You can’t please everyone. Whether your community is online and your business is service-based, or your community is customers who actively interact with your brand, you simply can’t keep all people happy, all the time.
I was reminded of this just last year when I was writing my book, Confidence Feels Like Shit. During meetings with my book editor and publicity team, they pushed back on the title – hard.
They didn’t like the word “shit”. They thought it would be hard to get the book stocked in bookstores with that title and they strongly advised against it. For a hot second, I considered changing it.
But, ultimately, I knew it was authentic to me, my brand and what I do. The process of creating confidence means you have to walk through fires, face challenges head-on and accept that there’s a whole bunch of shit you need to work through before you can claim confidence on the other side.
I was convinced this title would connect and resonate with the people who needed to hear it… and 12 months later, the book is an international bestseller.
It was another reminder of the importance of being who you are, so you can attract “your” people. The clients who love you, want you specifically. When you try to be “liked” by all, you forget about the incredible clients who love you for you. Here’s how I lean into authenticity in my business:
1) Give your intuition a voice
Your inner knowing is when you just feel like you know who you are and what you’re trying to do. It’s the voice that will stand up against the inner self-doubt that raises its voice inside you – the one that tries to make you second guess yourself. That voice at times is so darn loud. It’s a people-pleaser, and when you let the fear of not pleasing others take over, it silences your intuition. If your intuition is a whisper, because you’re so used to listening to your external world, it’s time to drown out the noise and give your intuition a loud voice.
2) Don’t try to please the critics
If you’re not being true to yourself, you’ll attract (and try to please) the critics. This is because your focus, subconsciously, will become all about seeking external validation. Instead, be true to who you are from the beginning – and then continue on that path. The people you attract will love you for you, and you just have to keep being who you are.
3) Stop trying to be “one size fits all“
When you try to please everyone, you end up wishy-washy. You risk being inauthentic. You can’t fully stand in your values or stick to your mission and vision because you’re trying to appeal to so many different people… The truth is? You are not everyone’s flavour, and that’s okay. Not everyone is going to fit your style or your vibe. But when you’re turning some people off, you’re turning other people on.
4) Don’t convert the critics
Instead of trying to get the critics the haters and be unpleasant to like you, just let them go somewhere else. They’ll find their tribe. This one is really hard for people-pleasers and anyone who had a history of being bullied in school or being the odd one out. We so desperately want to fit in. But when it comes to owning your authenticity, you must be willing to go left when all others are going right. It’s what creating a memorable personal brand looks like.
Lastly, do more of what works. Simplicity is the key to authenticity. It doesn’t need to be hard most times; the more successful you become the easier it feels. If you’re scared of the opinion of others, just remember to let people be wrong about you. People will have things to say about you, and it won’t always be complementary, and that’s totally okay! Because those opinions are theirs, and they have nothing to do with you.