Confession: I don’t like classical music. There, I said it.
I was on the phone today with a childhood friend and the topic of symphonies and classical music came up. We grew up in a small, rural town and there wasn’t much culture for us to be exposed to.
When community concerts brought the big city symphony to town, our parents would dutifully take us to hear the music.
I never enjoyed these concerts. I found them boring. It’s not too surprising for a kid to feel this way. But I figured once I was an adult I would feel differently.
Well, I’m an adult. But it hasn’t happened. Yes, I appreciate it. But I admit I wouldn’t choose to listen to it.
I don’t enjoy it.
As an adult, I’ve been embarrassed to admit my disinterest in classical music. Does this make me less sophisticated? Maybe I’m not refined enough to appreciate it.
What?! Screw that. (How’s that for refined?!)
We all have different preferences. Luckily for all the talented musicians out there, many other people love and appreciate classical music.
I have found in my business that I used to do the same thing. I would try to craft an image of someone that I’m not. Someone I thought others wanted me to be. It didn’t work for long and luckily I found that people didn’t respond to this fake persona.
Once I let my guard down and quit the stale, lame act, I felt so much happier. And all of a sudden, I enjoyed my work more. The amazing thing was that business picked up, people connected with me more and I didn’t have to waste energy being who I wasn’t.
I could be me and that was exactly what my customers wanted.
People want you. The real you. The authentic you. (I know, authentic is sooo overused, right up there with blessed, but it seems very appropriate right now).
If you open yourself up to the world it can be scary. You feel vulnerable, because you are. If people criticize the fake you, no problem, that’s not who you really are anyways. But when you share your true self, criticism stings.
What you can gain is exponentially more rewarding than what you could lose.
You need to “find your people.”
The people and customers that love the real you, are going to be the most committed and loyal to your business. Because people connect with people. They want to support someone that they connect with. They want to be part of your tribe.
But you can only do that by putting yourself out there. Your true self. The classical music disliking self. Because it is part of who you are. And there is no need to hide it.
So as the conversation continued with my friend, she told me that the symphony was coming to town. After confirming that neither of us liked it as children, I asked her if she was going to take her kids.
“Of course” she answered.
Because you never know what your kids will like and you have to help them find their people.