Unless you know who you are, there is no way you are going to be authentic. The catchphrase ‘be your authentic self’ has been bandied for some time now. Steve Jobs threw the spanner into the works and the world noted. If for example you are a woman in business, you have to be authentic to succeed. The catch phrase was meant for women initially but it has now come to be embraced by all.

What is authenticity and how can one be authentic?

Being authentic basically means that you are in your true element. This definition encompasses the things that you do and the people you serve. In a business environment, we have values, benefits and humans to interact with. Do you think that it is important to be authentic? The answer to this question can be obtained by looking at the things that are achieved when we become authentic in business.

• Rising above competition

• Helps in personal branding and business image

• Adds substance to your business

• Improves relations between you and  clients

• Helps to portray you as a trustworthy person

The above are just but a few of the things you gain from being authentic.

Now the question begs: how do you become authentic? The process isn’t as hard as you might think. You build on it over time but generally speaking, you will need to do the following:

Act real

We are often tempted to act who we are not in business. Stick to your goals, passions and see beyond   the profit motive. Every business has its own core values. You should   be able to use it to your advantage. It behoves of you to demonstrate grace in a social environment. Other must-have qualities include intuition and empathy. Avoid the traps of self-glorification as this could ruin your authenticity.

Be altruistic

Being charitable is about giving out your hard earned cash. People have a way of relating with people. Let your business be affiliated to a cause-a Charity for instance.

Avoid contradictions

Consumers are more than ever enlightened. They can easily read though contradictions. Building on a culture of consistency let your identity, style and the message you pass across remain the same. Any shift from your fundamental attributes will send wrong signals. This should not mean that you don’t think differently.

If possible, have a checklist to help you remember the values to uphold.

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