Over a tub of buttery popcorn and an ice-cold Coca-Cola my daughter and I recently watched, "In the Heights" and it was perfection. Maybe it was being back in the theater or the nostalgia the scenes conjured of my childhood, but it gave me the feeling of home.
Despite the fact I now know what and how to use a halter and a lead rope my soul is at home in the tender memories of a glowing New York City scape.
My heartstrings were pulled, and I have found myself reflecting on the movie and what I saw as the underlining theme - staying true to yourself.
Staying true to yourself in business is just as important.
Think back to when you opened up shop and hung the shingle on the building or website. You were saying ---
"Hi world I’m here to do something really great and provide you with the service and experience you have been looking for. I’m doing this because I see you and know you need someone like me.”
In the movie the character of, Vanessa (played by Melissa Barrera), an aspiring fashion designer, finds herself hinging the success of her career on changing her Washington Heights address to one that is more prestigious - at all cost.
Have you found yourself doing the same thing in the business world? Hiding who you are because maybe you are not coming from a traditional path or taking it either?
Moment of truth I'm not good at this. From a young age I did my best to blend in,
not stand out and create as few waves as possible. But this desire was coupled
with my inner drive to do great things.
God had the kindness to put amazing teachers and mentors in my path to help me from
a young age and even now. And not only did He place these people in my path
but he softened my heart so I could graciously take the help.
But what happens when you, I and Vanessa walk away from what makes us special?
I’m afraid we bring a subpar product or service and deny our clients of the bit of special they so desperately need. All while making the process much more difficult on ourselves.
Over the last couple of years, I have leaned on this verse from the Book of Esther –
…And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
Esther 4:14 ESV
Perhaps when we change our focus from all the things are unable to bring to the table but rather focus on our unique gifts we will better serve and not feel like we are on a race we are unable to win --- because news flash that’s not the race we are supposed to be in to begin with.
Disclaimer --- Bringing our “true self” is not an excuse to bring
bad behaviors and pass them off as simply our “true self”.
In the movie Vanessa walked us through her journey of living her true self in while achieving her dream career. Is it as easy as portraited? Of course not! Our lives are not lived on movie sets where we can cut, re-take and have people perfect our surroundings.
So, what hope is out there for those of us beyond the set? Here are some habits you can consider putting into practice -
Have defined Brand Guidelines and use them
Schedule regular (annual / quarterly / you decide) pulse checks to see if the direction of your work is on track with your goals
Review your mission – are you doing what you say you're suppose to be doing?
If you have tips to letting your true self shine through in business share in the comments. Need some help reach out and let’s chat.