There’s a lot of talk out there about being authentic, in both your business and life generally. Living your own life authentically is often the easiest of those two scenarios – after all, we naturally surround ourselves with people of similar beliefs and values. This means, as long as we’re surrounded by likeminded people (whether friends or family), we can relax and genuinely ‘be ourselves’, as we all tend to want similar things and are usually singing from the same metaphorical song sheet.

But what about when it comes to being authentic in business – and why do we find this concept so much more difficult to implement?

What does it mean to be authentic?

Being authentic means that you’re coming from a place within you and, simply put, being you. It’s about living your life, based on your values and belief and not being swayed to be, do and act like those people around you who don’t have similar values and beliefs – no matter how appealing their lifestyle may be or how attractive they may seem.

Why we struggle to be authentic in business

And this is why we find it so difficult to be authentic in business – we get sucked into the hype of it all and the promise of a ‘secret’ solution or shortcut. We are bombarded on a daily basis, with various ‘successful’ business people and ‘gurus’ telling us how to act and behave, what is the ‘wrong’ and ‘right’ way of doing things and offering us magic multi-step solutions on how to be successful.

As long as we copy what they’ve done or act how they have.

Top tip #1 to being authentic: Decide who YOU are/who you want to be

This is why, if you want to be authentic in your business – you need to stop listening and being seduced by these promises and decide who YOU are and what YOU want!

Decide who you want to be and what you want to be. What do you believe? What do you want to be known for? What is important to you and how can you ensure this is evident to everyone you come into contact with – regardless of who they are and whether or not they purchase from you?

Top tip #2 to being authentic: Speak from YOUR heart

I’m guessing, as you’re in business, you’ve already realised you need copy that speaks to your target audience – whether it’s via your written emails, website copy of even your multimedia items such as video and podcasts. You may even have collated examples of copy that you loved – but when you tried to incorporate elements of it into you work – it fell flat? Why doesn’t it work? The answer really is quite simple – it isn’t you speaking.

If you want to be authentic, you HAVE to speak from your heart. You need to use YOUR terminology, YOUR voice, YOUR opinions, in order to ensure your message is resonating with YOUR tribe.

Top tip #3 to being authentic: Use others only for inspiration and guidance, not a fill-in-the-blanks template

This doesn’t mean you can’t get a mentor or coach to help you create your own authentic business – but you need to get one that will help you create YOUR ideal business – not just build another example of theirs.

By all means, if you want examples of what works, use others for inspiration and guidance. Find out their methodology and the general concepts to gain the theory – but then tweak it, throw in your own opinions, beliefs and values and change it around, in order to add that unique ingredient that is YOU into the overall mix.

What is it that makes you unique? Do you know who you are and what you’re about? Your answers are the first part in the ‘being authentic’ puzzle – now you get to decide how you can best illustrate those things on your life and business. Why not share your opinions and thoughts on authenticity in the comments box below – and let’s be proud and authentic!

Image courtesy of alphaspirit/AdobeStock.com