Honesty: What’s In It For You? – Where Personal Growth and Business Collide

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You can also read this on The Huffington Post

“The truth is undefeated” – Gary Vaynerchuk

To anyone who carries the truth as a burden on their backs, something to hide from or shield from others, you’re using it wrong.

It’s actually the wings that free you.

For your personal growth, and for your business, it’s time to stop hiding. Your fear of owning your truth is hindering your success, your growth, and your happiness.

Before I dive into this, know that I’m no saint. I make mistakes. One of my biggest struggles in transparency is looking in the mirror to find my truth in where I’ve gone wrong, but once I find it I quickly come to terms with accepting and voicing it. I never forget that any truth of mine is a human truth, and we are all equal in that we all have them.

I speak with transparency about the things I know about myself. The good, bad, and ugly.

I can recognize it’s not that simple to those around me, and probably isn’t simple to you if you’re reading this, so read a little further and I’ll make it more objective for you.

The Myth

People always tell you to be honest because it’s “the right thing to do”, when in fact one can argue that in certain situations honesty isn’t the noble thing.

For instance: a husband on his death bed admits to his wife of 50 years that he had an affair. Was it the right thing to do?

The Truth

The reason for being honest isn’t just that it’s “the right thing to do”. (Which I would actually still argue it being the noble thing and take up timing as a completely different issue–personally).

The more compelling reason to be honest is that honesty comes with more personal and interpersonal benefits than any alternative lack of transparency.

So while you’re busy being burdened with the fear of people knowing you better, I’m over here setting my truth firmly on the table. Freeing the people who aren’t a good fit for me and my business and character, attracting those who are, and walking through life free as a fucking bird.

What’s In It For You

The personal and business benefits of transparency are astounding.

You Greatly Reduce Your Run-ins With Conflict & Guilt.

“Miscommunication is one of the biggest causes of conflict in interpersonal relationships, and transparency helps to reduce the occurrences of miscommunication.” – Eli Adversity

When people say they trust you, they aren’t trusting you to be perfect.

When they trust you they’re trusting you to be who you’ve presented yourself to be.

Once you present yourself or your business as a certain type of entity people expect you to deliver on that standard. The moment someone takes a risk on you, be it with their money, their secrets, letting you into their home or heart, it means they’re expecting you to deliver on the standard you set. No one else set it for you.

Conversely, losing someone’s trust doesn’t mean you’ve presented a character flaw or made a human mistake of some sort. People accept each others through those circumstances daily.

Losing someone’s trust means you stepped outside of the standard you lead them to believe in, which in turn made them question everything else you presented yourself to be.

So if you remain authentic in your strengths, weaknesses, business, and character, you almost never have to disappoint anyone around you, or suffer the conflict and guilt resulting from that disappointment.

You Get More Accountability — The Greatest Ingredient Of Growth

“As an introvert and a private person by nature transparency was not something that came natural to me, but I quickly learned that a sense of transparency and vulnerability were key to making true connections.” – Chanel Cumberbatch
You want personal growth?

Face yourself.

Furthermore, allow those who you’ve promised a standard to to judge you based on your consistency in upholding the standard.

People say “the first step is admitting you have the problem” because there’s no way to grow without acknowledgment of where the immaturity exists. This requires transparency.

You Stop Questioning Your Circle’s and Following’s Acceptance Of You

“…This attracts the right people, deters the wrong ones, and you never have to overthink who you are trying to represent.” – Arne Giske

When people know your truth their decision is simple: at what level can they show up for you.

Some will decide to stay distant. They’ll follow you on IG without buying your product. Others will disappear, but the best people for you at that time of your journey will decide to be your best friends and best clients.

When you reach a point of consistent transparency and allow everyone around you to see you as you are you get to firmly believe this one thing: no one in your life is out of place or holding you back.

Not a friend, and not a customer.

People Give Their Money to Those They Trust

“We live in a world where markers are full of crap 99.9% of the time. So when you go out there and you’re completely transparent you automatically set yourself a step ahead of everyone else.” – Dan Henry

I don’t care if it’s asking a friend to borrow money or asking a client to take a chance in paying you for a service. If they don’t know who you are, you aren’t getting the money. You start hearing “I don’t have it, I’m sorry.” and excuses of the sort.

What they really mean is “I don’t know if I’m going to get what I want out of this transaction.”

And that’s because they’ve picked up on an inconsistency with what you’re presenting that makes them question who you really are and what your business is really capable of.

So when it comes to business, you need to make sure your target audience trusts you before you ask for the sale.
You don’t have to take my word for the benefits of honesty and transparency. See the full quotes roundup of successful entrepreneurs who have built some of the most loyal followings by owning their truth in business and life.

 

Arne Giske – Founder of The Millennial Entrepreneur Podcast & Digital Marketing Ninja

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“When you are authentic in your marketing you never have to fake your image. People see the real you, not a manufactured brand. This attracts the right people, deters the wrong ones, and you never have to overthink who you are trying to represent. I’ve found that it’s a lot more fun to be myself and not hold back. My story is unique, my style is my own, and no one can copy that. There’s only one Arne Giske!”

 

Arne has a kickass podcast and might even take you on as a sales funnel client if you fit the bill. Check him out!

Chanel Cumberbatch – CEO at Chanel Cumberbatch, Business Strategist

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“Transparency has had a HUGE impact on both my business relationships and my personal growth. As an introvert and a private person by nature, transparency was not something that came natural to me, but I quickly learned that a sense of transparency and vulnerability were key to making true connections. Especially online. Now I’m able to share bits of my story with others, inspire and truly become “relatable” as well!”

Chanel is the aspiring entrepreneur’s hero, killing 9-5’s one client at a time. Check her out here.

 

Eli Adversity – Founder of Resilient Fitness/Poet/Model

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“Transparency serves a large benefit in both business and personal life alike. From a business perspective, clients know what they are getting into from the visuals we put up on social media. So when they come to class they have adequate information on what to expect thus there is a sense of trust. We did not chose to hire models to represent an image because we are the image and every client is a part of this image. In regards to personality, self growth and clarity are the biggest advantages to transparency in one’s character. Miscommunication is one of the biggest causes of conflict in interpersonal relationships, and transparency helps to reduce the occurrences of miscommunication.”

Eli is one of my all time favorite humans. He started his Fitness Coaching business, but also takes part in the arts including spoken word poetry and modeling (though he might not openly admit to the latter). Follow his IG here to keep up with everything he’s doing.

Dan Henry – ‘Superhero’ Facebook Ads Expert
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” I would say, transparency has helped my business tremendously. We live in a world where markers are full of crap 99.9% of the time. So when you go out there and you’re completely transparent you automatically set yourself a step ahead of everyone else.

Dan is a major Batman fan and the go to guy for Facebook Ads. He has two goals: get results and stay real while doing it. Click Here to find him.

 

 

Eryn Amel – Writer/Photographer 

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“Transparency helps allows me to piece my success together one sale at a time in business. Finding a network that honors your transparency helps them support your vision. Not specifically when it comes together, but allowing my trials to take shape organically seemed to have birthed life into my projects and this transmits to my customers. I think the transparency helps others feel comfortable in who they are supporting all the while showing others how much work goes into operating a business meant to keep your lights on.”

Eryn is an artist of several forms, and the transparency she speaks of has afforded her one of the most loyal followings I’ve seen. Follow her on Instagram for a daily dose of mind, body, spirit, and beauty.

 

 

I Don’t Give A Shit About “Bad” Publicity And You Shouldn’t Either

To my aspiring leaders our there, I bet you’ve never seen influence without conviction.

I bet you’ve never seen an opinion without opposition.

Imagine a world where Gary Vaynerchuk didn’t say things like “Nobody gives a fuck about your feelings bro”? No seriously, look:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=APDS_-cICyA

Would he be where he is if he softened up?

What about Chelsea Handler, who has made a career out of being outspoken and opinionated?

Would Daniel DiPiazza be on his epic come up if he was always agreeable?

No. None of these people would be successful if they laid down for every opposing opinion to walk across them unscathed.

And with all of this proof of the contrary people still believe it benefits them to be agreeable, politically correct robots of the socio-emotional machine. “Watch your step” they say. “You don’t want a PR nightmare.” they plead.

But how do people know you if you have no opinions?

How can I trust you to be my leader if you have no conviction?

A walking PR nightmare is the current U.S. President-elect. Over 13 million people chose him as their leader. Talk about volumes.

There is no such thing as “bad” publicity. It’s all in your head. It’s a personal insecurity that it would greatly benefit you to let go.

I’m not telling you to piss people off for the sake of attention, though there’s surely a market for that (sorry ‘murica).

I’m saying don’t be afraid to stand for something. Don’t be afraid to crusade for your target audience, both along side them and against them when they aren’t crusading for themselves.

That’s right: tell your clients, your readers, your customers when they’re wrong.

You’re the expert. Be the expert. Be the leader. Challenge ideas. Call it how you see it.

Walk in your own direction, with confidence, to afford people the opportunity to even begin following you.

Fight for their success and don’t worry about being pretty while you do it. Just let it be known and seen in an obvious manner that everything you do is to make those peoples’ lives better. Protect them from their opposition, even when they’re their own worst enemy.

They’ll see you, the real you, and love you for it.

Anyone who gets upset and follows someone else isn’t in your target audience. Don’t worry about them.

A Small Guideline

The next time you’re wondering if it’s okay to say something in the public view ask yourself two questions:

Is it true?
Does it help your target audience to say this?

If both of your answers are yes, cut your insecurities loose and take the risk. You won’t regret it.

What Trump Taught Us All About Marketing (Even If You Hate Him)

I love marketing because it’s like having super powers. It’s the closest thing to mind control us muggles will ever experience, and it’s up to us to decide to use those powers for good or evil.

Regardless of our opinions of how evil, good, or excusable Trump’s incentives and actions have been, not a single one of us can deny that he’s pretty damn good at tapping into the minds of people and getting them to behave in his favor.

He executed a well laid plan with excellence, and any marketer who doesn’t observe and learn from it is doing themselves a disservice.

I’m not alone in saying I sure as hell wouldn’t work with him, but we can all learn from him.

Choose The Target Audience That Will Show Up For Game Day

The Number One key element between running as a republican or democrat: republicans historically have a higher voting turn out. So I don’t care who you are, when you run left you’re automatically setting yourself up to have to work harder than your opponent to get people off of Facebook and to the polls.

Frankly, judging by the past three primary elections this point is especially valid if you are a white male, which is only the tip of the iceberg he offered up on the podiums throughout his campaign. 

Which brings me to my next point: people don’t buy products, they buy solutions. He knew that his target audience (republicans) would buy the solutions he’s selling.

Lesson: Choose the target audience that is more likely to actually show up and buy into what you’re selling on game day.

Polarity is Crucial to Visibility

As a president I hope Trump becomes much more well rounded, but as a marketer this worked for him and every massively successful business on the market.

He didn’t gain popularity as a candidate because he sought to make everyone happy.

He gained popularity as a candidate in doing the exact opposite: he actively sought to make those who stand in opposition of his target audience unhappy and proudly announced his lack of fucks when met with said resentment.

He tapped into everything his audience was feeling victimized by, named his opposition the antagonist, and ran with that point of view as hard, loud, and proudly as he could, sparking controversy across not only the nation but the entire world.

And he did so with such bravado that people couldn’t help but talk about it.

It worked. He dominated headlines. He dominated social media. He dominated conversations throughout his entire campaign. He even helped control the conversations by planting ammunition in every interview and speech he gave. No matter how those conversations turned out, one fact remained: everyone has something to say about Donald Trump.

He broke the theory and proved, more than anyone ever has, that “there’s no such thing as bad publicity”.

Where you tap into polar opposite viewpoints you create discussion and debate. Debate begets controversy, and controversy creates an audience that is bound to grow and take seats on one side of the aisle or another.

He could surely have been much more civil about accomplishing this, but make no mistake that in the classical sense this is how word of mouth marketing is born. 

Don’t Just Appeal to Them. Vindicate Them.

After gaining popularity you have to create more and deeper loyalty in your target audience. This is what many marketers refer to as your “1,000 true fans”.

Trump relentlessly sought to gain as many “true fans” as he possibly could in the time frame he was given.

Because Trump understands that there’s a difference between those who say “I like that sweater” and those who say “I’m buying that sweater”.

He took a group of people who had concerns and issues he understood thoroughly. He vindicated those concerns by going to bat for them, he offered himself up as the solution, and he took the first step in crusading for them before they even knew he was an option for pain relief.

They crusaded for him in return.

Don’t just appeal to your prospects’ pain points. Be their ride or die. Promise to relieve that pain, and fight for it. The harder you fight for them, the harder they fight for you.

Summary

Be wildly focused in choosing the right target audience. This is the foundation of your success. You make the wrong move here and you’re effectively setting yourself up for failure before you even start.

Inspire people to converse and debate by creating polarity. While you’re making some love you, you should also be actively turning others off so there’s something about your brand that people can’t help but talk about.

Vindicate the concerns of your audience. Understand them so thoroughly that you can tell them you know exactly how they feel, how deep their pain is, and offer yourself up as their champion with conviction and purpose. Crusade for them, and they will crusade for you.