how to craft an authentic brand for entrepreneurs, how to be fully yourself at work

Crafting a Brand: How to Express Your Most Authentic Self in Your Business

  True authenticity is the courage to embrace your inner self and express it without fear, creating genuine connections that transcend the superficial.


Oh boy, do we remember the good old days of forced small talk at work, the pressure to fit in with the company culture, the boss we dislike but have to face with a smile, and the client emails that we sent with the tone of a sugary robot.


A big struggle that keeps many of us from connecting to our job is working in an environment that feels inauthentic. We tend to mold ourselves to fit the environment, oftentimes without realizing that we are not allowing our truest selves to be expressed. When we don't express our most authentic selves, our emotional connection to what we do is also stifled.


Shifting into a role in which we have full autonomy over our work - entrepreneurship or freelance work - gives us the chance to express who we are. Our likes and dislikes, our personality, our entire conscious and subconscious makeup, become imprinted into our business. The types of people that we attract are usually ones who resonate with us personally on some level. As our business grows, the people we hire or partner with will also leave their own imprint onto the business, molding it even further. This may leave us with a fear of being exposed, but entrepreneurship does require us to showcase a certain level of vulnerability and self-revelation. The company's goals will reflect our own personal goals, its culture will reflect the environment we thrive in, its values will reflect our own values.


Ultimately, we are our brand. This means that in order to inject our most authentic selves into our brand, we need to learn to be authentic in our personal lives. Being authentic means that we continuously peel back the layers of our inner selves and learn to both accept and confront what we find, with no judgment. The light parts and dark parts of ourselves both serve important functions, and though we may be hesitant to accept our dark side, acknowledging both sides helps us connect most deeply to other people.


So how does a business showcase the founder's "dark side?" One great way to show authenticity in this way is by sharing previous struggles and the overcoming of these struggles. Many great businesses are inspired by struggles of some kind. Sharing these struggles and ways to overcome them can give people hope for a brighter future. Hope reveals the plight of the human being and can connect humans in the deepest of ways.


Raw authenticity can also be shown in the our "light side," traits that we value in ourselves and dedicate to commit to, both in our personal lives and in our business. When we practice living by these values in our daily lives, they become more deeply engrained into our business, whether we realize it or not.


Practicing these values requires knowing what these values even are. What beliefs motivate us to wake up in the morning? What lessons have our biggest life experiences taught us? What were we most drawn to as children? What emotionally provokes us the most? What types of people are we most aligned with? What do we value most in ourselves.


We can use these values as our compass in how to act, make decisions, and who to partner with. Becoming an entrepreneur is a great opportunity for us to know ourselves on a deeper level in ways greater than just the area of career. We have the opportunities to become leaders for others, using our personal makeup as our own guides. Rather than following only industry trends and profits, staying true to our value system is a kind of guardrail against competitors and other challenging variables in the world of entrepreneurship.


Once we gain clarity on our values, beliefs, and motivations, we can act accordingly and showcase our authentic selves to the world.



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