When I was a little girl I was taught – like many of us were - to be good and to do as I was told.
This ‘success strategy’ carried me through my teens. While I was busy being good I became a people pleaser, more concerned with external validation than what was going on inside.
I was influenced by my parents, by teachers and by peers – external influences that served in some cases to inspire and empower me, and in others to dampen and extinguish my spirit.
In my late teens and early 20s age I discovered new freedoms. I learnt that it was far more gratifying to be me and let what was inside of me out, no holds barred! It was during this time that I formed some of my closest and strongest relationships with people who love me for me, not what they think I should be or what they want me to be.
When I started my business, it was like starting out in the world all over again.
It roused that little girl who preoccupied herself with external influences, adding on all the new lessons I learned in my corporate life about being ‘professional’ as well. My desire to be ‘liked’ was overwhelming, because – we believe the success or failure of the business is dependent on our ‘likeability’ right?!
This led to a damp spirit and vanilla business. Nothing wrong with vanilla, but few choose vanilla in a world of strong vibrant flavours!
The truth is, the best thing I did for myself and for my business was to recognise the external factors and CHOOSE to listen to my inner voice and truth.
To build the business you truly want and find the clients / customers who truly understand you, who buy into you and buy from you, we must dare to speak up and dare to be Marmite (love it or hate it!!!).
Social media is awash with quotes and ideas around authenticity and calls to ‘stay in your lane’. At the same time, it perpetuates competition and comparison as people look at what others are doing and try to emulate it. Don’t get me wrong -- I am all about being inspired and learning new ways of doing things, but I think the balance has tipped too far in the wrong way.
What I have seen in the work that I do is that there can be a tendency to not hear the inner voice and wisdom that we all have to live our own truth. Authenticity is a much-used word; true authenticity starts with honing your skills to hear that voice and pay attention to what feels right for you. By doing and saying what feels right for you, you are being truly authentic. It’s not always an easy thing to do but it will serve you and your business best.
In a world full of coaches what makes my business unique is that I show up as the ‘no holds barred’ me. In my work with my clients I will say the hard truth and hold up a mirror for clients to see what I see. I hold my clients fiercely accountable, in service of their own growth, development and success. I’m not looking for clients who like the idea of having ‘a coach’ but those who actually want to make significant changes. My mission is to have a coaching practice with clients who share my values, whom I can root for and believe in.
So today… listen up, what is your inner voice begging you to hear? How can you be more marmite and less vanilla? Stop, close your eyes, open your heart and listen, be aware of what you hear and feel….