Guest Blog by Karen Wessels, co-founder and COO of VA Connect
According to Janet L. Stephenson “Authenticity requires a certain measure of vulnerability, transparency, and integrity.” But, what does it mean to be your authentic self? And, why is this so important in the business world?
I’m sure you’ve come across the expression “authentic” quite often of late. Increasingly it’s becoming more and more important for consumers to deal with real people, to deal with businesses that stick to ethics. People buy from people. Technology will keep advancing. However, there will always be the human factor, like it or not.
Being authentic in business means bringing back compassion and humaneness to a place where this is usually left behind. How often have you caught yourself censoring what you say or do for fear of being judged, or worried how it will be perceived?
We live in a culture that is starving for authenticity. Be honest with yourself – you want your co-workers, family members and friends to tell you the truth and for them to be themselves.
How does being your authentic self help you in business? Be willing to be vulnerable and brutally honest with yourself. Once you give yourself permission to do this, you open the doors to learn, to grow, to be bold.
Understand and know yourself, what your personal and business values are, and why you are doing what you do. The better you understand your “Why” the easier it is for you to advance and create the business and life that you always wanted.
Find joy and passion every day in your work and personal life. Enthusiasm is contagious and people want to work with happy, positive people. So be the leader and show your team how to have fun by doing what you do.
Business is about solving a problem. Why not create a reciprocity loop, by giving and sharing, because by doing this it fosters connection between people and helps move things forward. Successful people love sharing their knowledge and lessons learned from personal experiences, and by doing so are paying it forward.
Learn to take care of yourself in order to best serve others. Value your time and energy and only take on clients and projects that will add value to your business.
Keep growing, keep learning new skills, expand your knowledge base, and be very weary of becoming stagnant. It takes courage to keep moving forward, to grow your business and improve your offering on a daily basis.
Embracing your authentic self is not for the faint-hearted, however, the rewards are rich and boundless. Be bold, go forth and make a difference in this world by being your unique self.
Karen Wessels is the co-founder and COO of VA Connect, a South African virtual assistant platform that provides outsourced administrative support. Prior to establishing VA Connect, Karen spent over 10 years in different sales, marketing & admin support roles. Having worked with MDs, SMEs and professionals, she is very familiar with managing different workloads within tight deadlines. This has equipped her with the invaluable skills required to run a successful VA business. Follow Karen on her Personal Website | Twitter | Facebook | Google+
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