Principles Rule: Be Authentic

Be Authentic: “Only you can be you.”

We are all created UNIQUE.

Research shows that the average person has between 500 to 700 different skills and abilities – WOW!!

And no one else on earth can use these skills and abilities, in their combination, like you can.

DNA molecules can unite in an infinite number of ways – 10 to the 2,400,000,000 power. That’s 10 with 2 billion zeros after it!!!!

There never has been and never will be another YOU.

The secret to successful marketing is to uncover what makes you and your business Unique (your USP – Unique Selling Proposition) and then Tell your story to the world and tell it often.

Every woodworker knows that the most effective and efficient way to work with wood is to work with the grain rather than against it.

It’s the equivalent of “working smarter, rather than harder.”

The expression “Sawing against the grain” means working against oneself; not getting the most out of the effort you put into something.

If you “cut against the grain” the resulting board is not as strong as one that was cut with the grain.

In the same way, when you act in a manner that is “against the grain” of who you are, or not authentic, it creates negative tension.  It requires you to expend more effort and energy which in turn produces less than the BEST results possible FOR YOU!!

When you act, speak or write consistent with the way you were Created, in other words – authentic; you experience fulfillment, satisfaction, and the Best Results possible.

Being authentic means “Doing all the Right Things Right all the Time.”

This by the way was Vince Lombardi’s definition of a Winner!

What are the Rewards of being Authentic?

The quality of your life improves

Doing (and saying) the right thing for the right reason in the right way is the key to the quality of life, and that can only come through the power of an educated conscience that aligns us with vision, mission, and true north.”          – Stephen Covey

It puts you in control of the situation rather than the situation controlling you.

“The hand of the diligent will rule, but the lazy will be put to forced labor.”            – Proverbs 12:24

“People can get many good things by the words they say…;
– Proverbs 12:14

“The deceitful walk a thorny, treacherous path; whoever values life will stay away.”  – Proverbs 22:5

“In the end, people appreciate frankness rather than flattery.”– Proverbs 28:3

You get the respect, admiration and trust of those in your Circle of Influence.

Being authentic is being honest. It’s being real. It’s being courageous.

It’s human nature to follow the “path of least resistance”; To just “go with the flow”. To always look for the easy way; To avoid conflict by telling people what they want to hear rather than the truth.

This is true in marketing as well.

We have come to accept that most ads are exaggerating the benefits and minimize the risks to prospective clients.

Heck, as a society, we have come to accept and condone lying at the highest levels of our government leadership.  Look at Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky affair and the gyrations around the truth and the public thought nothing about it.

What we learned as a society was that a person can lie and cheat and lack moral character – and yet not forfeit his political career.

We see broken promises (lies) every day at the highest level of our leadership and the majority of people accept it as “normal”.

But…to be a 3% er, you have zig when others are zagging.

Trust = Competence plus Character/demonstrated over time.

Since that is not “normal”, can you only imagine what rewards awaits a trustworthy person?

When I was selling cars for a living, I always understated rather than overstated benefits.

I later created a Rule for myself and my employees of UnderPromise/OverDeliver.

When we followed this Rule, it was easy to Honor every Commitment we made.  Which created trust.

The worst kind of deceit is self-deceit. It is impossible to be authentic while at the same time practicing self-deceit.

We cannot be one person in our private life and someone different in our public (business) life.

 Why is it so easy to lie?

Everyone of us is guilty of dishonesty at one time or another.

We lie to promote ourselves, to protect ourselves or to manipulate others.

Deceit comes in a number of different categories but can be summed up in two distinct forms:

  • Distortion of the truth
  • Outright hiding of the truth

 There are always consequences to deceit.

Deceit causes never-ending stress in your life.

Having to constantly think about the lies and when you told them forces you to constantly think about them so that you don’t get caught saying something contradictory that would expose those lies.

Sooner or later, all lies are found out, and when that happens, your Circle of Influence diminishes, and the quality of friends and customers diminishes with it.

It’s the Birds of a feather syndrome.

Being Authentic is an easier way to live and conduct business and the rewards are higher because there are fewer people at the top to have share them with.

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Change the Way you Think

When you change the way you think you change your results because all thing are created first in your mind, then in reality.

“If you want to make minor, incremental changes in your life, work on behaviors, practices and attitudes.
But, if you want to make significant, quantum improvements, work on the way you think, your paradigms.”

And Learn to ask Smart Questions because the Question is Always the Answer.


What would your business look like if you changed your thinking from a  “Customer Service” philosophy to “Customer Helping” philosophy?

This is the Principle of Servitude Heart: You can get everything in life that you want if you’ll just help enough others get what they want.

What do customers want?  Help!

They want answers, they want information, they need service, they want to place an order, they want a solution to a problem…they want HELP!


How would your business be better if you focused on Principles NOT policies & rules?

With rules (or policies and regulations) you, or more importantly, your employees, only have two ways to do something, the right way and the wrong way (according to whoever wrote the rules).

Rules are like sticks, they’re unbendable. You can use them to prod, threaten or even beat someone with but when a rule doesn’t work, your employees only choice is to “break” it…and likely suffer the consequences. It’s classical two-dimensional thinking.

Principle-centered thinking on the other hand is three-dimensional thinking in that it allows you to stand apart and see the whole terrain.

Principles will act as your compass in that they always point you toward True North whereas  rules, policies or regulations are more like a map. They are only good as long as the terrain or the market doesn’t change or you haven’t been given the wrong map.

Stephen Covey defines a Principle saying they are:
Universal – They work anywhere.
Timeless – They work all the time.
Self-evident – You can’t argue against them.

Another way to view a principle is to see it more like a rope. They conform to the changing circumstances without having to be compromised. You can lead easier with a rope than a stick, especially if your terrain is chock full of obstacles. It allows for a certain amount of flexibility, while never allowing to get off course.


What would happen if you spent as much time, effort and money on keeping existing clients as you do creating new ones?

Do you know what the Lifetime Value of your customers or clients is? See my blog  What Are Your Clients really worth?

Most business owners don’t know the average profit they make from a customer over their lifetime and it’s costing them a fortune.


Start with…Yes!
When a customer or client makes a request or asks a question or complainsgive them the hope of help.

Words are important and your first response has to be one that gives them a sense of hope that is focused on the positive, the creative, the willingness to help them find a solution.

Answer the way you would want to hear it if it were you asking the question, offering a gripe or making a request.

It’s all about your First Response…use words like:
Yes! Let’s figure out how to…
No problem!
I’m sure there’s a way we can…
I love challenges.
Let’s see what we can do.
You bet, the best way to handle that is…
The fastest way to get that done is…
The easiest thing to do is…

The words you use, the tone of your voice and your body language start with your intent. Your intent has to be one of servitude.


Is that the Best we can do?
At the end of every day ask yourself these questions:
What did we do right today?

What did we do wrong?

What could we have done better?

It’s Constant Improvement mentality of  Is that the Best we can be?

Change the way you think and you change the way you behave which changes your results.

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