We all know that honesty is HARD. Often, it’s even scary. But here are a few reasons why honesty still kicks perfection’s butt. Every. Single. Time.
When you’re speaking with other business owners, intentional or not, there’s always a temptation to forego honesty for perfection.
We all want to be perfect. And we all know it’s impossible.
Most of us (myself included) find ourselves thinking, “If I can’t BE perfect, at least, I can LOOK like I am, right?”
I get it. In the words of a wise woman named Whitney Huston: It’s not right… but it’s okay.
I’ve been there, wanting to put my best foot forward in hopes that this will soon manifest into my everyday reality.
In the meantime, honesty is HARD. Often, it’s even scary.
But here are a few reasons why honesty kicks perfection’s butt. Every. Single. Time.
It Helps Us Do Better Business
A perfect facade may be ideal for insulating you from feelings of vulnerability, but that’s not going to help any of us keep growing our businesses. Do you know what will?
It’s okay to admit that you’re frustrated. Or that you’re having a dry month. You’re likely not the only one who’s gone through some tough times. Sharing the everyday struggles with your trusted network can create opportunities to connect and learn from one another.
Think about the times you’ve read an inspiring person’s autobiography. As readers, we’re inspired by what people learned during their hardships, not just the fame and glory they attained later.
Honesty Helps You Build Your Tribe
Don’t we all want a group of awesome entrepreneurs who’ll have our back through thick, thin, and everything in between?
You want to create lasting connections with people who will support you in your entrepreneurial journey, professionally AND personally, but here’s the thing:
You can’t really connect with someone if you’re not honest with them.
Focusing on perfection (or the appearance of perfection) breeds competition. The truth creates a stronger bond than any false posturing.
I have a tribe of girlfriends (who just happen to be business owners) whom I can turn to when I’m frustrated and doubtful – but also when I want to celebrate. The impact on my journey is immeasurable.
It Helps Us Create More (and Better!) Entrepreneurs
Small-business owners are innovators and creators, dreamers and doers – and there should definitely be more of us out there! I’ve heard over and over again from friends and family that they would love to start a business, but they’re too scared to get started.
There’s an easy way to combat this: brutal honesty.
This sounds counter-intuitive because, yes, the reality of business ownership might scare off some potential entrepreneurs. But consider the possible benefits.
No matter how long you’ve been in business, isn’t it a relief to know you’re not the only one who’s struggling with tax forms/hiring/[insert issue here]? Honesty creates community and a culture of support. Being honest about the landmines that you’ve stumbled upon in the past can help your peers avoid them in the future.
Being an entrepreneur is hard, but you don’t have to do it alone. Being honest – and cultivating relationships with honest people – can make all the difference.
Honesty is the biggest gift that we can give to ourselves and to each other.
Entrepreneurship is enormous, complicated, and (occasionally) lonely. If we want to help each other, why shouldn’t we share our real-life stories and our imperfect moments? The results just may surprise you.
About Emily D. Tisdale, Founder & CEO
Meet the brains — and heart — behind LEAP for Women. Emily is LEAP’s guiding force, committed to supporting women entrepreneurs at every stage in their journey.
She loves LEAP because:
A resident of Indiana, Emily prides herself on being a transplanted Hoosier and enjoys watching Colts football and spending time with her husband and their two children.