If you want to be successful in business, regardless of the area of expertise in which you operate, you need to know yourself and embrace who you are. As a serial entrepreneur and now the owner of a virtual accounting business I learned long ago to embrace my uniqueness. What do I mean by that? It means you need to be authentic.

Authenticity in business has become a buzzword recently, but what I have always taken it to mean in my business is to operate ethically. I believe in that so much that my business won an award because of our business ethics. Being authentic means that you treat employees and clients with respect and courtesy. You don’t bring on clients that don’t fit with your company’s ethical business-ethics-award-winnestandards or that you aren’t equipped to service well.

Your gut will let you know whether you’re being asked to work with a client or on a project which makes you uncomfortable. When you get “that feeling,” you should extricate yourself from the opportunity. If it isn’t right in the beginning, it isn’t going to be right later on. Being authentic could mean you don’t say “yes” to every client who comes along.

There may be a business owner you want to emulate. There is no reason you can’t strive to be the next Bill Gates, but you need to “become” him while remaining true to yourself. Consider the fact that your uniqueness is a God-given trait and use it to your best advantage, no matter what you’re doing.

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