Why being 'normal' is bad for business

Introducing our new column…Friday Musings From a CEO.

The need to be normal is the predominant anxiety disorder in modern life.
—Thomas Moore, Original Self

DeathtoStock_Medium5Tuesday, as I was frantically lovingly pouring over the final edits for the Polished sales page, I noticed a fatal flaw right smack at the top of my precious page. The sales page completely lacked a solid headline. Really Rachel? hashtag: #amateurmove
I decided I needed some quick feedback on my proposed edits to the intro of the sales page so I went to the private Facebook group for the mastermind of business owners that I recently joined and asked for help. The first comment I got was this:
“I understand you want to have “personality,” but the language you use in a couple places might have people questioning how good your credentials actually are, because they are still looking for professional services.”
“Personality,” eh?

Here’s the deal: some people just won’t get your shizzle.

And that is totally fine. I think we need a constant reminder that it’s okay to be 100% yourself without reservation. In fact, its highly recommended.
Over the years, I have found that the more I quote Wu-Tang and Drake, discuss my obsession with France, post the hilarious things my toddlers say on Facebook, talk like I actually talk in real life and share who I truly am with the world, the more of my people find me and work with me. Which means that not only am I happier but I also get to work with AMAZING people who I love and who love me.
It also means that I’m a total turn-off for some people.
Particularly the types of people who would call into question my credentials (a hard won law degree, two bar exams and six years of killing it for my clients, thankyouverymuch) simply because I am not their idea of how a lawyer should look, talk and act.
And I am totally okay with that. And you should be, too, because …

Your vibe attracts your tribe.

See its not about manufacturing a “personality” in order to attract business. Its about having the freedom to be the person you truly are in all settings. Even professional ones.
I know how to draft a formal letter to opposing counsel and how to address a judge. I have no problem being formal in certain settings and, frankly, I am a damn good attorney and work my ass off for my clients. At the same time, the way I address my clients is decidedly casual and rife with slang and occasional expletives. This balance is actually the reason why many of my clients choose to work with me.
It’s also really ‘me' and allows me to be authentic in an incredibly traditional industry where it is rare for a woman and/or person of color to be anything close to comfortable being herself.
The moral of the story (not to get all Afterschool Special on you):

Be yourself, don’t follow the crowd.

Do you feel free to be authentically you in your business? Or do you sometimes feel obligated to present a watered-down version of yourself to make other people comfortable or attract customers? Let’s chat about it. Comment below and share your story.

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