3 Ways to Increase Your Business Authenticity


Authenticity in Business

Authenticity is one of those buzz words that you may skip over because it’s been so overdone. But that one word captures whether a brand or business is consistently real. When your business is authentic, your true personality shines in your marketing, your business practices and in the response your clients have to interacting with you.

People know when someone is authentic and real, or full of empty promises.

So, how does you become authentic, especially as a solopreneur?  When you show up in your business and let your unique personality inform everything, you naturally attract a tribe who relates to you and who will hang on your every word, ready to purchase your products. Once your audience knows more about you and likes what you represent, they become loyal customers (provided you deliver what you promise).

Let’s check your authenticity levels:

1. Do you prefer to be honest or to spin a story? No one likes to find themselves in the center of a scandal or on the receiving end of a tongue-lashing from an irate customer but your level of honesty will greatly dictate how customers react. If you’re honest about a mistake, customers will likely understand. If you start spinning a story and seem to distance yourself from the problem, they may see you as uncaring and only out to make money. Which is the real you? Let that shine through, even if you have to take a hit because a mistake was your fault.

2. Do you truly care about your audience or do you just want to make a buck? Customers are smart; they will know and will call you out on bad experiences related to your brand. Caring about your customers means you make their buying process as smooth as possible. It also means creating products and service packages that solve their problems. This adds a human (aka authentic) touch to their experience which can lead them to becoming loyal customers.

3. Have you identified your core values and mission statement? Both of these items are important cornerstones to your business. Who do you want to help and how do you plan to do that? What core values are most important to you? How will you express those core values to your clients and customers? Incorporating these values into your business attracts your tribe and contributes to a heartfelt experience.

In the end, authenticity involves being your true self, not developing a persona that you think your ideal clients want to see. You’re not an actor taking on different roles nor are you a politician spinning stories to gain votes. You’re a business owner cultivating a business based on truthfulness and by earning your clients’ trust. The quickest way to do that is to be your authentic self by sharing the good and the bad with your ideal audience.

Rejuvenate Your Mind and Business with My Latest Online Course,

Mindset Reset

Mindset Reset Title Slide

If you’re in a funk with your business and wondering why you’re working so hard when people are ungrateful or not buying, it’s time for a Mindset Reset.

This is my newest 4-lesson online course where you learn to identify everything and everyone that brings you down; count your blessings every day; learn to love the real you and let her shine; and give your business a makeover so you can fall in love with it all over again. Each lesson contains an Action Plan to encourage forward momentum and a Checklist to help keep you organized. I have also created 4 new meditations that are yours to keep and listen to as often as possible!

My new coaching practice is called Empowered Way Coaching.

EW_2

If you are a Womanpreneur and you need help with your branding, marketing, pricing or Signature System, then I can help.

Please visit Empowered Way Coaching to schedule a free, 30 minute call with me. Let’s get your business rocking!

The Heart Space – A Love Story


When inspiration strikes, don’t hesitate.

That has always been my maxim, the standard I use to I move forward in my work.

Inspiration hit me today. Because I was moved to create a story about discovering a new way of living, I wrote the first Chapter of The Heart Space – A Love Story. And for some unknown reason, I felt compelled to record it as an audio book.

I am no stranger to the mysteries of creativity. In today’s world, we can instantly share our creations, whether they are worthy or not. This instant delivery always leaves me in a quandry. Should I post what I created or wait for a better time?

As soon as I finished the recording of Chapter One, the decision was already made.

Post it. Immediately.

So without any further introduction, without any additional preparation, I give you the first chapter of The Heart Space – A Love Story.

Love & Light,

Kathryn

P.S. Hopefully, inspiration will strike me again to continue writing this story. There are so many ideas I want to share with you. Please comment below if you felt something stir inside you as you listened to the audio.

What Can a Grasshopper Teach You About Life?


Moving through a milestone birthday sparks introspection, analysis and hopefully, forgiveness of yourself and others. The stories you created about past events and the people involved shaped your idea of self. These are the stories through which you filter reality.

When you step back and look at these shaping stories from a different perspective, you suddenly realize that they are no longer true. You have grown past the limiting stories from your childhood or young adulthood, and you didn’t even realize it!

That is the wonder of a milestone birthday. You assess the past to curate the present to create a different future.

What About the Grasshopper?

tobias-knauer-739430-unsplashYou may be wondering when I am going to explain the title of this article. Stay with me and it will become crystal clear.

One way I continue to experience the growth of my self is to read inspirational stories, books or poems in the morning. A poem by Mary Oliver that landed in my inbox this morning is what prompted me to write this post:Grasshopper

What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

What a great question to ask at any age, but especially when moving through a milestone birthday!  My answer: to stay awake and aware of the wonder and majesty of everything around me, to allow God’s love to flow through me into the world, and to grab hold of inspired action and see where it takes me.

What’s your answer to that question??? Makes you think, doesn’t it?

It’s just another step in the Heart Dance.

Kindness Is the Key


We recently spent a lovely week enjoying Paris, France. We only speak a smattering of French, but saying “Bonjour, monsieur” as soon as you walk into a shop or sit at a sidewalk cafe paved the way.

We were treated courteously, politely and distantly. The service was provided with a smile, but with very little personal connection. The language barrier created a ravine that was difficult to cross.

Enter kindness. Kindness showed up in small ways and rather impactful ways. Kindness bridged the ravine and connected us as humans, even though we did not speak the same language.  Allow me to share two examples.

Adventures in Traveling – By the Metro, Trains & a Car

We decided to take a day trip out of Paris to the medieval town of Chartres, home of the famous Cathedral Notre-Dame de Chartres. It should have taken an hour by train, but an electrical fire the day before prevented that train from running.

We were sent to a different Metro station, to catch the train to Versailles. Once in Versailles, we were told to take “Bus 409” to La Verriere, and then take the train to Chartres.

It all sounded so simple when we stepped off the train at Versailles. What we failed to consider was that we were not the only people inconvenienced by the cancelled train.

We stood waiting for the bus, until we realized that we needed to buy a ticket. Waiting again with more people than could ever fit on the next bus, it was an hour before we hit upon a solution.

Hire an Uber driver!

We mentioned this idea to a man and woman who were also frustrated with the wait. The man (Peter) was in his early thirties and spoke excellent English. The woman (Margaret) was older and didn’t speak a word. They managed to send for an Uber, but the car never showed up. That request was cancelled and a new driver appeared after another 45 minutes.

Of course, just as the Uber driver appeared, so did Bus 409! People jammed onto the bus, cramming into every conceivable space.

We all fit into the compact car, grateful for the air conditioning. We shared information about ourselves, our lives and our trip to Chartres. By the time we arrived in La Verriere, we were no longer strangers.

Once on the train, Margaret kept trying to tell me something. I finally understood that she was offering her iPhone charger to me, so I could charge my phone. Her thoughtfulness and sincerity were quite touching.

When we finally arrived at Chartres (after 5 hours!), we waived goodbye to our travel companions. Their kindness was the bridge to a wonderful travel adventure!

Waiting at the Airport

Another example of kindness being the universal language occurred at the Charles de eu-france-paris-charles-de-gaulle-international-airport-arrival-hall-FX8MA7Gaulle Airport, as we were waiting to check our luggage.

It was very chaotic going through the steps to check our bags. While we were standing in line, I noticed that we happened to be in the middle of a large family. The older man and woman in front of us were talking with their grandchildren behind us. It was all in French and we couldn’t understand a word.

The line did not move forward quickly and the children were beginning to get restless. Since we had more than enough time to reach our gate, I offered for the people behind us to join their family.

Surprise then gratitude lit up their faces. It didn’t matter that we were from different countries; kindness was given and received.

About five minutes later, the grandmother came up to me and touched my arm to get my attention. When I turned to look at her, she gestured for us to move in front of their entire group! They moved to each side, creating an aisle.

I felt like royalty as we thanked them for their kindness. The only thing missing was the red carpet!

Walking past these people made me realize again that kindness is truly the universal language. It bridges differences in language, culture and religion. It reminds me of a saying that we could all remember:

Kindness is Free

Be kind. It’s your free gift to another soul who may need it.

It’s just another step in the Heart Dance!

 

 

The Light Changed Today


The earth spins silently around the sun, revolving from day to night then day in the eternal celestial dance. The sun shines on all parts of the earth equally, without reservation or discernment. It also shines on all humans equally, no matter their color, culture or creed.

There is a special place created by man in 1260 that filters the sunlight through pictures and stories. This building is actually the fourth one to stand on this site, all dedicated to Mary, the mother of Jesus. For more than 1,700 years, pilgrims have traveled to the Cathedral in Chartres, France to show their devotion to Mary and be blessed by her.

Pushing open the heavy wooden door and walking into the gloom of the interior, my eyes take a moment to adjust. Even thought I cannot discern details of the interior, I sense a vast space rising above me, seemingly to infinity.

Slowly, my eyes adjust to the gloom and I feel small, insignificant, in the face of so much space. What can hold me together so I don’t spin apart?

The stained glass windows. They hold the key to emptiness. They give meaning to my life, don’t they?

Sunlight from a zillion miles away filters through the glass, coloring the floor in colors of red, umber, green and gold. These pieces of color are assembled to tell the story of creation, destruction and the coming of the one who will save us from ourselves. The story of Christianity is told in these panes of glass, 1,100 of them.

It isn’t the minute details that fascinate me, but the sense of reverence that permeates the air. Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims have traveled to this spot to adore Mary, the mother of Jesus. They have walked these stones in their bare feet or with sandals that are worn through, taking one more step to reach their dream.

To see the Shroud of Mary that is encased in the far left corner of this magnificent Cathedral.

As I stand in front of the chapel, looking at the shroud, I can’t help but think of how many people have done the same thing. How many others have felt the energy of this simple piece of cloth that Mary wore while she was giving birth to Jesus?

The sunlight is filtered by the stain glass above the shroud. It filters the light through the stories told on its surface. It struck me that I was being educated by the people who created this art.

I continued to the opposite side of the Cathedral, passing several other alcoves and places of worship. Until I saw it on the floor, as if it were waiting for me.

A single beam of light, shining through a piece of clear glass. There were no stories filtering the light, just a clear opening for it to shine in all of its brilliance.

I stood in the pool of divine light and felt loved by God. In the place of a million stories (told in the stained glass and in the hearts of all who had ever set foot in this building), God found me. And he loved me, without my having to do anything but allow his love to flow into my heart.

The light changed for me in that moment. Accepting the gift, I now step forward. To join the celestial dance of love.

The Heart Dance.

When you know you are loved for who you are, not who you think you should be. When you know that you are enough, because you are loved for who you are. When you are seen and loved, just as you are, in this moment.

Why don’t you step into the pool of light unfiltered by stories, and join the dance?

Time Is a Blessing or a Curse


Paris is a city that embodies its history. Century old monuments stare down at snarling traffic; historic bridges span the Seine connecting the left and right banks; everything happened either before or after the French Revolution in 1789.

It’s what I love about Paris.

Time seems to stand still in many areas of the city. The small groups that gather along the Seine in the shadow of Notre Dame to enjoy the cool evening breeze are one example. The grand cathedral has been a gathering place for more than 850 years.

The enormous clocks that adorn the top of the Orsay Museum capture this idea perfectly. Roman numerals are used for each position on the face, and the center of the clocks are clear.

Look closely at these people – can you tell if they are young or old? Teens or adults? The silhouette of each person reminds me that a moment in time can be captured with a click, but time continues to move forward.

We can’t stop the flow, we can only grow and learn from the experience.

Look at this photograph again. Can you see through the clear glass to what lies beyond? It’s the Ferris Wheel that operates in the Tuileries Gardens, just outside the Louvre. It’s another example of how Paris adds a bow on top of centuries of history.

And to think that we see it through 19th Century glass that has stood the test of time (as well as marking it)! Ironic, don’t you think?

No Matter Where You Are


The experience of being human is an adventure, no matter where you happen to be in the world. Cultures place different values on the experience, but there are certain values that remain the same, no matter where you are.

Family. Friends. Belief in a higher power.

In my travels this year, I have noticed one difference. How people use their cell phones.

A cell phone is a wonderful invention that connects, informs and directs, all from the palm of your hand. With the swipe of a finger, you can learn the history of anything or discover the answer to the most obscure question.

But this tool can also isolate and separate people.

When I was in Hong Kong and Sydney this year, I noticed that most people used their phones as a shield against the world. It was a sign that clearly said, “Don’t bother me.”

This is not a comment on either city, just an observation.

In Paris, however, it is a different story. The Parisians may come across as rude or indifferent to tourists, but when they are with friends, they are intense, engaged and attentive.

Yesterday, for example, we had lunch at a sidewalk cafe. To our right was a group of three men who were engaged in a spirit discussion. Different voices made emphatic points, to which the others responded. All of this communicated over food.

To our left were two women, also engaged in a deep conversation. Each looked into the other’s eyes, listening attentively.

No one had their cell phone out. It was not in sight and was never used during either of these conversations.

I didn’t think much about this until we took a stroll last evening along the Seine. Notre Dame rose in the sunset as small groups of people enjoyed the cooler air. Food and wine were part of every gathering…and not a cell phone in sight.

We are humans, wired to be connected to each other. Why don’t we pledge to leave our phones out of sight and intend to listen. When we connect to others, we also connect more deeply to ourselves.

Viva la humans!