The media today is filled with overly attractive advertisements that leave our pockets itching. Each product appeals so much, you wish you had the power to buy everything. There’s one challenge though, most of the products are in reality not half as appealing.
The adverts are attractive and convincing enough to get you to buy but are you convinced to keep buying? After buying the product, are your expectations met? Do you consider the product genuine?
You have this awesome product you want to get out there but you are afraid it may not sell. So you look for a marketer and they put up an amazing advert. Catchy!!! It gives your clients that impression of ‘’this is it!!”
Unfortunately, the product doesn’t meet their expectations.
Where do you go from here? Can you reclaim your authority? Do you still have a chance with those clients? What if you were genuine? These are some of the questions you will be asking yourself.
In this post, I intend to help you:
- Define authenticity
- Explain its dynamics
- Explain why it’s important to you and your business
- Teach you some of the things you can do to remain authentic in a competitive world
- Show you the flip side of not being authentic
- …and finally, seek your indulgence
So, what does being authentic mean?
The dictionary meaning of authentic is ‘the quality of being genuine or real’
Authenticity is the ability to be guided strongly by your faith rather than be swayed by external confirmations. It’s a process and therefore cannot be a one-off activity.
Now I know you have walked into offices that have their vision, mission and core values displayed at their reception. Think about one or two of them, do they portray those values, is the vision alive? Does the mission make sense in their day to day business deals?
The only way for a business to live its purpose is by going back to those basics. These questions should never leave our minds. What do we stand for? Who are we and what drives us?
If these simple (yet profound) questions cannot be answered by every person in your company; there’s a very high chance that the businesses’ purpose is not being lived as it should.
Being authentic takes guts but its overly rewarding. Here are some of the dynamics of being authentic…
- Your business grows slowly but steadily as you acquire customers and retain them.
- You build extraordinary relationships in the course of doing business because people can trust you.
- You maintain a competitive edge and your competition is not a threat.
- You enjoy peace of mind because your promise to your customers is valid
- Your staff will stay on and can fight for you during hard times
- Your customers send you referrals and come back for other products.
Sounds good? Sure. Is it easy? Well… no!
Being authentic is more about character. It is staying true when the pressure to lie is making you stagger. At first you may appear unintelligent but in the end, you will be the leader of the perk.
You may be wondering, how then do I cultivate authenticity and remain competitive and realistic?
These are some of the things you can do to remain authentic: –
- Offer assistance: – you cannot withhold support when you are in a position to and walk tall. There’s always a voice within that urges us to help others.
- Not to rate life with belongings: – there’s more to life than what we see on the outer person or the face of a business. You cannot in other words “judge a book by its cover”. The fabric of a being or an entity is not always visually expressed.
- Admit faults: – there are many times we blunder, hiding your face from shame or shifting blame will not do you any good. Accepting responsibility, on the other hand, causes one to learn from the daily mistakes and become better each day.
- Recognize experiences: – going through different seasons whether in business or otherwise brings exposure and like the saying goes, “experience is the best teacher”. Being authentic makes you find strength and wisdom in the pains and joys of everyday life.
- Truly listen: – active listening expresses concern. People know when you are just watching their lips and nodding and when you are actually listening. We develop strong relationships when we hear and attend to the needs of our clients and or people around us. Being responsive proves that you are a good listener.
- Share your thoughts without fear: – sometimes we have the solution within but because we opt to keep quiet out of fear, many ideas go to waste when people or businesses get stuck. Choose to always speak up. The key to life’s success it to bringing our minds together and reasoning in unity.
- Love yourself: – this should be more of self acceptance, self value and self motivation. You are your own number one support. If you can’t love yourself, it will be almost impossible to love someone else.
- Acknowledge we’re all unique: – even twins have their own differences. You are of value because you have something hidden in you that only you can reveal. That uniqueness should flourish as your business flourishes.
- Show consistency: – Saying one thing today and negating it tomorrow only causes mistrust. Let your words be followed by deeds. If you are not able to act immediately, then it’s only fair if you communicate to the concerned parties.
What if I am used to overly promising my clients?
You are in trouble!
- You will need to give a long trail of excuses why your products do not match the expectations.
- You will spend a lot on customer acquisition because you have to keep up with the ‘appeal’.
- You will have no retention powers. You will acquire customers but they won’t stay for long, once they get a more trustworthy person, they will shift camps.
- You will hardly have referrals; your customers will have no confidence referring someone to you.
- There’s a high chance that your staff will not commit wholeheartedly to the work because they already know your promise is overrated.
- Your competition will know your weakness and ride on it to de-market you.
- Let’s be real. Your purpose could be misplaced. You are more interested with the buck than meeting the needs of your clients.
- Finally, you will suffer burn-out. Trying to keep up with your promises will keep you on your toes. You will have no time to rest.
When this topic came to mind, I thought people no longer care about authenticity. After all, our bodies are an evidence of how we live. Look at today’s most cheered girl. Her hair is synthetic weave, her nails are acrylic, her face is made of layers of make-up, and even her hips are not real.
So, why do we care? Do we even bother? If you are looking for an employer, does it bother you that businesses today display a false image of who they truly are? Share with us your sentiments and let’s see how we can make each other better.