Authenticity. It’s something you hear a lot about these days, people seem to be talking about it and selling it like it’s a product to be acquired. But really, what is authenticity, and what does being authentic really mean? How important could it be…really?
Well, let’s look at the opposite of authenticity. Authenticity can be boiled down to a few simple words to define it: bona fide, credible, trustworthy, unique. So the opposite of these things would be: fake, ungenuine or unreal. I think it’s time we face the fact that some of these people claiming to be authentic or promising authentic services or products are, in fact, not being authentic.
Honestly, I don’t think authenticity and the good old sales process have really existed together – ever. When you think about the goal or desired outcome of the sales process, it always has and always will be to sell. SELL, SELL, SELL. And what could be more “ungenuine” then overlooking someone as a person to get them to buy something.
But, not all is doom and gloom! There are changes happening in our world, and more and more business people are opening their eyes, and their awareness, to the true meaning of authenticity in their businesses and lives. The way I see it, we really can’t sustain our way of life without changing the way we do business, and that includes being more concerned with uplifting people rather than burdening them with more stuff they don’t need. The endless pursuit of sales and numbers for profit alone has to end at some point. Maybe it won’t end in the big box, big corporate world, but on a local level I think people are evolving the way they look at their fellow-man – not as a consumer, but as a person to inspire.
So, what does authenticity look like for me? Well, it includes being connected to my own purpose by continuing to question and analyze what I want and why I do what I do. It’s easy to get caught up in doing something to gain something, like working for money. But that’s really not true authentic, purpose driven living. Purpose is just one aspect of this whole picture, but it is the biggest piece. It’s taken some time for me to really get dirty, I mean down and dirty, with my true purpose in this world, and I think I’m getting closer by the day. I also look at my own level of authenticity by my ability to inspire other people to take action to improve their lives.
An important thing to remember though is that being authentic and true to your purpose doesn’t mean it’s wrong to sell your services to other people. It’s the WAY you sell it that really defines whether you come off as desperate or legit.
How important is authenticity? I guess you’ll need to decide that for yourself and your own business, but if it’s something you want to consider then start by looking at how you communicate with the people in your life and business. Are you always angling to sell something or get something? Or are you looking at each interaction as a chance to operate from your authentic purpose? Something to consider.