I’m going to admit it, I’m terrified. Every day. I can’t decide if that makes me less credible, or more relatable. I also can’t decide if it’s a good blog post, or too personal for the web. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a great thing to be terrified (that means there is growth involved somewhere), but is it a good thing to talk about? The verdict is that I’m posting it because I feel that if it’s uncomfortable, chances are, it’s a good thing to share. After all, who really wants to read the “Top 10 Tips on <fill in the blank>”. I think there are too many of those. Yes, I’ve made those lists before, but I’m trying to get away from those now. Moving on…
Yesterday, I spent an entire day with Amy Alvord, who is one of my clients. She asked me last week if she could shadow me for a day, since she wants to see what it would be like to start her own business (this could have something to do with me planting that seed in one of our sessions). I agreed, and we decided to not only turn the day into an observation, but also a series of short interviews between tasks, phone calls, errands, lunch, and emails. We videotaped everything. Seriously, we emptied my camera’s memory card 5 times and had to re-charge the battery a few times. After she left, I watched a few of the interviews and moments of “okay, do what you normally do and I’ll pretend there is no camera here, and that I’m not watching you“. What I saw was information that could be really useful not only for our “day in the life of an entrepreneur” documentary, but also for me. It was interesting to watch myself answering questions, at times searching for answers that I wasn’t sure where there for me yet. I found myself bored as I watched parts of it, thinking that I should get better at saying “I don’t know”, instead of continuing to talk while hoping that I will come up with some sort of useful nugget for the interview.
Another interesting observation I made was about the use of the camera. When the camera was on, I sat up straighter. I enunciated more. I smiled more. I was acting like a broadcaster or someone who wanted to be entertaining and interesting to watch. When we turned off the camera, I talked as I normally would, not paying much attention to my posture or how smart I sounded. Just being me.
What I’m learning is that as much as I talk about authenticity (and being yourself), it’s still really hard to do. Admitting this on my blog makes me feel partially redeemed for changing my physical self in the interviews yesterday, although it doesn’t get rid of the fact that I wanted to play the part of a smart business woman, not someone who didn’t know all the answers.
At one point, Amy asked this question: “Do you have a filter? How do you decide what to talk about and what to keep private? You seem to be very open about who you are. Why is that?” If you want to hear the answer, check out the short video below. It’s the first installment of the series of interviews I’ll be putting out over the next few weeks. Before or after you watch it, think about how you present yourself in your life. Are you trying to come across as someone you’re not? Are you afraid that if you disagree with someone or show your true self, that no one will like you? Do you feel that you’ll be happier if you ignore how you truly feel about something? These are thoughts I have every day, and am working towards better understanding them. It’s important to acknowledge that it’s a process, and it can start today, if you’re ready. I think these are the foundational steps to take if we really are invested in figuring out what we truly enjoy, truly want, and truly deserve.
Here it is, the first installment of my new series, “Inside The Mind (and Office) of an Entrepreneur, Part 1″