So often when I meet with people either socially or professionally, casually or when I am helping them with their marketing, I instinctively know that they are hiding who they really are. I know that they are plagued with a sense of duty, obligation and fear. They are following their need to belong, conforming to a society that brought them into this world instead of pursuing their instinctive need to be something different. Trapped by convention and dogma they are merely playing a part that they were issued upon birth. I know, I have played that part too.
My instinctive need to tease out talent of these individuals always comes to the fore. I seek to home in on their hidden capabilities and identify how they can remain true to their own selves and be who they really need to be.Their hidden talents and interests are often far more amazing and wonderful than what they think that they should be doing.
Ash Beckham in her TED talk shares her journey of coming out of her closet that hid the fact that she was not a pink princess dress girl but more of a casual pyjamas kind of girl. Whilst this journey was about her accepting and being accepted as a lesbian, her message is clearly that we all have our closets in which we hide ourselves.
The reality is that the long held beliefs keep us hidden from our most important truth. The truth of all truths is the one that resides within our own being. We conform because we fear rejection, judgement and misunderstanding. Hiding the idiosyncrasies that make us into the unique individuals that we are is a cancer of the soul. The very act of hiding in the dark destroys the light and vitality of who we really are. Revealing what lies within though is what we should strive to achieve above everything, however unusual, challenging, difficult or quirky that may be.
What has this got to do with marketing, social media and business development?
Your business is an intrinsic part of who you are, your talents, passions and expertise. If it is not true to you then it will become as burdensome and as onerous as any job that makes you feel imprisoned and constrained. If on the other hand, it is a true reflection of you, then watch out world, there’s magic happening. You can only become empowered by your core beliefs, your values and your ethos. Bring in your natural talents into the mix and your business will shine above all others.
Marketing is your message to the outside world. It is a projection of that which lies within. It is the conduit through which you convey the essence of those things that really matter. The messages form a part of what you do and offer and if they are are not true to you, people will be able to smell it from miles away.
Marketing is about sharing the value within yourself and your business. If you do not truly value it then you will never be able to engineer the right marketing messages to connect with the very people who gain immeasurable value from you.
Social media is merely a tool. it is a mirror and a magnifying glass combined. What you put out to the world bounces right back at you. Push our fakery and facades and you will be walking in a hall of mirrors shining the worst of falseness back. Being open about what you strive to achieve, about your hopes, dreams and ambitions will strike at the heart of those who share your visions. Accepting, embracing and revealing your vulnerabilities, being authentically you brings empathy and connection. Connection brings business.
Every day we have a choice.
Are we going to play the money game? Are we going to keep up a pretense of ‘it’s ok’? Or are we going to come out of whatever closet we have shut ourselves in and demolish the facades? Are we going to be true to ourselves and show what we are really made of, make massive waves that change the status quo and make a significant difference in the world?
From time to time, we need to ask ourselves whether are we on course, on track for doing what is most important. Watching this video makes me inclined to think that many people we meet hide their best aspects of who they are in a darkened closet. I think that it is high time for us to knock on that door and invite them to reveal who they are. They are sure to bring a light into our part of the world if they do.