The importance of authenticity in business

quote, velveteen rabbitIt can be daunting, sometimes, to be yourself. In the business world there are always pressures to conform in some way to your industry - to be and to behave a certain way. I've met countless business people throughout my career so far, and I can categorically say that the most interesting, the most engaging and the most compelling are always the people who are brave enough to be themselves. I don't mind admitting that when I joined Ditto 8 years ago, there was a real difference to my business persona and social persona. Inside the four walls of work, I was a more toned down, bland version of me. It wasn't much fun and the relationship I had with our clients tended to be rather flat. Over the more recent years, I've grown in confidence, and learned that it's ok to be me - both in and out of work. These days, the me that you see when you visit the studio will be the same me you might bump into at the weekends - and I think that's a good thing. It means there's no facade - what you see is what you get. But it's amazing how many business people (especially those who are freelancers, oddly enough), are reluctant to show their true colours. I met a lady a couple of weeks ago who has a totally unique business, but is worried about letting her guard down in case people 'find out that I'm just me, and that I may not be good enough'. The truth is though, that people buy from people - we are innately drawn to those who hold the same values as us. So by letting our own personalities shine through, we will attract people who have the same approach - which surely makes for a more interesting and enjoyable client base!

What do you think - are you truly 'yourself' in your working life?

Image credit: Original Image by Emily McDowell. Image sourced via Pinterest.