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.

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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.

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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!

Are Your Stories Empowered?


“How do I begin?” my friend, Anne, asked me over lunch one day.

“You begin with your stories – that collection from your past that you still tell yourself, and you alchemize them.”

The look on her face was funny and sad at the same time. But I have to hand it to her, she was game to continue. “Explain, please.”

“Alchemy is a funny word but it really just means transformation. When you ‘alchemize’ your stories, it means that you used the Story Alchemy™ process to reframe your story.” I paused to see if she understood. She nodded and I continued. “Part of the process is to release your old story, forgive yourself and others, and then replace it with an empowering story.”

We were enjoying lunch outside a small sandwich shop when the conversation veered in the direction of my passion – Story Alchemy. At first, Anne was politely curious, but she became more invested after I shared how much my life had changed after I began telling myself empowering stories.

“It sounds too good to be true,” skepticism ringing behind every syllable.

“Your stories act like filters on your awareness.” I paused as I looked around for an example that would bring the point home. “Do you see those two women at that other table? When you look at them, what are the thoughts that run through your mind?”

She glanced over and mused out loud. “They could be a mother and daughter having lunch.”

“What are some other possibilities?”

“A teacher and a student. Maybe the older woman is her aunt.”

I smiled…and did not say a word. Anne glanced back over to the other table and noticed that the younger woman was getting agitated and upset. She was moving uncomfortably in her chair and was intently focused on the older woman, her body tense with emotion.

“Definitely mother and daughter,” Anne declared with triumph.

“You don’t really know if any of those things are true, do you?” I asked gently. “You just observed an event and made up your own stories about it.”

Her confused look was comical, but I held her gaze while she puzzled it out. When the realization dawned in her eyes, I knew she had turned a corner.

“I get it! I decided they were mother and daughter because I remembered a similar scene with my own mother.”

“You recognized a similar pattern and immediately came to the conclusion that they are mother and daughter.”

“I guess so,” hesitation in her voice.

“Let me explain it this way. Your brain is designed to remember and recognize patterns – it helps you make instant decisions about whether something or someone is friendly or dangerous. That ability was helpful when survival depended on whether you knew if that large animal coming toward you was a saber tooth tiger, but it can really mess up relationships when you jump to a wrong conclusion, based on your own stories.” I took a sip of iced tea and waited a few moments for that information to sink in.

“When you saw those two women start to get into an argument, it reminded you of an argument you had with your mother, didn’t it? You felt the same emotions from the past when you observed that incident just now, didn’t you?”

Anne’s eyes widened in surprise. “How did you know that?”

“There is a deeper story of pain, isn’t there?”

She took a deep breath and nodded slowly. “When I was about that girl’s age, I had a terrible argument with my mother about where I was going to college. I finally gave in to her choice of schools, but I still resent her for forcing that on me.” Tears welled up in her eyes as she remembered that scene from many years ago. “It caused a rift in our relationship that is still there today,” she quietly admitted.

I reached across the table and gently squeezed her hand in support and friendship. We sat for a moment while she composed herself. She finally looked up and asked the question I had been waiting for.

“Can Story Alchemy help me reframe that story about my mother? I’m so tired of carrying it around.”

I stood up and hugged her, my heart singing with joy. I said a silent “thank you” and knew that I was exactly where I was supposed to be, helping my friend find peace with a slice of her past that still impacted her present moments.

To learn more about the Story Alchemy process, please visit KathrynEriksen.com and join the Story Alchemy email list. As you transform your stories from lead to gold, your heart will dance with life.

How Powerful are Your Stories?


Stories are your version of neutral events that you tell yourself. They are the culmination of your past experiences, stories, beliefs and thoughts about a similar event. Stories are the filter that shifts millions of data bits and only allows those that match your story to enter your awareness.

Can you change your stories? Absolutely! Do you want to change your stories? Silence…

Awareness of stories is the first step. Evaluating whether that story stills serves you is next. When making the decision to change your story, you need a process.It's not what you look at that matters.

Story Alchemy™ to the rescue! Join my email list to receive the ebook on Story Alchemy that explains in greater detail how changing your stories can change your life.

As Henry David Thoreau so aptly observed, “It’s not what you look at that matters. It’s what you see.”

Do You Have an Open Mind?


Readers Muse just wrote an insightful review of Heart Dancing. As an author, it is sometimes difficult to read others’ words and opinions about your work.image

But I didn’t write Heart Dancing to be just a pleasant read. My overall motivation was to shake you, (the reader), awake to the enormous potential of your life and the choices you make in every moment.

Your reaction to the “shaking up” may be to set down the book and move on. And that is perfectly fine. It’s just not the right time for you. But if you can set aside your skepticism…a glimmer of “something more” may shine into your awareness.

Dhivya Balaji from Readers Muse got that point loud and clear. She cautions anyone who thinks this is just another “feel good” story, when she says, “Having an open mind while reading the book is essential for any reader to get through each chapter.”

Thank you Dhivya, for your honest and detailed review of Heart Dancing. It truly does depend on your perspective!

To learn more about my work, please visit KathrynEriksen.com. I am hosting a Virtual Dance Party at the end of this month – the only way to learn more about it is to join my email list. Hope to see you there!

Beyond Fear Lies Freedom


The more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the more Resistance we will feel towards pursuing it.

– Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

Yesterday, I danced with fear. Today, whenever I recall what I did yesterday, I say a silent “Thank you” and my gratitude continues to fuel tTwo people reaching out to each otherhe dance. Sounds crazy, but here is what happened.

At the time, I didn’t know that fear was my dance partner. I thought of it only as resistance. That feeling of facing a wall that blocks your progress. Of knowing the exact steps I need to take but finding and following every excuse in the world for not moving forward. The laundry needed to be finished and the house cleaned. Small errands became priority whenever I thought about the work that waited for me in my office.

I was running away from what I should have been running toward.

The project in question is no small matter. I have just re-branded myself and my website is about to be launched with a “Virtual Dance Party.” All of the pre-launch emails, social media images and graphics, as well as the hourly clues to be posted the day of launch had to be designed and created. And every time I thought about sitting down at my computer to create these items, I met Resistance.

The word is capitalized because I am also reading Steven Pressfield’s book on resistance called, The War of Art. He describes Resistance in its many forms and the parallels to my real life struggles became obvious. I met Resistance in all of its many forms and could finally identify each mutation for what it really was. Fear.

Fear Lies Just Behind the Mask of Resistance

For me, launching my new website is the equivalent of stepping into a new dimension. An unknown world with unexplored pathways and byways. I have listened to the Siren’s call of the creative self, but where was she leading me?

No longer a lawyer, but not yet supporting myself with my creative endeavors, I have been living for several years in the in-between stage. The dipping-my- toe-in-to-check-the-temperature stage. My new website (professionally designed and executed) represents the no-turning-back point in my career as an “author, a transformational-change speaker/trainer, and Story Alchemist with a PhD in Heart Dancing.”

Am I a lawyer pretending to be an inspirational/motivational writer and speaker? Or am I an inspirational/motivational writer and speak who used to be a lawyer?

Two diverse definitions of identity, composed of the same elements, but with diametrically opposed meaning. The “lawyer pretending to be…” has safety and backups built into the very definition. I can always call myself a “lawyer” and know exactly what that label means to myself and the outside world. I played the attorney role for most of my adult life and I understood its nuances, struggles and triumphs. It was a worn, comfortable pair of jeans that I could slip into at any time. My safety net.

The curse of the professional is that you expect the same results, even when you jump ship from a traditional career into something completely and radically different. For me, the dimension of the creative is a profoundly new and barely explored territory. It has its own rules and dictums, its own definition of success and its own way of being discovered. Instead of looking to external sources for education or mentoring, I have to rely on my interior world to guide me. For a linear-thinking, logically trained attorney, that is terrifying.

Terror is another face of fear, which hides itself as Resistance.

Reading The War of Art while meeting Resistance in real life was very enlightening. I found myself making a game of identifying all of the ways Resistance was showing up.

  • Procrastination
  • Avoidance
  • Endless tirades of doubt
  • Shiny object syndrome

My list continues ad infinitum, but you get the picture. Now I know what game is afoot, and I no longer fall for these ploys or diversions.

How to move through Resistance and dance with fear

Yesterday, I followed a simple process that recognized Resistance but allowed me to move forward. Instead of resisting Resistance (which only seems to give it more power), I acknowledged it as having value. Resistance was showing up for a purpose, and I decided to use it to my advantage.

Instead of feeling overwhelmed (my usual pattern when I resist Resistance), I decided to focus on one small task on my “to do” list. Just one simple thing I could finish in less than thirty minutes. Nothing overwhelming or daunting. When I finished it, I celebrated for a moment, refilled my coffee, and sat down again to finish one more task. Before I knew it, my list was checked off and I had beaten Resistance at its own game.

This morning, as I relished my accomplishments from the day before, it hit me. I learned to dance with fear. Step by step, moment by moment, I allowed my creative self to emerge into time and space. Without judgment or doubt; censure or criticism. I listened to the music of my heart and danced.

Please join me in the Heart Dance. Resistance and fear are really signposts, pointing to the boundaries of your comfort zone. And on the other side of that defined space of familiarity…lies freedom. To discover new aspects of yourself that when expressed, bring deeper meaning to your purpose and existence. And hopefully inspires others to follow your lead.

Heart Dancing – it’s the only way to live!


WARNING:

The following post is a shameless promotion of my latest book, Heart Dancing: A Story Alchemy Adventure.

I just published my interview on Smashwords and thought I would share it with you, my faithful blog followers. If you want to connect with me, please click on one (or more) of the links below. Isn’t it time to dance with life?FrontCoverSmall

Please join me in the Heart Dance:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KathrynEEriksen
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KathrynEriksen1
Smashwords Interview: https://www.smashwords.com/interview/KathrynEriksen
Smashwords profile page:
https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/KathrynEriksen

Step Into Your Light


Light

You create shadows when you turn from the light that is within you. When you have lived in the shadows long enough, your spirit cries out for more…turn toward the light and your shadows will disappear.

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