You might be tempted to adopt a style that closely resembles someone else who is/was successful, but problems will arise when you can no longer maintain the persona.  No one can be the next Gates, Marconi or Edison.  Success stories were written in the unique time and place for the individual who looked so capable of achieving unimaginable results.  Closer inspection of each individual reveals some characters with challenges that would have stopped most people long before success had been achieved.  Their stories build the case for being yourself in every aspect of your business and life.

Your Communication

Every person you know has a unique approach to every form of interaction.  Internet marketing has one facet that is missing: non-verbal communication.  Other people will get to know you through your words and voice before most of them will see your face.  You will want to strive to be yourself in every area of your communication with others.

  • Email voice – You might have started this business without knowing how you “sound” in writing. In the first few months, your emails will change to sound more like your speaking voice.  In formal business writing, that is discouraged but in our business, you can strive to sound like yourself.
  • Webinar content – Style is an important facet for everyone who wants to retain a webinar audience. Your approach is unique to you.  As long as you prepare and practice, other people will be accepting of your genuine style.  Every student has favorite webinar hosts, but for the most part, we do like to attend great webinars.
  • Cultural flair – Around the globe, languages evolve based on the people. English is spoken broadly, but not clearly.  Your ability to include your culture in your work might not be helpful in your effort to communicate.  Most of us learn other cultural meanings behind our terms and idioms after we have caused confusion, or offense.

Let’s eavesdrop on a conversation that actually took place:

    • British man:  “The team has done so well on this project!”
    • American woman:    “Yes, we should take them to the Broadmoor for lunch!”
    • British man:    “The Broadmoor is a prison!”
    • American woman:    “No, it’s not!  The Broadmoor is a five-star hotel and resort!”

Your Interests

In the early months of your Internet marketing venture, you might not know how to be yourself in your interests.  People ask me about this category on a regular basis.  My greatest insight is to find what you do not like and then eliminate those categories in favor of what is left.  We tend to know ourselves best in terms of what we do not like or enjoy.

  • Niche – Selecting your niche might require some investigation. You are never locked into a niche just because you create a product or service in that area.  Some people move between the niches and find something that everyone else is missing.  Your choice of niche can change now or later.
  • Skills – Everyone comes into this business with a set of skills that can be useful. You might not like the previous jobs you have held, but the skills from the jobs that you enjoyed can be adapted to your new venture.  In this area, choose what you are best at because you will want to find people who are good at other skills.
  • Products – You might discover your interests through the use of products that others have created. There is no need to collect “shiny objects.”  Find two or three products and work with them until you master their features.  Within each product, you will find intriguing modules that might work together to spark your interests.

Your Connections

Sometimes we do not like to admit that we attract people like us.  Like really does attract like.  Your friends enjoy your company because you are real with them.  In business, those same attributes will bring other people to you.  There is no need to try to be someone else.  We could mention names of people who are known for various personality traits.  You do not need the same approach to be successful.

  •  Partners – All of us know people who have found another business person with complementary skills. Your ability to display your actual skills will draw people who can help you in your business.  Ask for assistance in the right places, and you find people who can do what you cannot.
  • Associates – Certain areas of this business are less fun than others. Be honest with yourself and others when it comes to your favorites.  You will want to work with great people who know you well enough to provide what you lack.  Other people might not stay around, but that is okay.
  • Customers – You might have an idea of what type of customers you want to find in that vast ocean of people all around the globe. Be yourself in every interaction and the people who match your mental image will come to you.

Anyone who attempts to be another person will become so frustrated that he or she will either change or quit.  You are most comfortable in your own skin.  If you ever wonder about simply being yourself, make a list of all the characters you know.  Each one has a special approach to life that made you put them on the list.  You would also be on their list of characters.

You will want to use every experience in your past to present yourself in this world of Internet Marketing!

Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.
Bruce Lee

    4 replies to "Why Not Just Be Yourself?"

    • Tasleem Khan

      As usual a great post. Being yourself is important, I have learnt if you pretend to be someone else your customers will just see through it and have no faith in you, or what you are trying to sell.

    • Sergio Felix

      Hey John,

      In a nutshell, I think that people are scared of being judged (I know I was, it took me an entire year to record my very first talking head video after all and it sucked!)

      But after that, I also learned that when people can finally see through yourself, with no gimmicks, no fake faces, the true persona behind the name, they genuinely can connect with you.

      I wish I could have done that first video a lot sooner though but I’m still happy that I learned the lesson and have made great friendships online and business connections from it.

      Fantastic article and loved the Bruce Lee quote! (one of my all time idols)

      Sergio Felix

    • George Kerr

      Key point to make, be yourself. It sounds like a no brainer but many of us especially like the the fake persona, being someone or something we are not. Something about the anonymous nature of the internet brings this to the surface. Is it because of the all the hype we hear so often? No! We believe most of us like to do what is easy, but in the long run it catches up to you.
      Thank you for sharing, so important a reminder, to be yourself.

    • Timothy Bray

      That hit home John,

      and as others stated, such a good piece of advise and a reminder to us all to be ourselves.
      I especially liked the part where you mentioned,

      “You will want to work with great people who know you well enough to provide what you lack.”

      It’s true John, we all lack something, and being genuine toward others about ourselves will indeed attract great people willing to help us to overcome in our endeavors.

      Thank you John.
      Timothy Bray

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