I was reading 2 Corinthians 3:1-6 this morning. I see such beauty in that particular analogy. I love the thought of people as letters. In the period of Paul’s writing of Corinthians it was common for letters, or recommendations to be sent by a carrier of some sort before a person coming to do official business, ministry, or for visits actually arrived. We do the same today using phones, emails, and traditional mail. We give and receive official letters, we set appointments and schedule events—we don’t just show up for a stay on someone’s doorstep: we are announced (or we forewarn others!).
We recommend one another to build trust. We promote someone because we believe in them. Sometimes we do this for ourselves—but sometimes that leads to something that sounds—or is, prideful. And, being prideful often repels—a fine line in today’s world.
A good chunk of my business is a form of marketing and promotions—which I absolutely love doing. I don’t have any problem being the forerunner for someone or their business. I appreciate a great billboard, hilarious and point-taken advertisement copy, and gee, a jingle having the power to land a job in the brain repeating the jingle over at the slightest ring of the Pavlovian bell–I can even appreciate that. It’s all about the message being delivered.
Not that I like it all; I identify the “sell” and sometimes—often times, I don’t want it.
Paul wrote, “You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts” (2-3).
I think that our biggest selling point individually, or as a business or an organization is authenticity. If we are genuine, we will be “written” upon others hearts and minds and we will be recognized for what we are when we show up.
People can be led like sheep—that’s a given, we all can “bah, bah”, but, we don’t easily fall for the inauthentic either—the disingenuous person, business, or organization will usually show itself. Not that any of us have arrived at some perfect level of authenticity—people are far too complex, yet, it can be our ideal.
The first work of the individual, the business, or organization is to be who they are supposed to be and then to be the best they can at it.
And, if you already have a foundation, but it’s not in good shape, repair, re-do, or bulldoze. In life, we get do-overs, we get multiple fails, we get to keep working towards getting it right and being refined in the process. (Ex: Abe Lincoln’s story!)
If you need help putting down the foundation or building upon it (that’s what Audacious Consulting is about) get the help you need and launch from the launch pad of authenticity. If I may also add–enjoy the process–because being who you were designed to be and building things in life you are made for will bring you great joy (and accomplishment).