Be Honest – Are You Acting Fake?

are you fake

Many small business owners suffer from the imposter syndrome. They feel that their customers or employees will find out “who they really are” and lose confidence in their ability to run the company. This fear holds many people back from displaying who they really are at work. This becomes a problem in the transparent world of the Internet where “being human” and authentic are highly valued by customers.

Customers buy from those who they believe, like and trust. Without being authentic as a leader and a company, this will never happen and it will become impossible to build a profitable company. Here is what to do.

Are You Fake? Here’s How to be Authentic

1. Tell the Truth

This is more difficult than it first seems in small business. Most owners have good intentions, but sometimes are afraid to disclose to employees and customers what is really happening.

How to be authentic: Focus on the companies strengths. Always deliver good and bad news in a timely fashion. Don’t be afraid to be humble and show personal or company warts. Build a culture of openness and frequent communication.

2. Stick to the Brand

Many times, companies want to be everything to everybody. This leads to telling the customer that the company can do things that they really can’t. This leads to frustrated employees, disappointed customers and an unprofitable businesses.

How to be authentic: Determine the exact customer segment served and the pain solved. Get clear on what the company cares about. Stay focused on delivering outstanding results in this niche area.

3. Hire Employees that Want to be Part of the Company’s Culture

Too many times, owners hire a person to fit a particular job. They rush into a decision and don’t understand how that person would work in the overall company culture.

How to be authentic: Hire for attitude over skill. Think about how the new employee will complement the rest of the team. Have team members give feedback on prospective employees.

4. Be Consistent

Too many times, the company’s brand does not match it’s culture. The friendly company persona contradicts the cut throat office atmosphere. The boss is sometimes an angel and other times an ogre.

How to be authentic: Live the company brand. Be the same person inside and outside the office. Be the same in front of managers, staff and customers. Have no hidden agendas. Set an example by practicing whatever is preached.

Are you authentic and how do you demonstrate it?

Authenticity Photo via Shutterstock

13 Comments ▼

Barry Moltz


Barry Moltz Barry Moltz gets small business owners unstuck. With decades of entrepreneurial ventures as well as consulting with countless other entrepreneurs, he has discovered the formula to get business owners marching forward. His newest book, BAM! shows how in a social media world, customer service is the new marketing.

13 Reactions

  1. Very inspiring post to possess the actual qualities of a good human more then a good boss. Since a boss is held as a person of many responsibilities shouldn’t fake anything to his employees, rather should act as a true gentleman to clear any confusion or issues from time to time & hire the best person in industry.

  2. I guess another fear one may have may be the possibility of losing business if they tell the truth in certain circumstances. They might fear that their livelihood (and that of their employees) risk being on the line if they do that. So they compromise the truth.

  3. Martin Lindeskog

    Barry: As a certified networker (by ReferensAkademin in Sweden / the Referral Institute), this is music for my ears! :) Amber Mac talks about the ABC-rule in her book, Power Friending: Be Authentic, Be Brave, Be Consistent.

  4. I see a lot of businesses afraid to decide on a brand and stick with it. They believe that in order to be successful they have to make available and provide for everyone. The more variety in our offerings equals the more customers we can’t attract. This is a road to a disaster. Pick a story and tell it well to a select group and the profits will come. Just make sure it has a happy ending.

  5. Great post, it really highlights the need to be a “real person” online, to get anywhere with a business

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