This above all:
To thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
In many of my entrepreneurship classes my teachers continue to tell me to “peel the onion,” in regards to our cases and to keep exploring the motives behind why a company did this or that. Then I have high profile speakers come and talk to my classes about the importance of authenticity for our future careers and our future life. Authenticity is everywhere. Everything we do has a meaning or purpose behind it, whether we intend for it to or not. It is important to remember because someone is always watching whether it be face-to-face or on the Internet.
So be yourself.
Everyday in my Branding of Me class my Professor, Gary Kayye, emphasizes the importance of making our own personal brand and selling it. However, if we are not true to ourselves in what we create it will not last and people are going to see right through us. He always uses the example that when you walk away from people, the first thing they say about you, that is your personal brand. And that is scary.
Or is it?
I think that left us all a bit worried and maybe a little curious of what people think of us after the first meeting, and inevitably what “brand” and impression one has left in their minds. However, I think it all makes a giant circle back. If you are thoughtful in everything you do and proud to own your actions that is authenticity. That means you know yourself, you are satisfied with who you are and what you are doing.
Today so many people are conflict avoiders and dislike confrontation even if they are unhappy. But everyone is always going to have something to say. It is a part of life that you will have disagreements with people. It could be something as small as what restaurant you want to go to that night or which movie you want to watch, but if you are always agreeing with everyone people are going to take notice. And that is going to become part of your personal brand. That is not to say that compromise cannot be a part of a very successful and top-notch brand. You just have to make sure you are not giving up who you really are to make others happy.