What is authenticity? We are told to be authentic, but what does that mean? The dictionary says that it means of undisputed origin or made or done in the traditional or original way, or in a way that faithfully resembles an original. You know, like “Authentic Hungarian Cuisine” (not that people go searching for that unless, like me, you are Hungarian). It also means “based on facts; accurate or reliable”. So, true. In philosophy is means relating to or denoting an emotionally appropriate, significant, purposive, and responsible mode of human life. So what does that mean in your business, organization, blog or life?
Figuring Out Your Authenticity
Your business, blog, writing, and you need to spend some time unpacking what matters to you. Are you funny? Smart? Fun? Sharp? Do you solve problems? Do you connect dots? Do you make things homey? Do you bring a light? Do you make order out of chaos?
3 Questions To Figuring Out Your Authenticity
What are your three top values? This question works if you are a blogger, job seeker, small town or a business. Consider all the values that you could have and look at what you really have. Name them. Reflect them in your work, your brand, your company culture.
Our downtown is fun and so I often remind people (because when you are working in fun it might not feel fun) that is what the customer wants to experience. They don’t want to hear how hard it is to do hospitality work, about your problems, or why you are having a bad day. They want fun because that is what we offer. Understanding that it is a core value can help remind you when you are talking to people, sharing online, or in our business.
What’s your “why”? Why do you do what you do every day? That big why will get you to the how you are going to do something every single time. If you personal why is your family all of your life decision will revolve around what is best for them. If your why is your faith, it’s the same thing. If your why is adventure – you better be figuring out how to go have some or provide that for your ideal audience. Figuring out your why is a big part of being authentic.Your why will help you not quit.
How do you want to be remembered? Do you want to leave this earth and have them say that they went to work every day? Nope. No one wants that. You want to leave an impression. You want to matter. Showing up isn’t really enough. You have to participate with your whole you. That is your authenticity – the you that you participate with – the you that you show to the world. If you want to be authentic you have to show up with that you every single time. Not some of the time. All of the time.
Consider terrible customer service. We all have a story. That person didn’t have the company culture in mind when they were dealing with you. I promise there is no company in the world that says be crummy to your customers (except the Soup Nazi, but that’s a schtick). No one wants to provide terrible customer service – they probably just haven’t trained their employees in their why or their values. It’s as simple as that.
Your company, your brand, your blog wants to show up and be remembered well – honestly, we all want that. Write it down. How do you want to be remembered. Write your eulogy. Write your epitaph. Don’t let it say wife of so and so. Be you and show up with that every single time (even, frankly even more, when you aren’t feeling it). Mine? #DoGoodWork