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Entrepreneurs Can Be Authentic Without Getting Naked

Be authentic without getting naked

Our title is not an original to us. It came from Liz Strauss, who along with Terry Starbucker co-founded SOBcon – the premier conference for Successful Online Businesses. We highly recommend it!

Listen to the podcast version of this post. Click the player to hear George & Mary-Lynn on The BIGG Success Show.

Are you amazed by some of the things some people say on social media? It’s bad enough when it’s John or Jane Doe.

But do you ever find yourself shaking your head in disbelief when an entrepreneur complains about a customer or talks openly about cash flow problems?

You can be yourself without revealing everything. A little mystery makes your business sexier.

Don’t bare it all to funders

A small business owner came to us because he was experiencing cash flow problems. We determined he had
a timing problem, not a money problem. He was growing too fast for his capital base.

We introduced him to an investor. Unfortunately, all the entrepreneur talked about was the cash flow problem and the issues it was creating.

People don’t invest in problems; they invest in opportunities. If you can’t see the opportunity in your business, neither will your potential funders.

Don’t overexpose yourself to customers

Customers don’t want to hear it either. If you aren’t doing well – and they know it – they may get nervous. They wonder if you will continue being a dependable source of supply. So they start shopping. Overexposure opens the door for competitors.

The opposite is also true. You may be doing great. You brag about it. Your customers may question whether they are paying too much for your goods and/or services. They pressure you for better prices.

Don’t take it all off

All of your employees don’t have to know everything either. Completely open-book management requires a certain level of maturity. If that maturity isn’t there, employees tend to focus on the negative.

It makes them nervous. Nervous employees start looking for work elsewhere. Your best employees are the first to get hired away.

At least keep your hat on

Even your spouse or significant other doesn’t need to hear it all. Deal with the entrepreneurial terror yourself so your spouse can keep supporting you, the entrepreneur.

How can you be authentic without getting naked?

  • Be yourself while simultaneously being true to yourself.

    You may occasionally modify your real opinion to avoid hurting someone else’s feelings. Do the same for yourself.

  • Filter what you say and to whom you say it.

    Think need to know. Obviously, you have a duty to keep certain people in the loop. Why does any single person beyond that group need to know?

  • Frame it in a positive way, unless there’s no other way.
  • Find a mentor or a coach with whom you can let it all hang out.

    We’ve walked a thousand miles in your shows. Maybe we can help. E-mail us at or just fill out our contact form.

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:

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