While anyone can start a business, not everyone can build a business that is successful in the long term.
Plenty of nuts and bolts are involved in building a successful business but linking your personality to your business is probably the most essential determinant of sustained success. After all, if you’re in a business that is not a fit for you, you won’t put in the hard work that’s required to create something meaningful.
In an era where businesses are increasingly built out of passion as opposed to sheer financial opportunity, it’s hardly surprising that ‘authenticity’ has become a buzzword. The openness brought on by social media and the internet has also necessitated the need for products that reflect authenticity.
What does it mean to be authentic? Being authentic to yourself requires that you remain true to what makes you tick, what drives you crazy with enthusiasm, what resonates with your core personality.
It’s not difficult to realize whether you are being “the authentic you” as an entrepreneur—you will just feel it when something is not working and is not in alignment with your greater goals and purpose.
So, how do you create a business that is a reflection of your real self?
Self-knowledge involves understanding your real personality, values, emotions, needs and habits. Awareness of your personality allows you to create a business that lets you bring out your true talents and most importantly, your passion.
Customers, employees and even potential investors can notice when you are not passionate about your product or if you’re not making the best use of your natural talents.
So, to fully shine in the light of your authentic self, put aside the end goal of making profit for a while and take the time to discover your personality and how this fits into your dream business. For example, are you a go-getter, a generalist, a specialist, a collaborator, a trailblazer, a creative or a manager?
Some people flourish by creating lifestyle businesses that allow them to travel, work from anywhere and create their own schedule. Others may do well managing hundreds of employees, rapidly scaling and building numerous products.
It’s crucial to align your business and lifestyle goals to ensure that the business you create suits your aspirations. If you are looking to build a large company that generates millions of dollars in sales, you need to come to terms with the fact that you may not have all the freedom to up and go, or to make spontaneous decisions.
On the contrary, if you are looking to build a business that offers you freedom and simply supports your lifestyle, attempting to create a large enterprise just because everyone is doing it will not work. Such a business simply won’t support your lifestyle goals and therefore won’t be authentic.
Being true to yourself doesn’t mean that you can’t borrow pearls of wisdom, gems of insight and the extraordinary skills of role models and mentors. The secret lies in learning as much as you can to improve your own skills.
This is not about copying others or hiding your talents. It’s really about understanding your strengths and weaknesses and learning from others who are excelling in your business niche.
Gradually, by integrating your skills with what you learn from others, you’ll have an even stronger skills set that reflects the real you, allowing you to build a business based on these strengths and skills.
Authenticity is ultimately about being clear about your life purpose. Think about it: Could you possibly say that you are being your authentic self when you don’t know what your life purpose is? Probably not.
What greater purpose do you want your business to fulfill? Do you want to produce environmentally safe products, to connect the world and remove barriers, to celebrate different body shapes, to support transformational leadership, to bring joy to people’s lives?
We built Jiggle Digital doing what we love. We wanted to help businesses develop their brands in a more meaningful way. Each business has a heart and a “uniqueness” so we help identify this and then build the emotional connection between brand and consumer. Great work and focus is how we develop life-long relationships with our client’s.
Today, consumers are looking to connect with brands that have a higher purpose other than just making profits. So, as you create your business, it will pay off to align your business goals with the bigger picture that forms part of your own life purpose.
Whether you are outsourcing or bringing in actual labor to work in your office, you want to ensure that your team shares your vision. Each member should be able to espouse what you want your business to be all about.
If you are a generalist—the big ideas type of person—your team will play the crucial role of bringing the details together to actualize your ideas.
Choose the right team that will allow you to leverage your strengths and compliment your weaknesses to bring your authentic business to fruition.
Running a successful business is no easy feat. You know the figures—8 out 10 businesses fail! A great way to even slightly increase your chances of success is to build a business that truly resonates with your personality, your lifestyle goals and your greater life purpose. There is something about being true to yourself that creates a space for eventual triumph.