|It's easy to get swayed into portraying someone else. And especially more so on the Internet where everyone seems to be doing so much better than you.
How can you be true to yourself and still attract clients?
This is The 3 Month Vacation, and I'm Sean D'Souza.
A few weeks ago, my niece Marsha, she’s 10 years old. She came across to me, and she said, “I don’t really understand what this person is saying, and they speak in an adult language, and I’m just a kid.” I said to her, “Marsha, they don’t speak in adult language, and it’s nothing to do with you being a kid. It’s just that no one understands him. No one understands this person. It’s not just you. No one understands this person.” She had this relief on her face. It was like, “You mean, it’s not just me? No one gets what he is saying?” I said, “No, it’s not you.” This is how we feel when we are in business. We just think that all the trouble that we run into, that is just about us, it’s got nothing to do with everybody else, and that’s not true.
What is true is that other people are portraying what they would like to be. When they prefer what they like to be, we think, “well, we should be like that,” and we go off the mark. We aren’t true to ourselves, and being true to yourself is pretty critical. Let’s explore in the show what is it that we can do to create that personality, and so we can be true to ourselves that we don’t have to be like anybody else, or we have to be like someone else. This is the paradox, isn’t it? Let’s find out how we can go about creating a personality.
Part 1: Creating a Personality
Often on the internet, you will find marketers or business people talking about their success. They very rarely talk about their failures; and even when they talk about their failures, they make it look as if it’s something good. Sometimes, people will say, “Oh, we’re into passive income.” When they say “passive income”, you’re not really sure what they’re talking about because yes, the income is passive, but it’s not like they’re lying there and doing nothing. They’re working 10, 12 hours a day. They go on vacations that are as short as few days, maybe a week at best. They check email on their vacations.
There is this whole factor of portraying what you want your audience to feel and not what you really are; or for instance, you may go to a website, and they’ll say they have 50,000 subscribers or 20,000 subscribers. You feel really small because you don’t have so many subscribers, but the point is no one bothers to tell you that those 20,000 or 50,000 subscribers, may be 1/4, or 1/5, or 1/10 of them are even opening their email. You get this feeling of these people doing these fabulous stuff, and you feel like Marsha. You feel like as if you somehow have to do the same thing because you’re confused.
You think that everyone else is getting it, everyone else is succeeding, everyone else is doing stuff, and you’re not. At this point in time, we cross over to the dark side, and we try to get someone else’s personality. How do we mesh our personalities, our real personalities, and our online personalities, or our business personalities, or what we portray to other people? How do we keep it one and the same? The answer to this question is not as hard as it seems, but it can take a bit of time. The way to go about it is to find out what you don’t like.
Part 2: Find Out What You Don’t Like
Now, when I first started out at Psychotactics, I went to a workshop, and it cost me $10,000. Now, I didn’t really have that $10,000 to spend back then because I was earning only about $1,500 a month. However, we did have some savings, and I was quite enamored by all these big names, and I needed to spend that money just so that I could put myself on a level footing. I went to this event, and it was terrible. Terrible didn’t cover it. We paid a lot of money, but we were also forced to play games where we had to spend over $100, or $200, or $300 to just be part of that game, and there was no option.
It didn’t stop there. If we wanted to go to the restroom while the speaker was on stage, we had to pay a $50 fine. Sometimes, the event went on until late at night or rather should I say early in the morning, so 1:00, 2:00, and then we were woken up at 5:00 to tai chi and play volleyball. You might say, “Well, what a waste of time and money,” but for me, that defined my personality. At that point in time, I had all my checkboxes about what I never wanted to be like. When we do our workshops, our personality comes into play. The workshop stops at 4:30. It doesn’t have any fines.
Most of the workshop is outside the room because most people love to be outside the room. They don’t want to be hooked up in the room. A lot of the personality that you’re looking for has to be defined by what you don’t want. Go to presentations, go to events, do webinars, listen to podcasts, and that’s what I’ve been doing as well. I had to listen to a lot of stuff that I didn’t like, so I knew what I liked. Ironically enough, I went back and listened to a lot of my stuff when I first doing podcasts, and my voice is totally different. It’s less of a teacher and more of a preacher. It’s less of a conversation and more of a, “I am announcing something that’s coming right now,” that kind of thing.
The key to your personality if you want to find out what your personality is, start listening, reading, doing stuff, and you will find that you don’t like some stuff. Do more of it because now you know for sure, “I don’t want this. This is not who I am,” and then you become who you are just by eliminating it. Why is all of these so important? It is important simply because of the factor of how much we are trying to be like each other these days, how much we are trying to portray that we make a lot of money, that we have a lot of subscribers, and then our tone changes. We become someone else. We are not our true selves. Our voice doesn’t come out.
The point is that there are people out there who want to listen to you, just to you. Often, people tell me, “I’m going to write this book on a topic.” Let’s say pricing, or AdWords, or gardening, and the book has been written before. There are hundred books of the same nature, but here’s what I tell them. I tell them, “People want to know how you write the book. They want to listen to your voice, and your voice is really your personality.” That’s really what needs to come across. That’s why this whole personality business is very important because it draws a certain kind of person towards you, and then gets rid of all the rest of them.
When people join Psychotactics or become members of 5,000 BC, this is what they tell me. They say, “We admire you for taking the time off and not being entirely focused on money.” I want to make something very clear here is that taking vacations doesn’t mean a drop in your income, and we’ll cover that in another show. What’s interesting is that the message which is true to myself, which is what was my goal in life is now being reflected with customers, and that’s really what you want to do. You want to do develop your own personality, and this is why it’s so important.
It is a disjunction that we run into one of the greatest paradoxes of all time, and that is that you get your personality by copying someone else. You know how we got rid of all the people that we didn’t like? Now, you have people that you like, and you want to be like them, so you start copying their style, and you copy whatever they’re doing. This is perfectly okay. This is how we grow up as kids, we copy. Then over time, we copy from A, and B, and C, and D, and then we get our own style. We develop that style. The paradox is that you have to be someone else for a while before you find yourself. You think, “Wait a second, I already know myself.”
Yes, you know yourself as a person, but as a business owner, there is a change. I don’t know how that change happens, but the moment we step outside and get into a social setting or a business setting, we want to portray success. We want to portray that we’re doing well, and so we switch over. Sometimes, you will have to follow someone for a while, maybe follow few people, and then eventually, you get your own style. Style becomes this paradox of not being someone, and yet being someone for a while before you find yourself. Of course, you’re wondering now, “What am I going to do until I find myself?” It’s a journey.
Part 3: It’s a Journey
When I look back at my cartoons, I am not overly enamored with them, but at the point in time, that was the best I could do. When I look back in my writing, some of it is horrific. I just cannot believe that I used some of the language that I did. It’s not bad like … It’s just language that I don’t use when I’m speaking. Renuka, my wife will go over it, and she’ll go, “What? I have to edit all of these stuff. You might as well rewrite the whole thing.” A lot of that happens. A lot of the older books, older podcasts, they’re completely unusable today because my voice has changed.
Who know? Ten years from now, what we’re doing right now, that may not be acceptable to me. My voice will refine, my personality will refine. Maybe I get more grumpy, maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll get happier, maybe I won’t. The point is you have to start now. You go with your podcast, or you go with your books, or you go with your webinars, or just networking. Whatever it is, you definitely want to start looking at what you don’t want, and you definitely want to start to look at people that you admire and start to be more like them.
Often, you just do the stuff that you want to do like we started putting cartoons in marketing books. We started putting recipes in the middle of the book. We put photographs of workshops and stuff like that, stuff that’s not totally related to the topic, and our clients love it. When you get to workshop, for instance, you will have a scavenger hunt. You will have music playing there, people enjoying themselves. Some of them get up, they dance. Some of them don’t. We have all of these things where your true personality comes out, and you can become who you are.
When you find yourself, you’ll find that your clients relax. They want to be around you. Now, this becomes very critical because you’re going to attract that kind of customer. Your personality is probably one of the most important things on your website in your business. A lot of people are so focused on everything else, but personality is what draws you to a person in real life and personality is what draws us to people on the internet as well. Let’s do a little bit of a summary, and then let’s to go to an action. What are we going to do next?
Often when we start out, we don’t know what’s happening. People talk about how they’re earning six-figure incomes and have all these clients and these subscribers, and we’re enamored by all of these stuff. A lot of it is true, but it’s also cloaked by white lies, stuff that you don’t hear about, and so you feel like Marsha. You feel like it’s just you and everyone else is doing fine, and you’re not sure why you’re the only one who doesn’t understand. The point is you have to go beyond that, and you have to develop your own personality, so that you can have your voice.
You discover your voice simply by finding out what you don’t like, but also what you like. You follow them for a while, and you then develop your own voice, and that becomes a very powerful tool because it attracts customers that want to hear from you. Even if the information has been said a million times before, been written down, it doesn’t matter. What matters is how you say it, and so this becomes an ongoing journey. You can’t wait for the personality to show up. It’s there right now. The best thing you can do is get started, so how do we get started?
You get started by figuring out what you want to do. Let’s say, you’re a presenter, and you want to make better presentations with your own personality, not with someone else’s personality. You go to many presentations, and you start to note what you don’t like and start getting rid of that stuff in your presentations. That starts you on the journey to finding people that you like, and that’s all you need to do. For starters, that’s all you need to do. Copy their style, and then over time, develop your own personality. Yes, don’t believe everything that you read on the internet.
With that, we come to the end of the fourth podcast. Thanks for being with us. Some of you have been writing in about the Evil Twin. I’d like to know more about the Evil Twin. Is he portraying the right personality, or is he too squeaky? Write to me at email@example.com. By the way, if you haven’t subscribed, go to iTunes. Look for “The Three-Month Vacation”, and right below the picture, right below the graphic is a “Subscribe” button. Subscribe. Leave a review for us because it’s really helpful. The review is just under the title. There are three buttons there. Choose “Reviews”, and leave a review.
The next three episodes are going to be on storytelling. Storytelling is cool because it just helps us to drive home our personality in the form of a book, a podcast, a webinar, a presentation. Join me in the next podcast, and bye for now. Bye-bye.