While success 🥇 doesn’t require authenticity, it sure helps.
If you are fortunate enough to do what you love (something that reflects the authentic you), you will greatly increase your prospect for achieving your career goals 🎯.
If you are a litigator who doesn’t enjoy a good fight or a corporate lawyer who has no interest in business, perhaps you are not in the right role.
If you hate the billable hour, maybe private practice isn’t the best choice.
In thinking about the best way to market your services, if you don’t like golf 🏌🏻♂️, don’t play golf.
I spent over two decades as a legal recruiter. While I was doing some coaching during that time, for many years, recruiting was my primary source of income.
I had some good years. But fundamentally, I have always known that being a recruiter means being in sales.
From the late 1990s up until 2022, I attended numerous seminars on effective recruiting and set ambitious sales goals for myself. I kept thinking I would find the secret sauce that would motivate me to double or triple the amount of time I would spend making cold calls. As email and LinkedIn became the primary forms of initial outreach, I continued to set daily and weekly quotas (recruiting is primarily a numbers game).
And in the 25 years I spent as a recruiter, I probably hit those targets 5% of the time. I was always finding excuses not to ramp up my prospecting. I was doing other things to build my recruiting practice (and doing some coaching throughout). But in short, I never felt like the recruiting business was a good fit for me.
In early 2022, I made my last placement and finally admitted to myself that “Cold Calling is Not My Calling”.
Coaching, on the other hand, feels like a natural fit for my personality and interests. I love helping my clients to achieve greater success. Being a sounding board, really listening to my clients, and helping them get past their roadblocks, is the “authentic me”.
Since I stopped recruiting entirely, I’ve never worked harder. And it doesn’t feel like work.
I wake up every day looking forward to getting into my office (which is only 20 feet from my bedroom).
I recognize that not everyone gets to be in business for themselves. It is very helpful that my kids are all out of college and I bought my house 30 years ago.
But there are ways to tweak your situation so that you CAN spend more of your time being authentic. Start small. You may be surprised at how much more successful you are when you are being your “real” self and not trying to be someone else.
As the expression goes: “Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.”
Image by DALL-E