If you’re a solopreneur, there are a lot of rules, written and unwritten, you must follow to be successful. The highest among them all is the rule to be sincere. I call it the Apex Rule because it applies to all the other rules as well. If you’re going to do something, you should do it with sincerity.
Here’s your number one place to be sincere. When you’re communicating with clients, vendors, or anyone to do with your business, you need that sincerity. As a solopreneur, your reputation is the same as the goodwill of the company. That means, if people think you’re full of shit, they’re not going to hire you.
How to be Sincere
Whenever you’re in business, there are some things you can’t be totally honest about. For example, if someone asks how business is going, but you’ve had a bad week, you still say things are going well. Why? You have to say this because no one wants to hire a struggling company.
However, in other areas, it’s hard to be sincere, yet very important. For example, if you’re late getting someone their order, sincerity helps smooth things over. People don’t want excuses. They want to know you’re on their side and working hard to make things right.
How not to be Sincere
Perhaps it is easier to show ways I’ve seen people be completely insincere. Insincerity is any time you’re pretending to be something you’re not. One of the most absurd example of this was a man who boasted about attending church at multiple churches each week to get estate planning clients that way. There’s nothing wrong with getting clients at your church, but pretending to be a member of multiple churches was not sincere.
It’s my opinion that anything can be a networking event if you’re sincere about the event. I’ve gotten many clients from volunteer events and social gatherings because I was genuinely there for the volunteering or socializing. When people ask about the prospect of hiring me, I also steer that conversation to later time so I can focus on the reason I’m there.
As a solopreneur, you also need to be sincere with your emotional support team. Loved ones and colleagues cannot give you what you need, in terms of support, if they have no idea what support you need. Don’t try to hide things or let things bottle up. Instead, be as transparent as possible. The problem I always face here is understanding my feelings myself. I can’t open up about them until I understand them first. The trick is to do your best and practice.
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