It's an era of pomp and circumstance where how our businesses - and, as entrepreneurs, ourselves - look can easily distract us from giving substance. It's why we network too much and overdo the social media while often ignoring the business of our business.

And, as I say about a few things in The Ultimate Bite-Sized Entrepreneur, attention is one arms race that we will never win.

The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman, a great, required book for the entrepreneurship path, is a ridiculous treasure trove of quotes. Here is one of the absolute best:

Don't worry. People will see you

For me, this quote taps into our fear of not being seen. What if I create this amazing thing, something way better than anything out there, and I'm not recognized for my genius?

The trick is that you need to work without the approval of others to cultivate your unique voice. In every fresh endeavor, you start off raw, confused and sensitive to input. It is Whitney Johnson's S-Curve learning scale where everything is difficult and slow. It is way too easy to take the exit ramp and water down your vision to get immediate feedback, recognition and approval.

And when you know, you know

Then one day, as you cultivate your vision, people will notice. They'll see it in your eyes. And, like the timeless Aurelius quote, people will recognize your genius like a smelly goat. It can't be ignored.

I used to joke that I could immediately recognize if someone was a fellow journalist: It was in the way they spoke, how they observed the room and the questions they asked even in small talk conversations. My military veteran friends can spot another vet a mile away, just as my PR friends recognize others who have earned their public relations stripes. I now have that instinct for fellow professional speakers and entrepreneurs.

You don't need a fancy ad campaign nor a highly-curated Instagram feed. You need, as Simon Sinek says, to know your why. Once you know, then your intention and strength will naturally come out of everything you touch.

And people will know you're the truth before you even open your mouth.

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Published on: Jul 31, 2018