Being Me: The Authentic Expert

Post by Lamisha Serf for the Kindness in Business series.

fearlessly authentic ring by ZennedOut on Etsy

To be in business for yourself and be successful, you have to be somewhat of an expert at what you do, right? But what happens when you are still learning the ropes in the University of Life and find that you are only a few steps ahead of the people you are an expert to?

You keep learning, keep teaching, and share your lessons with your tribe.

I used to think being an ‘expert’ in my field meant I had to slap on a smile all the time and show my best face with every interaction. Never show my weakness, never show my ‘blah’ moments, and never, I mean never let my clients know that I too struggle with many of the things I help them through.

Been there, done that, and find that it re-appears with each new pending breakthrough.

We’ve been friends since my business journey began.

Feeling like a fraud?
I’ve certainly had that feeling more than once.

So how is it that I can be seen as an expert in creating the life of my dreams when I experience the same fears and frustrations my clients do?

I have found that it is because I have been in their shoes and find myself there from time-to-time that I am able to relate, teach, and share my insight. It is because I know what they are going through, how they feel, and am able to more clearly help them move through it because I too have been there.

Most of all, I now know that I don’t have to keep my lessons, my struggles, and my true journey a secret. I can openly share my authentic self sans the perfect smile and always chipper attitude so I can connect with my tribe on another level.

The moment I realized that – everything I thought about myself, my business, and my journey of being an expert shifted.

I realized that authentic connection is not about booking the next client or selling to the next customer. It is about creating honest relationships with your tribe.

Being transparent in my work, showing my vulnerable side, and the bad days that may come with it, remind my clients (and myself) that I am human. I am not a super-human-coach who is speaking down to you, but instead a coach who knows what it’s like to be in the trenches of life, figuring it out along the way. I am more willing than ever to share the good, bad, and in-between days as a way to teach (and learn) through my own experiences. But most of all I am willing to do the work I challenge my clients to do every single day.

As it turns out, the fear I had about losing clients by not being the happy-go-lucky-has-her-shit-together-all-the-time expert was totally unfounded. In fact, I have gained more clients by being my authentic self and sharing my lessons more openly than I did hiding behind a mask of perfection.

If I could pass along some words of wisdom to you it would be this:

  • Your story, your journey (all of it), and the lessons you have learned along the way are what make you great at what you do. Share it with your tribe; they need to know who you really are.
  • Be authentic from the beginning and never worry that you have to know everything about your business to be an expert. Being an expert is relative and your clients and customers will connect with your honesty more than they will with someone they feel doesn’t understand them.
  • Focus on authenticity in everything you do in your business and I promise you can’t go wrong. Your people want to connect with you because of your journey, not in spite of it, so use it as a springboard for creating amazing relationships with your tribe and everything else will fall into place.

In the words of Dr. Seuss, “Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!” Share your magnificent ‘you-ness’ with the world and watch how it transforms your business and the impact you have on your tribe.

Lamisha Serf is a life coach, wife, and mama of one whose passion is to help women identify and live the life of their dreams. With her unique, inspiration-driven coaching philosophy, she helps clients get out of their minds and into their hearts as they find creative and inspired ways to overcome challenges and live the life they once dreamt. Beginning in July 2014 she will be hosting a Group Coaching Program For Business-Minded Women to create a connected community of coaching, compassion, and support through the business experience.
Connect with her Online, on Facebook, or Twitter.

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