Thursday, February 23, 2012

Authenticity - by Marie Nicole


Your business is based on a concept for living, right?

A concept based on a way of being or doing; a style, interest or passion. If that concept does not match up with your own beliefs however, then how will you sell that concept to potential customers? From my personal experience it will only end up being a recipe for self-destruction.

Towards the end of the nine years that I was a portrait and wedding photographer, capturing the beauty of living, my health suffered as I was living a life I did not truly believe in. Not the photography part, but the part where I was working seven days a week, day and night…shooting, consulting & preparing images for print assembling albums etc.From the start of that business I really should have set a time limit on how many hours a week I would be willing to work, but when you’re a micro business and especially when you have a young family to support it’s easy to do what seemingly just needs to be done in order to meet financial commitments. In the end though, is it really worth it? In my opinion, no! Working like a slave was not doing myself, or my family, any good. While I was capturing the beauty in the lives of others, I was missing out on living a beautiful life myself. And after many years, this made it difficult to feel the joy in what I was doing, even though I am passionate about photography and bringing focus to the beauty in living.

Over the past 4 years while building my current business I have focused very much on working in a way that represents my own personal beliefs. For me, what comes first is my family, so even though I am passionate
about what I do ‘creating beautiful products for everyday living’ I believe the results need to represent what I am about and what I believe in. Aside from my devotion to my family I am also devoted to doing my best to preserve a beautiful world for my children to raise their children in. This is not just about the future though. I also want to nurture a beautiful world now by supporting ethical, sustainable production practices. Rather than simply purchasing my supplies based on price I look at how it is made, where it is made and whether or not the production of it trades fairly for it’s workers. This ethos extends into our personal way of living too. We spend more on produce at our local growers market because we know it’s fresh and that the profits are
actually going to the producer not a multi national supply chain. So all this being said, I believe it is important that my range of wares represents a lifestyle that I truly believe in; one that I live and one that I hope my children will embrace.

In order to live authentically, or run a business authentically you really do need to know yourself and determine your core values as these core values will set the precedence for what you are willing to do in
order to earn your living. So my challenge to you is to take a little time out to really think about how you’re running your business? Does what you do marry up with what you are about or are you doing what you think you should in order to make ‘ends meet’ and in the end is that really worth it?

“Life is a journey to enjoy, not endure.” Author unknown

Life is too short to not LIVE Authentically.

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