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How Authenticity Can Increase Your Bottom Line

Do you ever think you’re the only one who doesn’t have it all perfectly figured out? Or feel like you’re supposed to show only your perfect side online?

It’s an awful feeling we can all relate to!

What if I told you that being perfect was a bad idea? And that there was a benefit to your business to not having it all figured out?

Well, it’s true! Being real can benefit your business, and that’s exactly what today’s video is about.

I recently read about how businesses embraced authenticity and increased their bottom line. What a relief to read!

I’m going to tell you the surprising studies that back up this concept plus how to implement it in your business, so check out today’s video.

We don’t have to fake perfection to make money online. Embracing authenticity in your business can actually benefit your bottom line! Tweet that!

Now, I want to hear from you!

Do you see “plastic” people online like I do? How does it make you feel?

Knowing that research proves that authenticity sells, what changes will you be making in your business… starting right now?

Thank you so much for watching, and I can’t wait to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

1 claire stone

Wow, that was the kick up the bum reminder that I need. I’ve been feeling sooooooo amateur in terms of my videos but now I see that I just need to be a bit more me! LOVE this video – I’ll be letting my hair down from now on!

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2 Jenny Shih

Make sure you watch my first video, Claire! http://jennyshih.com/2012/02/how-to-stop-fear-and-perfectionism-from-holding-you-back/ I waited and waited and waited to do it. And it has turned out to be a fabulous thing for my business. You can do it!!

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3 Keri

A kick up the bum for me too! I’ve been procrastinating about adding video into my blog and kept putting it down to the lack of materials to create a polished video. I really must do this. Thank you! :)

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4 claire stone

Way to go Keri – if someone as fab as Jenny can do it sans make-up etc, then I’m sure it’s ok for us to go for it without a huge budget!

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5 Keri

So true – I have no excuses at all now! Have to get cracking :)

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6 Jenny Shih

You can do it! You can do it! You can do it!

Watch the video above — I’m not kidding. We all start out at the beginning and only kick-ass from there :-)

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7 Tanya McGill Freeman

I 100% agree, Jenny! Authenticity IS where it’s at and I’m so glad that you’re shouting it from the mountain tops – YAY! What a great analogy-this probably is becoming the 60’s in the online timeline. Love that. Thanks for another terrific and enlightening post, and I gotta say…those outtakes were fab :)

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8 Jenny Shih

Anna gets all the credit for that 60s analogy!

The outtakes are so fun to do. I know I’m on the right track when I start giggling at myself. It also tells me how far I’ve come from trying to be perfect! :-)

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9 Leah

I DEFINITELY see plastic people around the interwebs. I think a lot of personality-based business owners have been told to show off their “aspirational” lifestyle, so as to attract people who want what they have–and what they have to sell.

I don’t think I’m plastic though, right??? Haha :)

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10 Jenny Shih

The aspirational lifestyle can be taken a little too far as marketing propaganda!

I think this post is proof you’re not plastic: http://www.learnvest.com/2013/05/5-money-mistakes-we-made-moving-in-together/ You’re honest, truthful, and you show that you don’t have it all figured out all the time. Love that about you, Leah!

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11 Amy

Wow the EXACT theme of Radical Authenticity is the New Paycheck! Super passionate about this message.

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12 Cara Feys

Hi Jenny, I’m new to your list and blog, and just wanted to tell you that your authenticity is what makes me feel you have something real to offer. From your kitchen confessional to your free 5 steps audio program, it’s your authentic voice that makes me feel as though you are someone I can relate to and who can see a fledgling business owner like me in a compassionate light and give me real advice. I have to say, I find those who appear to have all their sh– together really intimidating sometimes, which can be counterproductive to helping me leap into the unknown with a new business.

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13 Jenny Shih

Thanks so much for saying that, Cara! It means a lot to me and I’ll take it to heart.

I totally know what you mean about fledgling business owners feeling overwhelmed by seeing everyone who has “made it big” seem to have it perfectly figured out. It doesn’t give us any room to mess up or grow. And that’s absurd!

We ALL start out far from having it all together… and even as we grow we mess up.

Please know that you have full permission to give it your best, learn as you grow, and be imperfect. In fact, that’s exactly how you’ll grow your very own empire! Best of luck to you!

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14 Tracy

Jenny what I great message and video! The message is so comforting and inspiring for those of us just starting out. Thanks for the fun reminder to be ourselves. Really trying to be perfect is so exhausting anyway :)

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15 Jenny Shih

Perfect is exhausting!!

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16 Fon James, The Emergency Business Coach

Jenny, this video is definitely ON POINT! I realized this about myself in B-School and it feels so good to be FON! And you have always been very authentic to me and I love that about ya girl! So keep doing what you are doing. And the outtakes were hiliarious. Can you add more please…lol. I was rewinding because you cracked me up. LOL!!

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17 Jenny Shih

I’m glad you liked the outtakes. I almost added more but I thought that would get a bit ridiculous. Maybe I should just do a full video of outtakes, so you all can see just how “not all together” I can have it sometimes!

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18 Amy Scott

Thanks, Jenny, I needed to hear this today. This is something I’ve been struggling with… finding that balance between being honest and open yet not wanting to disappoint people or lose credibility. It’s a tough line to walk but I am going to work on this!

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19 Jenny Shih

The touchpoint I use for myself to tread that line, Amy, is this: “Is it clean?” If it’s not clean, meaning I’m personally unresolved or conflicted on this issue, still working through it, or have lots of baggage around it, I don’t share.

I believe we can be raw, vulnerable and truthful, without spewing our shit on people. That’s icky.

When we’re clean on an issue and have come to terms with how we messed up or prefer to go against the grain, people are attracted to it and it adds to our credibility… as crazy as it can feel sometimes!

Part of figuring it out is taking risks. Like last week’s video felt like a risk, but one I felt compelled to take.

For me it’s more of a felt sense than something mental. I’m wondering if this helps you find your guardrail on this topic?

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20 Amy Scott

Thank you, Jenny, that’s helpful!

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21 Michelle @ MichelleKirsch.com

I love this video! As an Authentic Branding & Marketing Coach, I certainly advocate for being real and being yourself in your business. I believe being real will naturally attract your ideal clients because they will relate to what you’re saying and how you’re saying it!
Plus, so many people hold back on starting their business in the first place because they don’t feel ready or perfect or good enough! (Myself included! My next step is adding videos to my site!)
Thanks for being real with us, Jenny! I will definitely be sharing this video :)

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22 Jenny Shih

That’s soooo common, Michelle! Many newbies struggle with feeling not good enough, not ready, and not perfect. Yet, we all have to start somewhere.

I look forward to seeing you and everyone else keep moving more and more into yourselves. I know I still need to remind myself to do it, too!

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23 Libby

Thank you for this Jenny. I am constantly struggling with letting go of perfection and it’s been causing me to not move forward in a my business because I’m afraid to make a move unless it’s perfect. This was exactly what I needed to hear because you’re exactly right.
Thank you for always being so real.

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24 Jenny Shih

Step by imperfect step is how you’ll create your business. You can do it, Libby!!!

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25 Jenna Dalton

I loved this (and your previous) video, Jenny!

Authenticity ROCKS!

It’s something that I also love talking about, and helping my clients confidently embrace because, the way I see it, if you show up as yourself, you’ll attract dream clients who love you for you. If you show up as less than yourself, you’ll attract not-so-dreamy clients who frustrate you and make it impossible for you to do your best work.

With that said, I enjoy spontaneous dance breaks, love anything purple, and am terrified of heights – literally, even being on a ladder is scary – but I always make a point to stand at the very edge of the cliff just to see if I’m “over it” yet. That’s me in all my realness – watered down Jen isn’t nearly as fun or adventurous :)

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26 Jenny Shih

Love it, Jenna! I love that there are more and more people embracing and teaching authenticity. We’re ready for this revolution, and I know you’re helping lead the way. Woohoo!!!!

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27 Kristy Oustalet

Hey Jenny! I’m loving this week’s video… I keep hearing bits and pieces of this theory among entrepreneurs and quite frankly I find it pretty exciting that authenticity is the new trend. How refreshing!

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28 Jenny Shih

Refreshing is right!!!

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29 Nikki Elledge Brown

Wellll SHOOTS. Now I feel like I should do my next video without makeup :P

Authenticity wins every time, no doubt. BUT we’ve gotta be careful not to equate “prepared” with “plastic.” Most of us appreciate a thoughtful (dare I say scripted?!) message and a fun (polished) pro photo. I think the takeaway here is that we *also* appreciate knowing that we’re dealing with humans, not robots.

In my mind, like with everything, it’s about balance. Precisely why (even in my college classes!) I focus on teaching people the art of *smart,* authentic communication. The world’s a brighter, more interesting place when we choose to showcase the very best of who we REALLY are – occasional typos, bad hair days, and all.

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30 Jenny Shih

I definitely agree that plastic and prepared are two different things. It’s possible to be “real” and “prepared” and show both sides to the world. My definition of plastic is showing that everything’s polished and perfect all of the time, when in reality, no matter who you are, that’s just not possible! It’s the realness that attracts people.

The specifics of my kitchen confessional and the idea of real vs plastic could quickly lead into a longer Marketing 201 conversation around branding and intentionality, which is a big much to dive into in a comment! Another day, we’ll go there…

Thanks for chiming in, Nikki, and helping me clarify these little details!

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