Honoring yourself is not selfish, it’s vital.” ~ Elaina Marie
Your Authentic Self in Business
I remember being six years old and wanting to get rid of my gazillion pieces of ‘stuff.’
Some of these items were trinkets won at the arcade, some were gifts from family and friends, but all of them were simply taking up space. I was done with it.
I was too young to know much about buying and selling, but that didn’t hold me back.
What I did know was that I wasn’t planning to simply give them away. They were still useful and nearly-new! So I decided to sell them to my family’s staff for a little spending money.
My customers were happy – These were things their own kids wouldn’t have easily been afforded. And I was happy – My room was now clutter-free, and I had more money for the arcade.
From then on, I understood the basics of trade: exchange of goods or services for cash.
It became a lifestyle to capitalize and monetize everything I could think of.
I bought and sold stationery, accessories, calculators, food, and other such sundries. I tutored my classmates in math, science, Chinese, English, physics, and chemistry…for a fee. I worked summers at my relatives’ and family friends’ companies.
It was a win-win all around!
I benefited from gaining new experiences and receiving cash. They benefitted from the services I rendered. There were no rules, no limitations. I just knew that I could do something, and I did it. Some of my endeavors worked out the way I thought they would. And some—for better or worse—took unanticipated routes.
In short, it was basic entrepreneurship.
Fast forward to late 2016 when I decided to venture into the online world of business. Due to my early start, I was now too seasoned, too groomed, and too practiced, which made me cynical, critical, and maybe a little jaded. I also had plenty of experience in seeing companies fail because they kept things internal, too stubborn to bring on outside assistance.
Acting from the awareness of these other failed businesses, I naturally went overboard in the opposite direction. I hired so many people, took so many people’s advice, listened to so many gurus…
… until eventually I had reduced myself to a classically pretty and blandly inspirational little package.
My message—that I am the source of what I desire, and the source of all my miracles—was dragged down to near non-existence!
I didn’t sound like myself.
I didn’t think like myself.
I didn’t even feel like myself.
I was lost, and looking for guidance from everywhere but within.
In a span of six months, I hired/bought/sought advice from a total of more than 20 service providers. These spanned the gamut of coaching, mentoring, strategy, healing, psychic readings, intuitive insights … (Honestly, I’ve lost track of what else I thought I needed to find outside of myself.)
Each one shared what worked for them and what didn’t. And I was so excited and so passionate to serve, that I bought into all of it.
I forgot that I’m not them: I’m Maria, and I’m unique.
Their go-to methods might not be suitable for me. And where they found failure, I might find success. I won’t know until I try, but I won’t even try until I know in my heart that it’s a path that aligns with everything that I am.
I sought wisdom in places so far away from my Self…
…only to realize that wisdom can only be found within.
“As above so below.”
Whatever we receive (in the form of ideas, thought or feelings) can only be turned into reality when we take action that is authentic for us.
“As within so without.”
Having the Courage to Honor Your Authentic Self in Business
I had to let go of the cynicism I had gathered over the years and just get back to basics. I had to get back to that little girl who traded her pile of ‘stuff’ for a pocket full of arcade coins. That’s where the joy was.
That’s where the magic was.
Getting back to that magic inside of you is vital to true success (not merely making money, but loving what you do), because that’s how you make miracles happen! So instead of wondering what others would do, what others would say, how others would launch something…give yourself permission to place the focus on you.
At the end of the day, it’s your business, and it’s your life.
You have what it takes. If you’re feeling stuck, ask yourself a few clarifying questions:
What do I bring to the table?
Why do people come to me?
Why do people call me instead of others?
What really lights me up in my work?
List everything you can think of, and hone in on the essence of each one.
Don’t just answer, “Because I can help them.” Elaborate. What kind of help? Why you? Why not someone else? What makes you special? What makes you stand out? The more detailed you can get, the clearer your direction will be.
And remember this –
We are magical beings experiencing a material world.
We are here on earth to fully express our most authentic selves through our work, so there is no need for us to mimic others’ success. When we try to be someone or something we’re not, or follow things that are not meant for us, we end up diluting the very traits that make us magical.
The key is to create a success of our own.
It doesn’t matter whether that success is gained through our unique coaching methods, our dedication to a solid 9-to-5, or selling a bedroom’s worth of trinkets. What does matter is that we honor our truest selves in whatever we do, and harness that magic within.
It’s like they say these days: “You do you.”
That, my friends, is where your success lies.
What about you? Did you find the courage to honor your Authentic Self in business, or are you struggling with being someone you’re not? You can share your comment in the comment section below 🙂