Oh my gosh, if my university professors even new I was writing this blog they’d think it was the best thing in the world. There is no word I hated studying more in my bachelor of Tourism than “authenticity”. Of course that was because I was prodominently studying what it meant to keep a tourism related aspect authentic to it’s visitors… to which I was usually sitting there thinking, “I just want to create pretty things. Just surround my entire life with coffee dates, flowers, and pretty weddings.” Let’s just say my essays on cultural authenticity didn’t get the highest of marks. Moving on.
To me, being authentic in regards to being a business owner means to live, act, and share in your truest and most genuine form. Whether people agree with what you’re saying or not, as long as it’s the most honest form of who you are and what you believe in then I think that’s what it means to be authentic. I believe it’s important that your clients and fellow vendors trust you and the only way to do that is to be real.
I see businesses taking shortcuts. Posting work that isn’t theirs. Liking work to have their name seen. Commenting on photos to have their name seen. Connecting with popular people or businesses to grow their exposure. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being creative in your marketing and networking– we’re all guilty of it. But there’s something to be said about a private message or commenting from your personal account instead of your business account. I love it. I have never wanted to network more or share people’s work more than when they’ve taken the time to be genuine with me.
I want to know about the people I work with. I want to know why they do what they do, what inspires them, what ways I can make doing their job easier, what kind of family life they have. I want to know my clients on a personal level. I want to know where they met, how they know their bridal party, why they want a certain type of wedding, why they chose me as their wedding planner. I want authentic relationships.
I think if we all put in our strongest effort to be authentic in everything we do that we would see drastic changes in our work and our relationships.
P.S.- If any of my past professors are reading this… A+ right?