Jenna Marzullo: Own—Don’t Run Away From—Your Authentic Self and Story
If you attended PowerUP! 2015 last month, I hope you soaked up every second at the event. As I mentioned in a previous blog, the “power” of PowerUP! comes from the people who attend the event. There’s nothing like being surrounded by thousands of people who are on fire for Viridian and the business model; being physically present and connecting with others is where the most dramatic change happens.
PowerUP! features people from all ages and all walks of life who boldly tell their unique stories of how they became involved with Viridian. However, for some attendees I can imagine this might have been an overwhelming experience. That is, perhaps these people became intimidated after hearing so many amazing stories and currently feel as if their own story isn’t powerful enough. Perhaps they feel it’s not a story worth sharing.
If you attended PowerUP!, perhaps you are finding yourself wishing you could be more like the people who were speaking on the keynote stage. Even if you didn’t attend the event, perhaps you find yourself wishing you could be more like someone else you know or look up to. I want to tell you right now to remove these thoughts from your mind because the true power of network marketing comes from identifying and embracing your authentic self. This enables you to make true connections with customers, prospects and team members and, as a result, grow your business.
The entire point of network marketing—and perhaps what’s at the core of PowerUP!—is the message that if you can identify, own and stay true to yourself, you will see the most success in this business. There are of course ways to improve your skill sets (every good network marketer should be constantly honing in on his or her skills) but it’s an entirely different thing to discover who you are. It’s important that you find your voice and tell your story—after all, no one can tell it but you.
Here are a few pieces of advice I have to offer about identifying your authentic self and owning your unique story …
Don’t feel like you have to play a role. I have seen many individuals attempt to “play a role” in this business rather than simply be their true self. For instance, they may pretend to be more successful than they really are; they may exaggerate so badly their level of success to the point where it is blatant that they are lying. The chief consequence of this is that it is an immediate turnoff for customers, prospects and team members. This is especially true when trying to build a downteam; authenticity and sincerity are key ingredients for getting people to trust and follow your leadership and judgment. Genuine connections cannot be felt and real relationships cannot be built on a phony foundation.
Your most powerful story is your most truthful one: You can either respect and admire the success of others, or you can copy them in an effort to impress others. There’s a huge difference between the two; remember that your most powerful story is always going to be your most truthful story. There’s a way to make a stellar impression on others while authentically being yourself; you just have to find a way to authentically express it. People think you have to be successful to prospect and share the business model with others, but that’s simply not the case. Those who are successful at one time didn’t have a lot of money and, at the time, weren’t where they wanted to be in life. They were able to close deals and climb in rank due to the fact that they knew who they were, knew where they wanted to be, and could efficiently articulate that. Every successful person has overcome numerous obstacles to get to where they are today, whether that was addiction, health problems or bankruptcy (you can learn about my personal journey, for example, by reading this blog). Authenticity is real and relatable, and there’s something extremely appealing about owning your own story with confidence—both the good and the bad parts.
Figure out your story and then condense it: Once you know your story and who you are, find a way to condense it into a quick pitch. For example, if you can shorten your story to a quick one-to-two minute explanation you can then share it with virtually anyone you meet in order to quickly establish connections and make true impacts on others. For example, your story can be as simple as “I worked in corporate America for decades and, for me, that didn’t feel like enough” or “I wanted more time with my family.” Boiling your story down into a two minute conversation can be a fulfilling challenge and can serve as a very powerful personal testimony.
Remember that the story you have to tell is one of the biggest assets you have. You can’t shy or run away from who you are. If you attended PowerUP! this year then you likely heard a number of stories from all sorts of people about their drivers for engaging in network marketing. It’s important that you determine your authentic story and aren’t afraid to tell it. At the end of the day, if you don’t have a good understanding of who you are at your core, it will be difficult to establish genuine, authentic connections with others.