Can you tell me the last time you felt authentic in your business? What about the last time you felt like an imposter?
How many times have we approached that “big deal” or “ dream client” at the cost of our authentic selves?
Now, I know there is a time and place for business strategies that can involve compromise and altering expectations. Sometimes you have to “do what it takes” to grow. We all do it – we play the part and wear the mask for a moment. Over time, though, we may even convince ourselves that the mask is real. The problem is, when we compromise ourselves, it will become our norm. We may even become successful, but at what cost?
Being a business owner isn’t an easy journey. We work long hours in the beginning, are always planning and strategizing how to stay ahead of the competition. Some of us eat, sleep, and drink our business, but aren’t we more than our success?
I would be lying to you if I said I have never felt like an imposter. This “imposter syndrome” leads to fear and heartbreak time and time again. I sell myself short. I let lies about my abilities tell me who I am more often than I care to admit. I’m sure you do, too. We all fall prey to monsters in our mind that tell us we are not good enough.
Are we not more than a compilation of our successes and failures? When we are “real,” we believe that our values are beyond monetary success and accolades. What I have learned, and am learning is that it is more important that I learn how to speak my true voice with integrity and confidence and without apology because my authentic self deserves to be seen. This realization has been met with excitement and fear because I am not used to allowing myself to be wholly seen, but in my process of finding my true voice, I have landed bigger and more exciting opportunities than I could have imagined.
As I embrace my journey to becoming “real” and authentic in my business strategy, I am reminded of the story of the Velveteen Rabbit. It is a beautiful story full of lessons we can carry to our businesses and personal lives. There are lessons about heartbreak, love, and how connection makes you real. These are all things we experience daily in our businesses.
You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.
― Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit
What Does “Real” Look Like For Your Fitness Business?
- Attracting clients and employees that share the same philosophies you do
- Believing the value and expertise you provide to clients is worth the price paid
- Understanding your why and using it to inspire your team and clients
Do Not Quit
How often do we want to quit because it’s hard or don’t have the strength to keep fighting? Our businesses can become a tumultuous relationship that can be difficult to navigate.
I have learned that life is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has had to overcome while trying to succeed.
–Booker T. Washington
At the end of the day we are risk-takers pursuing a vision we have to make a difference in others’ lives. We have to be honest and real to be able to keep taking those risks and reaping the reward.