So the last few days I’ve been sole seeking! As a private individual I’ve decided to be very public about my experiences over the last couple of weeks. After all if I didn’t I wouldn’t have the support of the amazing family and friends who I hope will read this post.
Being a founder, we’re soloists, and we must emit a constant whiff of success. Our business teeth must be clean, and our entrepreneurial nostril hair trimmed at all times. We must plaster a fixed grin on our face, and shriek (slightly too loudly) “I’m okay” to anyone who asks. The best way to be successful is to act successful, right?
The truth is, most of us tend to show our best selves online. We flood our Facebook posts with grinning conference selfies. We splatter our Instagram feed with shots of immaculate desks, frothy coffees and relentlessly inspirational memes.
And our LinkedIn profiles heave with tales of business triumphs. We all do it, we know we do it, and we know everyone is doing it.
I know that you know, and you know that I know. (And I know that you know I know.)
Maybe we think that if we act successful for long enough, it will start to become true. That if we talk the talk, we’ll soon be walking the walk.
But instead we stumble through our business life and drag our feet to our desk each morning. By trying to pretend everything is okay, we’re actually making life more stressful.
And suffocating our business in the process. This fake business joy is punching tiny holes in our mojo bottle, and our energy is leaking out each day.
The reality is that running a solo business isn’t all unicorns and baby rabbits. Sometimes it’s like being forced to chew through Donald Trump’s armpit hair. So if you want to make a resolution, resolve to stop pretending.
And if you must have a plan, plan to keep it real. That word you need to pick? How about “honesty”?
Share your mistakes and fluff-ups, your bad days and embarrassing situations.
That time you accidentally called a client a sh!tgibbon in an email meant for someone else? Share it. That time you accidentally spent £500 on Facebook ads because you forgot to switch them off? Share it.
The thing you built that no-one bought? The conference that rejected your presentation?
The fact you let your own website domain expire?
Share it all people.
Why? Because those polished perfect pedestal perchers are a pain in the arse, their constant success drivel doesn’t ring true, and that “Well done, mate” quickly becomes a “Sod off, mate”.
It’s fine to toot your own horn. But it’s also good to put down your trumpet once in a while.By peppering your highs with some much-needed woes, it gives your business brand flavour.
Sprinkling a few mistakes over the top of your business gateau makes your content more digestible. It also makes your brand more credible, honest and therefore more trustworthy.
It makes you more human.
And people want to work with and buy from other humans – not glossy omnipotent beings who never mess up. You don’t have to tell your audience all your sad stories.
But letting them peep behind the business curtain once in a while could help rather than hurt your business.
I’ve spent too long trying to be this successful person when deep down I’ve let myself down and others.
It’s also incredibly relaxing to be truthful.
(Trust me, it really is.)