We’re not taught to tell the truth when we’re seeking new clients or job-hunting. We’re told to be whoever we think the client or employer wants us to be. We’re coached to grovel, beg, and kiss whatever ass appears in front of us, playing the part of a person who has our experience and talents but none of our quirks, idiosyncrasies, and certainly none of our authentic selves!
10 years ago I worked for a company called Pictage. There, I met Jeff Jochum. He was the VP of Marketing and although I seldom saw him, we would exchange pleasant greetings as we passed each other between cubicles. Through the years we ran into each other at various events and maintained our acquaintance. Jeff is now a business coach for photographers and other creative entrepreneurs. He launched a community for them (us), Team-X.biz. Somehow, I was privileged enough to get invited into his community.
I’ve been exposed to his “Work Happily Ever-After” philosophy for some time. Something about it resonated with me. At first, I was skeptical of some of the things he said because it conflicted with the conventional wisdom I had read about in business and marketing books. Somehow, something about it felt right. His approach is about being true to yourself, even if that means (gently) turning away paying clients who aren’t right for you. While more and more businesses are adopting this way of thinking, there are still plenty of them that stick to old business models instead of adapting to the new-millennium market.
I was afraid to be myself (I still am, a little), but less so with Jeff’s guidance. Not everyone will get me. Not everyone will like me, but some will and those are the ones I want to work with and hopefully, they will want to work with me.