Being authentic can be surprisingly difficult, especially in business. I often work with people who have no problem being genuine in real life, but who really struggle with authenticity in business. I hear that, in business, they have to appear to be mega-successful — not just sort of successful, and not “hey, I’m growing a business here,” but really successful, in order to be taken seriously. There’s so much posturing and pretending, because people believe that you can’t become successful unless you appear to already be successful. But that’s just not true! In fact, it’s just the opposite.
Far too many folks out there seem to think that if you appear to be super-successful, you’ll achieve legitimacy. But it’s not about how you seem, it’s about how you are. If who you really are matches up with who you say you are, then you’ll appear credible, because you are credible. On the other hand, pretend you’re something that you’re not and you’ll come off as shady.
The real secret to gaining legitimacy is authenticity.
We’re all after legitimacy, in the end. So take the time to build your expertise and knowledge, offer your services at a discounted rate while you gain experience, and build in the right systems to support your products and services so you can offer unparalleled good service. You’ll build credibility by doing things right, and with credibility and legitimacy comes real success.