The Power of Authenticity


Take the Ego Out of Your Business Strategy

During a conversation about what the road to success is like, I was once asked, “Why do you think certain people want to become an entrepreneur? Potentially risking failure, working twice as many hours, endlessly having to juggle tons of balls in the air.”

At first, all of the typical answers came to mind: money, success, fame, etc. That question made me think of how hard those kind of days are. The dog days of sweating, crying, losing sleep AND faith over the extreme exertion of building a company. The same days where I wanted to give up because it didn’t automatically happen.

The answer didn’t come easily to me. It slowly revealed itself in the unexpected voice of my team sticking by me or a surprising comment from someone who admired my hard work or the moment I looked around and noticed my team having a blast on a packed salon floor.

I realized through these moments that the spirit of true entrepreneurship comes from a place in us that’s driven to inspire others. More importantly that place serves to inspire OURSELVES. That, my friends, is where authenticity begins.

I believe many entrepreneurs, who have been through similar struggles, would agree with me on this one. We would agree that we’re on a quest for solutions to the world around us.

We constantly look for the improvement in everything, wanted or not. Our eyes are peeled for the efficiency in tasks and we consistently change anything foolish enough to stand in our path. We’ve been accused of never letting the grass grow beneath our feet. An accusation that I secretly relish, truth be told.

This motivated engine, buzzing away inside entrepreneurs, manifests an unrestrained intensity that’s tangible.

You see we really WANT to make a difference. Contentment for us isn’t a prerogative or fantasy, it’s a privilege we simply won’t allow to stand in the way of our purpose.

That’s our compass. We put our noses to the ground and follow, blinded by sheer stubborn will. With a clarity that’s exquisitely sharp, it’s very clear to us what our roles are in this world.

We’re not the casual traveler through the rose garden. We are, instead, the architects that build the rose gardens for others to smell and enjoy. We don’t think there’s time yet to smell the roses. Our enjoyment comes from knowing that our rose garden will provide unequivocal joy for others. Entrepreneurs are dreamers and architects to the core of their being.

Some of us, actually unaware that we’re following our hearts, fall into life’s purpose this way. The lucky ones find that magnificent compass. Once fine-tuned, inevitably, leads us to authenticity.

Don’t get me wrong, a business strategy is an essential part of the path to success, but it’s just a part. The components of strategizing, formulating, team training, etc., is a crucial part to systemizing any business. It’s not to be minimized. The ingredients of a stellar business strategy has its merits. It’s the unemotional part in fulfilling your emotional dream.

Even a half-assed business plan, delivered with all the proper preparation can have some measure of success. However, business strategy alone is like a pizza without cheese. It may resemble the shape of pizza but ends up flat and lacks flavor and depth.

Or like Desi without Lucy. All you get is a somber, bull-headed, old fashioned husband controlling the day without all of the cool zaniness and fun adventures that come along with being real. I think you get the idea!

The driving force behind successful businesses is the authenticity of your purpose, the soul behind providing the solution to the world. The fun, flavorful and expressive part of your brand is the authenticity behind your intention. That realness is like pixie dust. You sprinkle it on and it’ll put the heart in your game.

Authenticity can bridge all of the moving parts of your heart and mind’s activity feed. It’ll be the glue during the times your business strategy splinters and you have to go back to the drawing board.

Here are ten key observations on how to create authenticity:

  1. Believe in something. Before you build a business system, you first have to have a belief system.
  2. Get rid of the ego. Hard to do, I know. But the ego serves only itself. As the visionary in your business, you are there to serve your team first ,then your guests. Send it packing.
  3. Focus on the real product of what you’re selling. Know the value perception behind your service. Customer service is essential to maintaining consistency to your guests. In a salon, you’re selling an experience in a service-based business.Be relentless to excellent customer service in the 3 solution centers for your salon company.
    -Service solutions
    -Backbar solutions
    -Take home solutionsUnderstand that you’re prescribing solutions, not just selling products. Practice this thought process and it’ll make your retailing serve a higher purpose.
  4. Live outside of your comfort zone. This will be difficult. We all want to be comfortable but in business this is complacency. Stay hungry, stay motivated, stay uncomfortable.
  5. Self reflect on your leadership. (Not to be confused with second guessing yourself) Balance your behavior. Know that the singular purpose to magnify your company is to grow your team first. They are your brand champions. For this to happen, you need to be their champion, so don’t be a jerk.
  6. Surround yourself with authentic people who do business like you do. At a certain age, we can see disaster brewing when someone younger than us starts making choices to associate with certain folks. That’s a part of getting older. We get wiser, right? We learn that you become whom you hang with. The same applies to you. If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, then associate with them.
    If you want to be a criminal, then associate with them. It’s that simple.
  7. Prioritize your schedule. Manage your time. Fulfill your life. Make time to be with your family. It’s the most important part. However, don’t make an excuse to not get your tasks done. If your life is in balance, then you’ll be able to focus and push through growth and learning curves.
  8. Take action. When there are tasks, get it done. If it’s on the schedule, you’ll be more organized. Make lists. Delegate. Follow through. Your reputation depends on it.
  9. Be accountable to your actions. Know when to say you’re wrong. Being wrong doesn’t show weakness, it shows strength. Mistakes are opportunities to grow. Be open to saying it.
  10. Be willing to listen to others and give time to them.
    As your business grows, it’ll become clear that your team is the most important part of expanding your brand and vision. Be kind. Be considerate. Be thoughtful. A kind word can give someone a sense of place in this world, your world actually. Besides, you want your company to have an amazing reputation that it’s a great place to work. It’s a guarantee that you’ll never have staff loyalty otherwise.

Every business owner strives to build their empire, but AUTHENTIC business owners almost always arrive, eventually, at a place where building their team becomes the purpose.

Your vision will come from your dreams. The solution will emerge from that beginning. That’s the easy part. Developing the company and its vision requires authenticity. Then it will be time to amplify this vision.
Authenticity then becomes the most valued trait.

Your reputation starts to create relationships that nurture and become your network. This network then becomes one of your most valued assets.

Keep this in mind as you’re out there conquering the world:
Just focus on building your team, your team then builds your company:

So relax a little, take a deep breath, have fun, provide the solution.
Be yourself, be reflective, be accountable, be vulnerable.

Never miss an opportunity


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