"Authenticity" and "Transparency" may seem like they're just buzzwords the way we throw them around today, but in fact they are deeply important components of success. Business owners know that their businesses are a reflection of themselves, and in order to set themselves apart it is important to bring authenticity to the workplace.
Authenticity is a big concept, but it's actually relatively easy to bring to your business. Whether in the form of individual customer relationships or company emails, it's important to be true to yourself and your vision, and let your individual voice shine through. Don't be afraid to share personal details (within reason, of course.) Your customers or shareholders will appreciate that you aren't just another disinterested voice on the other end of the phone, and studies show connectivity will make the workplace happier and healthier. Members of your business will stay longer and be happier in their jobs, leading to increased productivity.
Nothing ventured nothing gained. If you don't feel you've set yourself apart in the marketplace, don't be afraid to be bold and take a leap of faith. If you have an idea that you think will make you really stand out and it feels true to yourself, go for it. People are naturally drawn to authenticity, and can tell when someone is being sincere. When you show you are really willing to have a stake in the game because you care, people will take notice.
Don't be afraid to make mistakes!
Expose your vulnerabilities while asking for input and collaboration. Invite constructive criticism and work as a member of the team, so everyone feels valued. Vulnerability may have negative connotations, but when you're working to problem-solve it is important to be vulnerable. Opening yourself to criticism will help you learn and grow, and your team members will be able to give valuable input, strengthening your business model in areas you may have overlooked.
It may seem obvious, but there is really nothing more powerful than being passionate and sincere about your business. If you're doing what you love, people will take notice, and the more willingness you show to be vulnerable and adaptive, the more likely you are to reap the benefits, personally and professionally.
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