You're a busy girl. Your day is filled to the brim and as you stand in front of the mirror in the morning, you know it.
You'll be meeting with your gorgeous friend for lunch at that cafe you have been eyeing off. You haven't seen her for months but she is looking great, and there may be a potential future business partnership in there too! This lunch is important, in a casual i'm-not-trying-I-swear kind of way.
You know that your friend dresses a particular way, it's lovely of course but it's not your style. But you want to make a good impression right?
You dress how she would dress, try to think how she would think and yep you've aced it. The lunch was wonderful. You teeter on the edge of discomfort but relish in your mastery of disguise. You spend the encounter laughing over a lentil salad and white wine (when really you prefer chicken and red - but she's into lentils and white, so a let's just say your happy to try new things...).
Now picture this. The next day you are back in your clothes of choice, thank goodness, you feel much more comfortable. To be honest, you look far more vibrant and glamorous. You look at ease and confident. You're out running errands when you run into that same friend... whoops!
Your uniform and hers look nothing alike and the difference is stark. You feel exposed. Vulnerable.
It's one of those moments when you freak out and think, "I'm a fraud and she knows it". But when she comments on how much she loves your "OMG! Such a cute skirt! Where did you get it!", you realise that being you is actually not so bad. All of a sudden she wants to be like you, because when you be yourself you radiate a special energy and people are attracted to your genuinity.
Being transparent as a business is the same. It takes guts to show people who you are. Opening people up to your process, your tips and tricks, is scary. There's a risk people won't agree (and let's be honest, there will always be people that don't agree with what you are doing) and an equal risk that people may copy you.
But if you be yourself, unapologetically, you will always come out on top. You will genuinely help people by sharing your process and the things you learnt along the way and by being transparent, you will make your business accountable.
Starting Brand IT Girl, one of my main missions was to be transparent. I want you to know what I know and benefit from it!
SO HOW CAN YOU LEARN FROM BRAND TRANSPARENCY?
1. PAY ATTENTION TO MISTAKES
If a blogger or business is sharing their mistakes with you, then it is something you should take a moment to ponder. Sharing mistakes makes you vulnerable and it can sometimes be embarrassing but ultimately, if someone can learn something from a mistake I have made, I will share it every time! Think about how this lesson applies to your business and 9 times out of 10 you will uncover something you can do to improve your own situation.
2. ASK QUESTIONS
Don't be afraid to put your hand up and ask a question or ask for more info. A lot of people who are transparent want you to engage with them. The comments on a blog post is probably the best place to ask questions or make comments because them other people can benefit from your exchange too but you may want to send through an email or engage through social media instead.
3. CELEBRATE THE WINS AND TRIUMPHS OF OTHERS
Someone who is truly benefiting from someone else's transparency will celebrate the win they are hearing about. Jealousy is never attractive, so be classy and congratulate wins wherever appropriate. You may even make a new friend!
4. DON'T CARBON COPY AND STEAL FROM OTHERS
While advice is there to be taken, make sure you are doing it with style and integrity. Make it your own. What creates a win for one person may not work for another, so be honest with yourself and take the time to adapt the lessons learnt to reflect who you are and what your business wants to achieve.
Brand IT Girl strives to be transparent in all things so I hand over to you. What would you like to know about my process?