Authenticity is probably the number 1 buzz word I hear as a communicator and brand strategist.
Now I LOVE authenticity. I am on the authenticity bandwagon. But what does it actually mean to communicate with authenticity and why is it so important for your brand?
The short version is that authenticity is about being open, honest and real.
The real crux is being true to yourself and true to your values (personally and as a brand) and coming with that in mind whenever you reach out to your audience.
I was speaking with a client recently and she was talking about the pressure she feels on social media to conform to this perfect, healthy, yogi, wellbeing coach ideal that so many of the people and brands within her industry perpetuate through their social media profiles.
When I first had my little munchkin and I was in the process of attempting to find some sense of equilibrium in this slightly insane brave new world, the beautiful nurse we were seeing gave me some amazing, oh-so-sensible advice. And it was the kind of insight that is actually super relevant to so many parts of adulting, including this entrepreneurial journey, as well as the parenting one.
To tell you the truth I was pretty shocked by the incredible intensity of just how much I love this tiny human being (I knew it would be love, but I had NO idea it would be such a full-body, visceral kind of experience), as well as dealing with very little sleep and the anxiety that comes with suddenly being completely responsible for the survival of another person.
About this time last year I was getting ready to go on maternity leave - I wasn’t actually due until early September, but by the end of June I already felt like I was 600 hundred weeks pregnant, and still getting daily morning sickness, which lemme tell you, was NOT limited to the AM, so I was COUNTING THE DAYS until my mat’ leave in mid-August.
I started wrapping things up progressively, slowing down, allowing myself the time and space to lie on the bathroom floor for a few minutes after my afternoon bout of vomiting (sorry! TMI!).
Anyway, I’m not sure whether it was baby brain, or just my total pre-baby naivety, but I had some definite presumptions about how things were going to roll once my little bun was out of the oven.
I was going to give myself a very generous 3 months to find my feet...
Lately I've been getting a whole lotta comparisonitis - that nasty condition that likes to compare and contrast everything everyone else is doing with where you are.
Social media is the most amazing trigger for comparisonitis - you get to see the highest of the highs that everyone else is achieving, the beautifully filtered pics of big wins, lux' lifestyles, champagne and business class.
Aaaannd then you look around at the piles of laundry all over your kitchen table, the baby food splattered across the side of the bench that you hadn't noticed before (and god knows how long it’s been there), the huge list of things you really want to be working on but haven't been able to touch for days because you've got a day job/ a bubba/ business admin that needs attention/ a family to look after/ healt...
I luuurve me a good goal - but the operative word in that sentence is 'good', and by that what I really mean is a 'well set' goal.
It's so easy to set a wishy washy goal in your head, or maybe you even jot it down on a piece of paper, or in your diary, something like "write a book" or "get more clients". (Now, I'm going to start out with a little side note warning, if you're sensitive about language then this might not be the post for you, I'm going to say 'shit' quite a bit. Also if you're sensitive about being called out on your own bullshit then it's probably time to read something else.)
But I'm going to be honest with you here, those shitty, thoughtless goals are not only useless, they can actually be doing more harm than good in your life and in your business.