Ideas, Information & Inspiration

Being Yourself in Business

10 mins
What You Will Learn
  • How to Be Yourself in Business
  • The Importance of Being Yourself in Business
  • How it Helps Your Business
by Marcus Business Team
Here’s a tip for small businesses
“Don’t compromise who you are.”

Getting involved in the business industry is possible by opening up a small shop of your own, selling items from your home, or even investing in other existing businesses, franchises, and brands. However you choose to enter the business realm, it is important to be yourself at all times while having a true understanding of who that is as well as your own professional identity. As Marcus Lemonis has said, “Don’t compromise who you are.”

Finding an Identity in Business

Finding an identity in business can help you to appeal to your current audience or attract prospective partners, investors, and customers. Knowing who you are, what you stand for, and what is most important to you will help you to carve out an identity that is not only professional and business-appropriate, but also a reflection of your own personality and who you are in your everyday life. Finding an identity is not always easy, especially if it is an area you have struggled in throughout your life. However, it can make all of the difference to be yourself and truly find your authentic identity any time you are thinking of entering the realm of business.

List of ways to find an identity in business
List of ways to find an identity in business

Being Yourself in Business

Your identity in business does not have to be the polar opposite of who you are in your day-to-day life, especially if you are working on a business venture that is personal for you or close to your heart. When you are free to be yourself, you can express yourself truthfully and creatively, opening many doors to new paths and opportunities that may have not been readily available to you otherwise.

Image of two dog food bags.

When Marcus approached the owner and founder of an Illinois-based pet store, it was clear that he walked into a unique and one-of-a-kind scenario. The owner founded the pet store to help provide healthy premium food and treat choices for dogs and animals with immune-related disorders. The company itself was being run by the founder and her husband who were both extremely dedicated to the business, but struggling to manage their own inventory, margins, and finances.

Although it would have been possible for the owner to switch her brands of food to lower-costing products with lower quality ingredients, she was adamant that her business needed to provide the ingredients and solutions animals in need required.

Marcus appreciated her willingness to stick to her convictions and her mission, and ultimately offered an investment of over $1.5 million in exchange for 40% equity. After agreeing to the deal, Marcus helped the owners implement changes to the infrastructure, inventory, marketing and brand. They trusted the process and today, the business is still in full operation and has expanded to close to 50 locations throughout the Northeast and California. They were able to achieve success while continuing to be true to themselves and their mission.

Making a concerted effort to be yourself while also remaining professional in business is a way to truly make a lasting impression on others, including other professionals, competitors, and even investors. Having your own distinct and individual personality can help to set yourself apart in even the most highly competitive and ruthless industries.

Image of woman flying on paper plane.

4 Ways to Be Yourself in Business

Being yourself is often easier said than done, especially if you have difficulties expressing yourself in front of others or if you prefer to avoid confrontation in any way. However, in order to create a memorable and unique identity in the business world, it is imperative to step outside of your comfort zone to create the path to success that is most authentic to you.

Just some of the ways that you can be yourself and remain authentic in business include:

1. Setting Yourself Apart

Set yourself apart from the crowd by being true to yourself. While so many are afraid to express themselves or veer from “towing the line”, being yourself and showing your authentic personality can help you and your business stand out and be more memorable.

Image of woman standing out from the crowd.

2. Voice Your Opinions

Make your feelings known while remaining true to your morals, ethics, and beliefs. Standing your ground is one way to prove yourself as a leader, even in difficult times and with challenging decisions.

As Marcus has said, “People respect you more if they get the truth as opposed to a bunch of fluff.”

3. Build Authentic Connections

Building professional relationships with your customers and clients is not possible without being true to yourself. People are not blind to fakeness or inauthenticity and may find it difficult to remain loyal to a business, brand, or professional who is unwilling or incapable of creating genuine connections with others. When you are authentic each time you connect or speak with others about your business, you will convey trust and openness, making it much easier to establish partnerships or consumer relationships.

Image of a man exploring his thoughts.

4. Maintain the Right Mindset

Staying in the right frame of mind and keeping a proper mindset at all times can also help you to be yourself in business. When you are self-confident and have a good level of self-esteem in your personal life, it is much easier to reconcile your personal attitude with how you conduct business. If you are depressed, unhealthy, or otherwise unsatisfied in your daily and personal life, you may need to work on improving your satisfaction with your life outside of work in order to truly shine in business.

List of Ways to Be Yourself
List of Ways to Be Yourself

Why is it Important to be Yourself? How Does it Benefit Business?

Being yourself in business and in everyday life is not only a way to move forward with work and your career, but it is important for your mental and emotional wellbeing. Individuals who hide their true selves and their identities are more likely to feel lost, alone, and entirely isolated from the outside world. If you do not feel complete when working in your business, you may not be putting your authentic self forward, which can hinder any possibility of discovering new challenges or experiencing growth on a deep and personal level.

When you have the power and ability to combine both your professional presence with your individual personality, the possibilities become endless, especially if you are involved in a business that is a passion project for you.

4 Benefits of Being Yourself in Business

While it is important to avoid getting too personal during business meetings, conferences, and negotiations, it can come in handy when making positive and professional impressions on others. Some of the most notable benefits and advantages of remaining true to yourself in business at all times include:

Image of deal closing with handshake.

1. Comfort and Trust

Establishing trust and providing a comfortable environment when meeting and negotiating with others in business is key to success.

When others feel comfortable around you due to your authenticity and ability to be yourself, it is much easier to proceed with business dealings that work in your favor.

2. People are Naturally Attracted to Authenticity

When you are authentic, people will gravitate towards you. In a world where so many corporate structures require compliance, silence, and the same attitudes from all employees, an individual willing to remain true to themselves and step out of their comfort zone in business is often a refreshing sight.

3. Separate Your Business From the Competition

Are you looking for a way to significantly help your business stand out from the crowd and your competition? You can do so by simply being yourself and putting your best foot forward whenever you are conducting business.

Image of leader taking flight in rocketship.

4. Long-term Fulfillment

If you are committed to your business and passionate about achieving success while leading your business and brand, you will likely only feel truly satisfied and fulfilled if you do so while being yourself. Accomplishing anything in life will often feel hollow or shallow if it is done so through cheating, scamming, or simply not being authentic and genuine enough. When you are not true to your heart and your true self, you may find yourself feeling empty or dissatisfied, even if you are achieving financial and business success. Always remember to tune in to the desires and visions you have for your life when working towards success in any business.

List of four benefits of being yourself
List of four benefits of being yourself

While not all businesses will succeed, knowing that the owner is being true to themselves and their mission in business will always generate goodwill. When Marcus was introduced to the owner and creator of an eco-friendly coconut water business, he was impressed by the owner’s willingness to remain committed to a healthier, green lifestyle and a zero-waste mindset. Unfortunately, in this case, the owner was more focused on the overall big picture of his brand and less honed in on the numbers and actual financials of his business operations. Although Marcus attempted to help him become more focused on managing numbers and ensuring the market was viable enough to succeed, the deal ultimately fell through, as the owner’s priorities appeared to be all over the place.

Image of team members connecting their ideas.

While he and Marcus were unable to make a deal, Marcus respected the fact that the owner stuck by his convictions and is still working towards making the business a success today.

While being yourself is not always an easy task, it is often necessary for those who truly want to leave a mark and a lasting impression. Whether you are on your way to building success with your first business or if you are looking to network and connect with prospective investors and business partners, always remain true to being yourself for the most genuine and authentic outcome possible.

  1. What currently separates your business from the competition?
  2. How can being yourself benefit your business?
Photo of Marcus Lemonis