Authentic or Professional?

I’ve been pondering this question a good bit in the last few weeks. It’s on my mind because I am refocusing my business and working to align what I LOVE with what I DO. Frankly, I think this is a good exercise for anyone who recognizes that they aren’t quite living their dream life.

Throughout my career I’ve always been regarded as professional. Not a bad thing at all of course. Still, I know that many times I haven’t been as authentic or as truthful as I wanted to be. My fear was that I would somehow tarnish the professional image I worked hard to create. What’s a gal to do?

A prior blog I created is a good example of how I was more focused on how I’d be perceived instead of just saying what I really wanted to say. Would I say something controversial that companies who might hire me wouldn’t like? What would someone think if I misspelled a word or if my grammar was screwed up? Geez, I decided that would just lead to one big BORING blog site.

Using blogging as part of your business strategy makes a lot of sense. Ultimately, writing a good blog is like being a really good sales person. You start by providing interesting content that gives people value. Then you work to build a more personal relationship between you and your prospective clients or partners. That's hard to do if you sanitize everything you say! A good read on this particular topic is Naked Conversations by Scoble and Israel.

A colleague just “reintroduced” me to Michael Port. In the early phases of starting my business, someone told me about Michael. I think he was doing some things with Coach U or Coachville at the time. Not positive the place, but anywho… I watched his recent MSNBC interview last night and subsequently went to his website. Well done - you should check out Michael’s work. While I was at his site, I read about one of his programs - the Think Big Manifesto - and these few sentences of Michael’s express perfectly my feelings about the professional versus authentic thing.

Most people operate from only a fraction of who they are and what they are capable of. Why? Because it can be confronting to express yourself boldly in the world!–Michael Port

Amen to that! It can be frightening to step out on our own - doing and saying exactly what feels right for us. I’m not talking about being a jerk, but I am saying that most of us probably end up “holding back” for any number of reasons. And I think that when we play big it invariably makes other people uncomfortable.

Here’s to being real!

Author's Bio: 

Talent Builders CEO Barbara Giamanco capped a corporate sales career at Microsoft, where she led and trained sales teams and coached executives, before establishing Talent Builders, Inc. in 2002.

Barb consults with companies and trains business professionals to capitalize on the emergence of a new sales approach that combines time tested sales strategies with the use of technology and media.

For information, call Barb at 404-386-8220 or visit

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