I Gotta Be Me!
Do you recall the song made famous by Sammy Davis Jr., I Gotta Be Me? “I can’t be right for somebody else if I’m not right for me” is the line that strikes my fancy as I think about what sells. Because what sells is less about the product or service and more about YOU ~ the person with the product or service! If what I have to offer is as good as the next person selling a similar widget for a comparable price; then the sale comes down to only one thing. You. Or Me!
Everybody’s Doing It!
Over the past several weeks, I’ve read article after article about marketing and sales. To a person, everyone says the same thing. In fact, they use identical words to describe what folks want from those of us with a product or service to offer. “Authentic” and “Transparent” are the two words used by business coaches, consultants, and gurus. Even the psychological types urge us to be authentic and to let our authenticity show by being as transparent as possible.
What a prospective buyer wants from me is the real me – so transparent that they don’t have to guess whether I’m real or not. I simply am. And the assumption is that a person who is authentic is also honest. They know that because their instinct tells them so.
So How Do I “Getta Be Me?”
Getting to who we are isn’t an easy task. In fact most folks tell me they don’t know what I’m talking about. Or they never thought about it. They just travel through life as they are and never give any thought to not being their ‘real’ self. In fact, when therapizing others and asked the question to describe their real self; I got a blank stare followed by a lot of spitting and sputtering. They didn’t know. Yet most of my clients were stuck personally, professionally or spiritually. They longed for greater success in life and business; but couldn’t put their finger on what it would take to do so. They knew what the words meant, but not how to apply them to themselves!
Finding Our Personal ‘Skin’ in the Game!
Although over the past number of years, I’ve posted tips and hints about getting to know who we are so we can be comfortable in our own skin (i.e. ‘authentic’); I’m going to do so again. For a longtime audience who may want to be reminded & a new audience who may be new to my tips and hints. So here’s some thoughts that may be helpful:
- Ask questions ~ ask your friends and family how they see you. How do they experience you? What qualities do they see that seem to suit you? If friends, what drew them to do? When do they recognize you being most comfortable in your skin?
- Engage folks you experience as not being particularly warm and friendly with you. I hesitate to call them “enemies”; but I think you know the folks I mean. Ask them if there’s something specific that turns them off about you/your personality? You’re not asking them in order to change for them; but to learn something about yourself of which you may not be aware.
- Take an inventory or two. I like the Johari Window (see below), a simple set of questions that will reveal what’s known to you and to others; unknown to you but known to others (our blind spot); known to yourself and unknown to others; finally what’s unknown to you and unknown to others.
- Practice consistent reflection. I’m not proposing what us psych folks call “naval gazing”; but a regular time of tuning into yourself and getting in touch with your inner self. For us believers we use prayer time to ask Papa GOD to show us who we are. Trust me, if we are sincere when we ask; He’ll show us! If we feel ‘stuck’; ask Him to reveal what is tripping us up. If a relationship has gone south; then ask how much of it is you and what specific correction you can make so as not to repeat a pattern over and over again.
- Tune into self. A twist on the practice of reflection that helps us recognize when we are most comfortable in our skin! When I am being my most authentic self, I feel it. I am totally relaxed with what I’m doing and saying. My body language is easy and open. Breathing slow and easy. And I know that this occurs when I’m being totally honest with self – and others. Paying attention to how we ‘feel’ at any given moment tells us a lot about our authentic self. Make note of those times and make every attempt to make them the norm rather than the exception!
You might scoff at this as a sales tool or technique. But trust me, it is the ultimate sales tool. It is what sets us apart from the next woman selling the same or similar whirly-gigs at the same or similar price. Something about us-our authenticity; grabs the attention of others and hauls them onto our court.
Finally, it’s good to remember that not everyone will like us or want to do business with us even at our authentic best! In such cases, it’s about them – not us. If 75+ percent of the time; the folks come to you; then you’re authenticity scale is in great shape!
Now go make the goal of your life becoming the best version of the woman God intended you to be!
Linda S. Fitzgerald, M.S.Ed, CEO & Visionary Partner
A Women’s Place Network, Inc. dba
Affiliated Women International
Building a Community of Christian Business Women
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Affiliated Women International
The Johari window is a technique that helps people better understand their relationship with themselves and others. It was created by psychologists Joseph Luft (1916–2014) and Harrington Ingham (1916–1995) in 1955
Image by Simon Shek Wikipedia