I was writing an e-class for the Secrets Of Selling From Stage Mentoring Program yesterday and I just thought this section was pertinent to us all, whether we’re speakers or not, so I thought I’d post an except on the blog for you to peruse!

“For me I endeavor to be transparent in everything I do. Now it does bite me on the bum sometimes (in negotiations from time to time etc!) but as a speaker it serves me well.

Interestingly, I could not NOT be authentic these days!

Now- the fascinating thing for me about this is that my clients perceive my authenticity as INTEGRITY. In fact I have made sales before where people have given me the direct feedback that they had no idea what it was they were buying- they just wanted the opportunity to “work with someone in business that has that much integrity!” Truly- their words, not mine!

Now I don’t say this to blow my own trumpet- but to let you in on what’s going on inside in the hope that you can learn from it. So there a few key elements to this integrity/authenticity thing.

1. Firstly, like most powerful lessons in business, I really got how important authenticity was for me when I found that through a series little compromises, and little white lies I had got myself to a position where I wasn’t comfortable with me. It wasn’t that I wasn’t being me, because who the heck else was I being? It was just that the version of me that I was being, I didn’t like. I looked around me and saw a lot of other people reflecting the same back to me, and I thought “I don’t like this”. So I changed it!

2. Next- I find it incredible that we live in a world where integrity in business is a surprise. But for those of us who are AUTHENTIC it is a boon- because we are remembered and we stand out from the crowd.

3. I would far rather work with people who I find transparent and authentic, than people who hide behind masks and who I don’t “get” – so I strive to be that for other people. I used to think that we were a rare breed and that indeed I mustn’t be a “real business” person, because being truthful mattered to me. But it turns out there are some other weirdos like me who don’t like pretending to be something they’re not.

4. A further distinction that might be useful: I am not focusing on being “in integrity” all the time. I’m a nutcase when I do!  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the Landmark Education, but I became a headcase trying to be on time to everything and be my word to everyone and clean up everything and I just about integrity-ed myself to death. I don’t want to enter an argument here about what is right or wrong- this is about my “inner world” that creates the results I get in my business and life. If I focus on integrity: I am a basket case. If I focus on acceptance of myself, and sharing that with others- that is “authenticity”, the grand irony is that people all tell me how much integrity I have!

Do you find that odd or is it just me?!

So from stage, in business, in life I strive to be more and more me. That way you know what you’re going to get and so do I!

5. I have worked with people in the field of personal developemtn before who get all strung up and tell me “I don’t even know who the real me is any more” or “what if I don’t like the real me?” or “there’s lots of versions of the real me”. To those people I say this:

*** “I don’t even know who the real me is any more” : I don’t know who the real me is either- but I see it reflected back in the faces of those around me and in my audiences.

*** “What if I don’t like the real me?”: I don’t like the real me sometimes- she is grumpy, greedy, grotty and grotesque. And boy does she throw a good tantrum. But sometimes she is also great, graceful, gracious and grand. Go figure. We change with every breath – accepting that is where to begin.

***“There’s lots of versions of the real me”: You’re right! They are all you! For further details, see previous!

So- where does that leave us? Confused perhaps? It’s always a challenge to put words to the indescribable.”

What do you think about being yourself in business?