How to Be Your Authentic Self in Business

You see, in order to authentically share my message in a way that would have an impact on my audience, I had to completely let go of my drive to “perform.” But, let me tell you, the “performance” drive was so ingrained in me it took a lot of “undoing” for me to release the expectations I had on myself (and any expectation I thought my audience was putting on me).

Honestly, I used to worry about every detail of my performance, as if there were still a panel of discerning judges waiting to critique my every move.

Ahhhh, but there WAS a panel of extremely critical judges in my OWN mind; until I learned how to be completely 100% authentic, transparent, honest and open when I am “on stage” and off! This authenticity completely eliminated my drive to “perform” and also got rid of the judges in my head while making a HUGE difference in the impact and connection I have with my audience.

So, what does it look like to give up your performance and step into your authenticity… in business?! Over the course of the next few weeks, I’ll share some examples from my own experiences in hopes these will give you a glimpse of how to be your authentic self in YOUR business.

Speak From Your Heart

In my desire to help more people and make a difference when I speak, I did a lot of research to discover the “style” in which to speak so I could make a lasting connection with my audience. I studied with a few mentors that were considered by many to be the “masters” in the field of speaking. These experts had their talks down to a science. Literally; every gesture, every joke, every inflection in their voice, every nod and smile were perfectly executed.

However, these types of presentations always felt sleazy and calculated to me; as if the speaker didn’t really care about the audience. Needless to say, I quickly dismissed what I learned from them and decided to find my own voice! And that’s the best way for you to share your authentic self, too.

Finding your own voice requires you to connect with yourself, connect with the love in your heart and the light you want to share with others. Yes, it’s important to have a few key points in mind to talk about, but what truly gets your audience on board (whether it’s 1 person or 1000 people) is how they FEEL when you’re talking. Here are some questions to think about from the perspective of your audience/your listener:

Do they feel that you truly care about them? Do you come across as authentic to them? Do they feel like you have their best interest in mind? Do you show up as the same person on stage as you do when you’re off stage? Are you aligned with your message? Do you feel “real” to them (rather than polished and perfect)?

These things are what truly matter to every person you talk to in your business. Take some time to contemplate these questions to best assess where you stand now in being authentic with your clients, prospects and audience members.

And, remember, when you forget about what you think you “should” be doing and focus on speaking from your heart, your authentic self shows up… every time!

The Little Known Travel Helpers

If you’ve ever traveled, whether frequently or once per year, you know that with few exceptions, you forget something on almost every trip. Forgotten items range from extra socks to hotel supplies like shampoo and conditioner which, thankfully, most hotels offer in complimentary sizes. Sometimes, especially today with airlines charging as much as $45 per piece of checked luggage, there are hotel supplies we simply cannot fit in the space carry on luggage allows such as irons, ironing boards and hangers, which most hotels provide anyway. Luckily for you and me, and the rest of our fellow travelers, if not mind readers necessarily, hotels have gotten intuitive and have begun carrying frequently forgotten hotel supplies for their guests’ convenience and comfort.

Hotels see hundreds of thousands of travelers annually giving them a window into the habits of consumers like you and me. Everybody organizes their hotel stays, depending on the purpose of their trip, differently. Some people use their PDAs to help them keep track of what they must pack, what they’ve packed and what they’re lacking or need to buy while others make handwritten lists. Of course, as anyone who works in hotels knows, lists are as fallible as the people who make them and it’s not at all unusual for people to forget one or more of the beauty and hotel supplies they need, even if they were on the packing list. Thankfully hotels typically keep a stock of disposable razors, shower caps and other assorted amenities for their guests.

When interior designers design and furnish hotels and the guest rooms within them, the idea is to create warm, welcoming, functional spaces and furnishing them with useful, quality hotel supplies. Art, clocks and plants are great for open spaces, common areas or conference rooms. Practical amenities including hair dryers, irons and heavy duty luggage racks have function and purpose; additionally, they accessorize guest rooms in hotels beautifully. While hotels try to cover the widest range of possible guest needs, the amenities they offer in lieu of accomplishing the task will vary depending upon the hotel, class of hotel and branding.

As hotels see travelers from near and far, they know that many usually forget one or another of the hotel supplies they use frequently. As a result, many hotels have opened little “shops” that stock single serve snacks, single use over-the-counter medicines like Tylenol and Advil and other essential hotel supplies for purchase. In many cases, hotels that offer convenience stores as amenities provide for purchase a much wider array of amenities, travel necessities and hotel supplies which guests appreciate. These items, which will vary based on the quality of the hotel itself, may include everything from blankets and travel pillows to mini sewing kits and headphones, are quality hotel supplies.

Hotels know their guests appreciate knowing that their needs and wants are taken into consideration when hotel supplies and amenities are being purchased. Having had 1,000s, and perhaps millions, of guests walk through their doors, hotels know that while pleasing everybody every time isn’t realistic, furnishing guest rooms and common areas with the right quality accessories that are both useful and aesthetically pleasing is smart. Being able to offer guests a wide array of quality amenities and hotel supplies will benefit both hotels and their appreciative guests.