Sharing Vs. Selling and Other Tips on Being Authentic in Your Business
Here’s to all the glamorous instagram posts out there with the best angles and the fullest of cocktail glasses next to the prettiest of beaches. Which is great for professional photographers or models, but for the rest of us - ahh! All that Instagram perfection can be overwhelming! Where do we even start? When embarking on an online entrepreneurial adventure, we’re bound to discover allllllll the things, the whole spectrum. It’s like getting absorbed in a YouTube black hole of initially searching for a DIY tip and suddenly being pulled into the top 100 cat videos. So with all the information, trends, posts, and material that’s already out there on how to run your own thing online, I totally understand how it can be confusing!
So what I really want to share about is mindfulness and authenticity in business, which on it’s own is a word that often has become associated with the very opposite of that. So how can we be mindful about how we make a living? How can we incorporate our highest of values into the way that we bring money into our lives?
Changing Definitions So They Serve Us
If you started to cringe or tighten up just a little bit from even reading the words “business” and “money,” know that you’re not alone. Those words can often have a lot of baggage around them. Let’s break down briefly why that is so you can understand that recoil reflex a little better.
Depending on your circumstances growing up or going through life, most of us have experienced painful exchanges of our time and energy for money before, such as putting in long hours just so we could afford rent or have money to go on a (much-needed) vacation. In this way, we may have come to the conclusion that money comes from suffering. Maybe we decide that money must come from working harder, sacrificing our values, or trading all of our time for it. In this light, money gets a reputation as a freedom sucker instead of the possibilities of what it could be as a freedom asset.
On the flip side most of us have been hurt by organizations or business before, all in the name of business itself. Just think of the well-known phrase, “It’s not personal, it’s just business.” Maybe you or someone you know was laid off, fired, or even the recipient of a bad business deal in which they felt powerless.
These are examples of the baggage that came to my mind. But you know what? All that baggage - no matter how big it may seem, or how much it may have affected you - is not enough of an excuse to stay bound by the limitations those ideas hold. At any moment, we have the ability and the power to change our definitions of success, money, and business, and to say you know what? I’ve experienced all I want to of the other side of things, let’s flip the coin and change the whole game. Because that’s when it starts to get really, really fun.
Working As a Way of Life Versus Who We Are
I was just talking with a family member about this yesterday. We were discussing that in the past, working was considered a means to an end. It was just a way of life, it wasn’t often driven by any other higher meaning. Only recently have we as a society really started to desire that our work be in line with who we are. The idea that our work can can be enjoyable, freeing, and can also be an expression of who we are. Woaah, that’s a whole lot different, isn’t it? But it’s true! Now, more than ever, we as a society are searching for and looking for ways that we can both earn a living, serve others, and express ourselves and our unique gifts in a way that is truly aligned with us.
Collectively, we’re all wanting to drop the baggage and be more authentic.
Bring in More Authenticity to the Here and Now
The future is always affected by the present moment. Because the future is just a collective expression of millions of changes in each present moment that lead up to the future. So when we choose what we incorporate into the present moment, right here and now, we’re also selecting what we bring into the future. Woah, right? So with all that laid out, and if we’re searching for authentic changes, then consider this permission to drop anything that isn’t authentic to you, anything that isn’t serving you anymore, or any of those business tactics and strategies that feel “off.” This isn’t a burn down the established order kind of rebellion, just simply a gentle “no thank you.”
Sharing vs. Selling
One of the best tips for authentically being in business is to share instead of sell. We all love to buy things! Who doesn’t love to buy stuff? There will never be a shortage of people wanting to buy things. Money is freedom, money can be such a healthy energy exchange that benefits both the seller and the buyer because it brings value to both. So when looking at money in this way - as freedom - what feels more in line with that, sharing or selling? What feels more authentic?
Sharing is something we do with no expectation of receiving in return, something we do out of the goodness of our hearts, out of the conviction in our beliefs, or out of the contagious enthusiasm of excitement. Selling is something we do from a place of lack, a place of fear, a place of expectation of an outcome, and there’s a sense of pushing and resistance to it. Selling doesn’t fully match that energy of freedom, but sharing does.
As a real life case study, have you ever shared how much you loved something with someone and they immediately went out and bought it too? And on the flip side, have you been sold to in a way that you didn’t want and felt uncomfortable? That’s the vibrancy of sharing versus the constricting of selling in a nutshell.
But Don’t Businesses Need To Be Good at Sales?
Of course, but the baggage around making those sales is something that holds so many of us back from venturing out and bringing our own business ideas to life. Of course we don’t wanna be salesy or sleezy! That’s no fun. In that case, I’d like to challenge you to think of your favorite stores, your favorite purchases you’ve ever made. Were you being sold to? Or were you introduced to a product, service, or experience - and then you made the decision from a place of excitement on your own? We as a society don’t need to be sold to! We need more people to teach, share, and offer their gifts to the world. We don’t need another billboard, ad, or sales strategy. We all simply want to be included, inspired, and shared with.
Sales is often considered synonymous with persuasion or convincing someone that they need something, or pushing someone to make a purchase. Sharing is done by organically attracting an audience and serving them well, without expectation of an outcome. If someone buys your offer, great! If not, that’s okay too.
Having the faith that your perfect audience will never need to be persuaded or convinced of anything.
Authentically being yourself within your business.
Holding your values and vision in the forefront above sales or numbers.
Having a heart of service.
Being the perfect fit for those who buy from you.
Having confidence in yourself, your worth, and what you offer.
Being aligned with your true self throughout the process.
Authenticity is incredibly attractive. It’s like this big shining light that reaches into the depths where only your perfect audience can see it and this light says to them, “I’m here for you! I’ve got you!” Authenticity will also uniquely challenge you to attract the right people, not just everyone. Your true tribe, your raving fans, your customers for life - they are those diamonds that may exist in a sea of all other kinds of gems. Your consistency and your devotion to being your true, authentic, unhindered self in your work, business, and life will attract those people, the diamonds out there who want the same. These are the people who would buy everything you offer, read anything you ever write, and who would endorse you till the cows come home. Those are people you could hang out with and even call friends! These are your people. And those people my friend, will never need to be sold to.
Simple Ways to Be More Authentic In Your Business
There are a few simple ways to add more authenticity and enjoyment into your life and business. These steps require a little bit of self-reflection, but ultimately they are incredible ways to add more of you into your work!
Let go of the things that feel bad: pump the breaks on the tasks, details, or ideas that just feel blech. Envision what it is you want from them, but for now just let them go. It could be that you need to outsource those tasks or just fold them altogether. Give yourself the space to breathe.
Focus on your ideal clientele only: Free yourself from the burden of needing to cater to everyone. Those who you breathe life into by offering what you do and by being your true self, even if that’s massively specific, those are your people. Release everything else.
Be mindful of your time: Where is your time going to the most and does that line up with your true goals? Authenticity sometimes means brutally hacking down the things taking up time that don’t align with what you truly want. Marie Kondo the eff outta your schedule and have no mercy.
Get excited about what you offer: If you’re not excited about your work, nobody else will be either! People may come to you, but you won’t be invigorated when they do, so that’s not serving anyone very well. It's totally possible to be fed with light and excitement just as much as you clients and customers are!
Give yourself permission to take care of yourself: When you want to nap, take a nap. When you’d like some chocolate, have a piece of the good stuff. A trip to the spa? Don’t mind if I do! When your cup is full you have the space and the willingness to receive and act on inspiration in a joyful way.
Did you notice a common thread from this list? My hope is that your main takeaway is granting yourself permission to care for yourself! Because at the very root of it all, the way to be authentic is to give yourself permission and the boundaries to let go of what no longer serves you and embrace what feels holistically and truly good instead. I’m talking like deep down to your bones, good! Authenticity is a journey of honoring where we are each day. It’s something that can always continue to get better and better and better the more we tune in and honor our true selves.
I truly hope this guide has helped you feel inspired to embrace authenticity in your life and business! In fact, if you’re currently in the process of growing your wings to becoming a joyful entrepreneur, please share your story below! I’d love to get to know you and learn more about what you do. Til next time!