VULNERABILITY & BEING YOUR TRUE SELF IN BUSINESS

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EPISODE 49

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ABOUT THE SHOW

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This week on the show we answer a listener Johnathon’s question about vulnerability and being your true self in business.

It is more important than ever to be building personality and story into the branding of your business giving your customers the best customer experience possible. This week we answer a listeners question in helping them to be more vulnerable in bringing out their personality in their brand.

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN

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  • How to be yourself in your business.
  • The importance of building personality into your brand.
  • How to build personality into your brand.
  • The art of storytelling in your business.

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

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Jason: You’re on episode 49 of the Business Made Easy Podcast. Let’s do this, Mia!
Mia: Thanks, Jason. You’re on the Business Made Easy Podcast, where we make business easy.
Here’s your host, Jason Skinner.
Jason: G’day, g’day and welcome to the Business Made Easy Podcast where we make business
easy. Jason Skinner your host here for another week of the podcast which is all about making
your business life as easy as possible and we are gonna be doing that today for one of our
valued podcast listeners and we’re gonna be– he’s actually recorded a question and sent it into
me and, uh, I’m gonna answer Jonathan’s question on the show today for you.
But before I do that, if you have a question in business or you would like to know, uh, something
has been troubling you or there’s something that you wanna– wanna be able to do a lot better
in your business or might– might even be you’re looking for tools, something like that on how
to actually do something, be sure to uh hit that red record button on our website at
businessmadeeasypodcast.com and you can send your question in just like Jonathan did and,
uh, and we’ll answer it on the show and if we do answer your question on the show like we are
going to answer Jonathan’s today, then we will also send you a free beautiful black Business
Made Easy too easy t-shirt right to your door as well. So, uh, it really is a fantastic t-shirt.
Actually, I wear mine all the time, really comfortable.
But, um yeah, it’s, uh, just hit that rec– record button, the red record button on
businessmadeeasypodcast.com and, uh, we will get your questions answered cause that’s what
we’re all about here. Basically a community to I guess help support business owners and help
support business owners and help uh give them the tools and techniques and just the latest
tricks. I’m not the expert on everything, I bring guests in from time to time and also to, uh, to
help you to, uh, to navigate this thing we call business.
Alrighty! So let’s get into Jonathan’s question. I’m gonna play it for you now.
Jonathan: “Hey, Jason and the (2:00) Business Made Easy Podcast community, My name’s
Jonathan Frederick. I’m actually shooting this question to you from, uh, Rally North Carolina
and the question is, how can I be more vulnerable in my business?I’ve had people tell me, um, I
have a podcast as well and I’ve had people share with me,”Hey you know, good show. I think it
would be a lot better if you were more vulnerable, share your problems with the guest that you
have on the show and see if they can help you out.” So I guess my question is, yeah how can I be
more vulnerable and just be more myself? Um, you know in terms of getting to that point of
being willing to, um, just be really real and vulnerable on my show and on the air. Is it just kind
of a natural play by ear type of thing or is there like a thing that I can do to get in that space
before every show? Thanks and, uh, really enjoying your show Jason, and keep up the great
work. Bye.”
Jason: Jonathan, thank you so much for that question and it is an extremely valid question
particularly nowadays with the online space and so much actually being done in a digital sense.
Um, just to recap your question, what you’re talking about here is you’re wanting to be more
vulnerable in your business, I guess, and let people to see more of the real Jonathan and I guess,
uh, let your personality, your real personality show through in your business. And I believe
personally Jonathan, that it is more important now than ever to– and it’s going to be
increasingly more important that, um, that you be able to show more of your personality within
your brand.
Now, it doesn’t matter what business you are in and you could be a doctor, you could be an
accountant such as myself, um, you could be you know a shop attendant. You might even be a
large company, but the thing with this is, whatever it is that you are doing in business, whatever
business you are in, people don’t do business with businesses okay? So we don’t– not talking
about, we don’t deal with a business, we deal with humans within a business.
It’s the humans within the business that (4:00) actually make the business what it is. It’s the
culture within that business that makes that brand and that business what it is. And I believe
you’re going to hear more and more about this, um, Joey Coleman’s got a great vocal on this
one, customer experience, I’ll put a link to that in the show notes. Um, and we’re going to hear
more and more about this, um, building personality within our brand as we– as– as the
internet evolves and as the digital world evolves. Because really, it can be quite a lonely place
on the internet. You could feel like it is building a website, but really you’re not. You could feel
like you’re just doing a podcast, but really you’re not. You’re engaging with humans at all times.
So when people visit your website in the digital space, they’re looking for some form of human
element behind that. Now, the better they can get to know you behind that brand, I believe– I
believe the better they are going to relate with you, better they’re going to stick around. And
there’s a number of reasons I think this is all happening now too, is– is– is that people are more
educated now, uh, and attuned to when somebody is being genuine or not and if we you know,
if we, you know– if we put up a front, if we put up something that we’re not really, um, and
you’ve all– we’ve all been to those websites and– where you sort of get that ‘yuck’ feeling
when you get there, some sort of like spammy and you know, doesn’t feel genuine.
And you might have you know, some well dressed person there, leaning on a Ferrari going,”You
know I made an hour million dollars in two days and, uh, you know, follow my way.” Blah, blah,
blah and whilst we’re here, because I know there’s children listening in cars and things like that
in– in– in our audience, but um, we’ll just call it the rubbish meter. The rubbish meter, um, you
know o- o- on humans nowadays you know, it– it’s gone up about ten notches I believe. We all
(6:00) are attuned when we feel a bond or a connection with someone. When someone’s really
showing themselves to us, uh, as opposed to you know whether or not it’s just a front and you
know, it’s quite cold and quite, um, there’s no warmth behind it a– and– and I guess showing
more of yourself, brings more of that warmth out Jonathan, and that’s– that’s really uh that’s
really what we need to be doing.
Somehow our people and humans and our audience and customers etc feel like they– they are
dealing with the human behind that brain, not just– not just a– a– a you know, like a webpage
or– or a– you know, just a business or you know, a shop front.
So, um, then there’s a few things too, that– that I believe have added to this and this is why I
think it’s just kinda continue to be more and more important in whatever we’re doing. That’s
why I love your question so much is that it does raise this– this– this issue that people now
watching, um, more and more reality TV. So we’re seeing more and more personalities on TV or
online, we’re seeing more YouTube, we’re seeing more– we– we’re seeing so many more
human relationship type interactions going on and we’re viewing more of it that– that– I
believe that’s what’s actually adding to our rubbish filters. We’re pretty well in tune and getting
more and more in tune, we’re getting more educated, Google educate us on all the facts and
what-not around products and services and things like that. So our customers and our audience
and communities are– are really more attuned of what’s rubbish. Because there’s– there’s just
so much choice out there for them. But when they come to your brand, and when they relate to
you personally, then– then they’re gonna– they’re gonna become loyal to you.
They’re gonna become more loyal to you, they’re gonna relate to you, they’re gonna have this
interpersonal relationship with you even though it might be online and even though they might
be just listening to you on your podcast or, um, you know reading (8:00) your blog articles or
whatever. If they can feel the– the better they can feel the feel the relationship with you, the
better the relationship is gonna be and– and more loyal and more– more long term that
relationship is going to be as well.
So being real I believe and that showing the human side, uh, is– is vital in building those
interpersonal relationships with your audience and community and I guess that doesn’t matter
whether you’re a bricks and mortar business or an online business. I’m talking about all
businesses. You know your relationships are becoming more and more largely your point of
difference, uh, in a lot of cases then in, um,cert– certainly service offering is a big element, but
if you’re talking about commodity type products or– or where, um, can audiences and
customers are spoilt for choice in terms of ‘do I go here to– to restaurant A or do I go here to
restaurant B?’ They’re gonna gravitate to where they feel connection and where they feel most
related to, I believe is– is– is paramount to, um, to building a loyal customer and business base
and again, it doesn’t matter.
Bricks and mortar, doesn’t matter what you’re doing, um, you know we really should be
focusing on being more real, showing up, showing up and being personal within out, um, within
our businesses. So I guess this creates a bit of a thing here. How do we do that? You know, so
we’ve gotta be real. We gotta be more real. Now that can come with a vulnerability– like come
with a sort of fears too sometimes. You know there’s this fear that we hang on, if I share my real
self, I might be attacked or I– we– we put up this protection mechanism that really tries to
sort– sort of keep the real us and our real feelings and things like that, um, uh, suppressed I
guess. And– and it is a protection mechanism (10:00) our bodies are designed to protect uh,
against being attacked because we don’t wanna be attacked, we wanna stay safe. So you know
that could be quite daunting particularly on the online space if you wanna put yourself out
there.
If you’re in a bricks and mortar shop and or– or business and, um, you know, you’re only dealing
one on one with one customer, uh you know that’s not so bad because you’re looking easily
face to face and there’s only one or two customers there that I mean if that– if that didn’t go so
well or you know, you’re not sort of exposed to the world that whereas when you’re on the
online space, um, when it’s on the internet, it’s on the internet. There’s no getting it back. So
you know, to put yourself out there can be quite a daunting task and just to, um, just to give you
a little bit of background about my– my– um, so– cause we all experience is, um, is– I mean
prior to doing this podcast, I think I must have sat in front of the microphone for about four
months just tapping it and looking at it and– and the fear within me to actually speak and you
know, really just get the words out, uh, beyond hello or testing, testing, one two three was quite
daunting. And I had to work at it and I had to become– become more and more, uh, open to– to
be basically sharing myself and– and putting myself out there and– and I’ll share with you
today some tips that I believe are– have helped me and I do believe that they are important and
they can help anybody in business. Particularly if you wanna– to grow that personal aspect of
your brand and personal aspect of your, um, of– of– of what it is you’re doing in your
community.
The first one I will talk about is stories. Now stories are a really easy way to start this process
because when we tell stories, (12:00) it’s kind of like, um, it’s– it is a– this fact behind what
we’re saying– so we’re actually sort of opening up and we’re just sharing a story that relates to
a particular topic. So in your case Jonathan, if you’re talking with a guest on your show and
you’re you know, having an interview you might share a story that relates to whatever the topic
is that you’re talking about.
Now that’s a way to open up and share some of yourself with– with the audience because
you’re, um, you know you’re giving something of yourself. You’re– you’re– you’re showing
something that’s happened in your life and people will relate to that and they’ll– they’ll make
that connection, um, I can’t tell you the number of times that– particularly now, um, consulting
side of business you know, I’m– I’m always trying to share stories to help people to relate that–
that the problem that they’re going through, um, can be seen in many different ways and– and
they could you know, they’re not necessarily the only one.
So people get, um, people get I guess an assurance of insecurity when they know that they’re
not the only ones or they can relate to a particular story. The other thing with stories is that
people are naturally inquisitive, um, w-w-with stories. Um, if you sit there and just lectured
something to somebody, um, you know fact, fact, fact, fact, fact, uh, then, uh, you know people
are going to, um, they’re gonna– they’re gonna not gonna listen in or I guess– or be as engaged.
As if, um, as if you put it– out those facts into a meaningful story that they could actually relate
to and sort of learn from as well. So they’ll actually– people will learn more from you, by you
sharing more of yourself and more of your story as well.
And I spoke, um, I had a great interview with Ben Amos from the Engage with Story Podcast
actually, it was back in Episode 11. I’m gonna put a link to that in the show notes, but Ben broke
it down really nicely on– on great ways to I guess build– build, um, (14:00) a story around
brand and bring your personality and bring your vulnerability into that– into those stories and,
um, that’s a great way– great way to do it. And another good book actually if you’re looking for
a book on that, uh, Jonathan, it is Donald Miller. Um, again, I’ll put a link to it in, uh, in the show
notes but, uh, he’s got a book called Building a Story Brand. Fantastic read and, um, really good
way of– it gives you the formula effectively for building a good story around your brand and
this is a way you can build your own personality into it and your vulnerability into it. So a great
way to open up and it’s a good way– it’s a good sort of passive way to start– start opening up
and– and building that, um, building that into your brand and what you’re doing. The other
one– another– another thing that has really, really helped me, um, is smiling. Uh, this sounds
really crazy, but it’s not. Um, smiling– smiling when you’re, um, dealing with, uh, anything in
your business, uh, actually anything in life to be honest, smiling has been an absolute game
changer for me. Now I did do an episode this, Episode 2 actually of the podcast, in episode two
again, I’ll put a link to it in the show notes but episode 2, I did an episode all about the
importance of smiling in business and when we smile, what actually happens is it releases these
happy chemicals within our brains and in our bodies and– and they’re our endorphins, they are
our feel good chemicals and a few things I– firstly, that happens and secondly, um, we– our
facial expressions change and we start to feel more relaxed and happy and opened up and
that’s a great way to– to, um, though particularly– even if you’re talking to a guest remotely on
Skype, that’s why I always love doing my podcast (16:00) interviews.
I like to do them as a video recording, rather than just an audio one because I can– I can see
the– I can see the, um, the guest and I can see them and we can smile and interact and it is a lot
happier sort of more engaging, and I feel like giving more of myself and opening up more when
I’m do– when I’m smiling and, um, yeah, it’s– it’s just a game changer in terms of look, walking
into a shop and smiling, you’ll get far better service from uh, from a shop attendant. Um, now
equally, if someone comes into your physical, business, um, [inaudible] and the audience said
they don’t have a physical or they don’t have a digital business or have a physical business,
people come into your business smiling is an absolute must and a game changer. Um, it changes
your state, it changes the initial– cause you’ve only got seconds to engage with someone when
they– when they first– when you first catch– meet each other. You’ve only got seconds to– to
form those opinions, those initial conversational opinions of and mindsets of how that
conversation’s gonna go. So get it off to the right foot with a smile and you’ll absolutely can’t
talk about that one enough. You’re– you’re– yeah it is, smiling is a great way to I guess relax
and open up more of yourself and keeping that in a focus state.
Another way that’s really helped me Jonathan, and this relates pretty well more to a digital
space, but, also it can happen in– on the telephone for instance in the physical business, the
way I like to approach it is, if I’m talking like now I’m recording the podcast, or even though I’m
talking to you know, thousands of different people, I picture that I’m only talking to one person
and I picture what that person looks like, I picture, you know, what their their body posture is,
what their– what their likes are, what they (18:00) you know, what’s frustrating them at the
moment, what’s their general mood like at the moment.
I really try and get good, clear pictures of who it is that I’m talking to and try narrow it down to
one of two people that I am actually talking to at a particular point in time. And what this does
is it helps me get into more of a conversational mode, and help me actually I guess be more
engaged from that point and it’s not as hard to open up to one person, I’m sure you’ll agree, as it
is to open up to three thousand people. So just to put that in context I guess, if you had to uh
walk out onto a stage in front of three thousand people, and say you know “Hi I’m Jason and I
like X.” Then– then that’s a lot harder than if you’re just talking one on one with someone and
saying exactly the same thing.
So I always try and that’s another way of breaking down those barriers and I guess opening
yourself up more. It’s just picture yourself talking to the person that it is that you’re really
wanting to help and– and hear your–content and values gonna help. So, another great tip
there.
One other one, also is, to– I have two states. I like to think of it this way, um, in terms of, uh,
two– two states of– of being. One is– is an on state, and– think of it like a switch if you like.
Just think of it like a light– electric light switch. I have an on switch and an off switch and my on
switch is when I’m, uh, talking with anybody in my community when I’m dealing with customers
in my business, when I’m doing– dealing coaching clients, when I’m doing anything that I’m, uh,
within my public domain in terms of my community and customers and– and audience, then
that is my on switch and I am on, that’s it. I also have an off switch, which is, I’m not as highly
engaged, (20:00) I’m not– not as highly energetic or, I don’t need to be as highly energetic.
You know in my on state, I’m passionate, I’m focused, I’m energetic, I’m you know and you know
I’m charged. It lights me up, I’m passionate about what I’m talking about. But in my off switch,
I’m still– I’m still passionate about what I’m doing, I’m still focused on what I’m doing, but I’m
not– I don’t need to be as– as energized and engaged.
So what I’ve trained myself to do is actually to find things that heighten my energy when I’m in
that on state. So, even in our physical bricks and mortar accounting practice that I work in, you
know if I’m going out to greet a client, I’m going into my on state to go and– to go and greet
that client. Once I’ve seen that client, I go back to my office and I’m gonna get in and do some
other work, and then I’ll– I’ll flick the switch and I go into my off state and I’m– I’m not so– I
don’t need to be so charged and those sorts of thing. So you know it’s just a cool way to think of
it, am I in an on state here or an off state? And, you know, if I’m gonna see a customer, go click
on, right bang. You have– they have my full attention, they have absolute– there’s no
distractions, I’m listening, I’m alert and– and I’m energized, ready to help and– and that’s what
we’re going to do. We’re gonna get, you know, we’re gonna work together and– and when I
record this podcast, I’m on. I often stand up and record the podcast so that I’m– I’m not sitting
slouching in the– in the chair, I’m actually standing up and I’m engaged, ready for the
conversation I’m gonna share, you know, there’s no barriers. We’re gonna share information
between each other and that also helps with being, uh, more vulnerable and more open. Just–
more on and in the conversation.
As opposed to being off. When you turn that off switch, people would not know me when they–
if they, uh, saw me at home, they would think I was a totally different person. But, luckily, my
wife recognizes the two differences and it’s precisely why I called my house The Compound is
that nobody can get in and it’s just a quiet sanctuary for me to be an introvert cause typically, I
am an introvert and I, I just need to just be quiet in my home and do my work. I love– I spend
countless hours on the computer, researching and reading and designing and creating content
etc. Um, but when I go on, well then I’m– I’m on. So, uh, when we’re recording the podcast,
we’re on. When we’re– we’re doing any live videos, we’re on and we’re gonna share and be
open. Uh, about that as well.
And the last point I’ll make Jonathan, around this and I certainly hope this is helping in
answering your question, is to — I mentioned earlier, the idea of, the you know, having this
protection barrier. I guess our body has this fear of opening up too much and letting too much
of us out, cause it wants to protect us. It wants to protect us from haters. It protects us from
criticism and in the event that someone might actually you know, criticize us for what it is that
we’re doing or saying or what– particularly online as I say, because it is such an open platform
and so particularly social media, all those things. You can’t get that back once you put it out
there. But I’ve gotta say this Jonathan, that fear is in all of us and the things is, we need to
recognize it, certainly recognize the fear. It is in all of us, it’s there to protect us, but it’s not
there to stop us and if we, you know, haters are gonna hate. If someone doesn’t like something
you have said, you know, someone disagrees with what you’ve said etc, then (24:00) really, you
can’t change that. That’s their opinion and it’s not personal, it’s just that particular point or that
particular things haven’t resonated with them and that’s the way they’ve taken it.
I think the majority of human beings out there don’t want to say things to I guess be nasty or
hurt people or anything like that, but I do think people do, I guess use the internet sometimes
as, some– an easy way to– to vent and– and probably say more than they otherwise would if
they were face to face. You know, they’re gonna hate. People are gonna hate and you just can’t
take that on board. What you do need to rest in is knowing that the only reason you are doing
what you’re doing is you wanna help people. You wanna help your customer in your business,
you wanna help your audience, you wanna help, your people that visit your website, that’s what
you’re about and you know, someone takes offense to that and– and well you know they really
got– they’ve really more of the issue than– than you. So don’t feel, I guess don’t feel that you
have to protect yourself from that sort of thing. Whilst it’s not nice, it’s something that we all
have to deal with and it’s just something that you need to just go hey, at the end of the day, my–
my purpose and– and the higher– my whole reason behind what I’m trying to do is to help
people, and to grow their business or, help people with their health or their life or whatever it is
that you’re– you’re wanting to do, um, then– they really, you can’t be blamed for that and I
think you should be yourself and open and let yourself be open to doing that and– and don’t–
don’t worry about that– that protection and just keeping under reps, know it’s there, work past
it and say, um, because you know, um, if we don’t, if– if we let that voice in our head, if we let
that– that fear thing dominate, what happens is we’re– we’re robbing– we’re robbing (26:00)
um, you’re community from knowing more about you and you’re robbing your community to
get to know you better and– and weld themselves to your– to what it is in your message, uh,
better.
So I really encourage you to make sure at all times that you’re, um, I guess yeah just– just not–
not, um, locking– locking that, um, reel you up and– and– and letting it out, uh, letting it out as
well because, um, yeah, we have a saying in Australia, it’s– it– it– it’s in, um, and it is an
Australianism so it’s a– it’s a stray in slang, um, but it– it– it is basically, uh, just be faired
income and, um, you know, you can’t go wrong. And faired income basically means just be
yourself, down to earth and, um, yeah. So ask yourself, “Am I being faired income here?” And,
uh, and you can’t go– you can’t go too wrong. Jonathan, I hope than answers your question. I
hope you’ve found– found some value from that, um, and, uh, certainly if I can, um, if– if you
wanna drop me a line, if there’s any other follow up questions you have from that by all means,
do that to [email protected] and I will answer any further elaborations
you need for there. For the audience, the rest of the audience, I hope you got some value out of
this as well and you’re looking at ways to be more real in your business, more personal around
your brand and building up your brand, I will put the links to the show notes, I’ll put the links
mentioned in today’s show in the show notes, and I’ll also put a link to Jonathan’s podcast and
you can listen in to Jonathan’s podcast as well. Cause, yeah, it’s certainly a great podcast and
Jonathan thank you so much for answering your– oh well asking your question and, until next
week, I’m gonna hand you over to Mia to take us out and here’s to your success! All the best,
bye.
Mia: You’ve been listening to the Business Made Easy Podcast, where we make business easy.
(27:59)

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LINKS MENTIONED

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Coleman's theory of building customer loyalty isn't about focusing on marketing or closing the sale: It's about the First 100 Days® after the sale and the interactions the customer experiences. 

Donald Miller’s StoryBrand process is a proven solution to the struggle business leaders face when talking about their businesses. 

The Importance of a Smile

Ben Amos – The Art of Storytelling

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