I truly am. I even let people in to tell them about my childhood, and my biological father who I never, and still don’t know. You won’t find that in a sales or business book anywhere, but it’s who I am, and it’s what allowed me to make the connections I have.
I no longer have visions of me quitting my job while I brushed my teeth in the morning. I’m doing what I want, and what I’m supposed to be doing…at this point in my life anyway.
Start being your authentic self and the rest will follow.
Jordan ‘The Guy with the Bow Tie’ Rycroft