all the world is a stage
Your business is a performance.
Everything that you do as a brand is seen by someone, somewhere. But at the same time (+ perhaps more importantly), everything YOU do as an individual has an impact on the perception of your business. You represent your business. How you live and breathe is how your brand is perceived. This is most relevant for small businesses and those in upper management, but it applies to everyone.
It may not be conscious, but someone is always associating you with your business, and making assumptions based on your actions and words. This can be intimidating, so it’s important to take in this information through a certain perspective.
Rather than viewing your constant audience as an inhibitor, consider the attention to be empowering. We as human beings are better people when others are watching us. Think of it this way: if you know that your biggest role model is watching you, odds are you’re unlikely to laze in bed all day watching Netflix, shoving your face with junk food. Rather, you’ll probably do those things that make you a better person, that mould you closer to the shape of that role model. You’d be more likely to learn something new, make yourself a healthy meal, go to the gym, or try to make someone else’s day.
The key in approaching this pressure of continual surveillance without the associated anxiety is to be truly authentic in your performance. Be you, truly you, fully you, and you will be magical to those who resonate.
“Authentic performance” may sound contradictory, but it’s not. Authenticity means being entirely present in the moment, truly knowing who you are and what you’re all about; it means making connections that are genuine. It doesn’t necessarily mean giving into your wants. If you’re mad at someone, but you refrain from yelling at them, are you being inauthentic? Of course not. Authenticity is deeper than that. It’s being the BEST version of you. And, if we are better people through observation, the way to be the best version of you is to treat yourself as a performance.
In this attention-seeking world, the only way to be truly captivating is in that balance of performance and authenticity. Performance without authenticity comes across as fake + forced. It’s viewed as pushy, sales-y, and is not readily accepted by others. On the other side, authenticity without performance does not allow for movement or community. You can be authentic in your house all alone, but that’s not going to get you very far.
We like to refer to this as the Lighthouse Effect. Build your lighthouse (brand) in a way that is authentic to you. But you must shine your light in order to be seen - this is the performance (marketing) piece. If you build your lighthouse in a way that is true to you, and continually shine your light to attract others, your tribe will find you.
Authenticity is not something that can be taught. It’s something you’ll have to embrace on your own. However, communicating this through a brand is a learned skill.
Performance can be taught, particularly when it comes to business. Powerful performers:
Pour out their soul; share their deepest selves; leave their heart on the stage. How are you doing this through your work?
Leave you wanting more; get out while they’re ahead; leave on a high note. (If you watch a band play for two hours, and they do a great job, you’re going to see them again. But if you watch them play for 10 hours straight and hear absolutely everything they know, will you catch their next concert? You may decide that you’ve had your fill at that point.) How do you leave your clients wanting more?
Engage their audience. This is the performance + authenticity, married. It’s necessary both during formal “performances” and the most basic of interactions. It’s being aware of what people are likely to think when you do something, but showing your true self as you do it. How do you engage others with your company’s mission?
Highlighting the fine line between performance + authenticity is easier said than done. If you want your business to be mesmerizing but you’re still struggling to capture the kind attention that you desire, it may be time to bring things back to basics. We have an entire program dedicated to attracting your dream clients with the Lighthouse Effect. Learn more about the program here or schedule a Discovery Call to chat with our Founder, Robyn. We can’t wait to help you and your business shine authentically to attract the right clients.