Are You Genuine?

You have your own business and you want to make connections so that you can build relationships and gain referrals. The question is are you who you appear to be?

I know I have been disappointed quite a few times over the 17 years I have been in business. When I get to know someone online, via email, phone call, if the person is close enough to my location, we normally arrange to meet so we can get to know each other better.

Recently I met a male business owner, whose name for the purpose of this blog post shall be “notwhomheappearedtobe“. This person had registered for an event I was hosting, sadly could not make it, so we conversed via email and connected online. I was very excited to meet this person and, face to face chatting, he appeared to be genuine. Information was shared, tips were offered and I felt we had experienced a great start to a trusting relationship.

I came down to earth quickly. Here are a few of the reasons for this:

  1. He promised to attend another event and did not, with no explanation. In my eyes a promise is a promise and a very simple “No thank you I do not want to attend” would have been the polite thing to do.
  2. After a phone call, where he appeared to be happy with the conversation, I requested he follow up with an answer to a request I made, and he agreed. After a month I realised he did not mean what he said. I was not about to build a trusted relationship with someone who, in my opinion, could not be honest with me.

Happily I moved on but, this is a great example of a “Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing”. Simply put, someone who appears to be someone or something they are not. Someone who can’t be honest with others.


A wolf cares not for credibility, he is out for what he can get, in the business sense. Information, connections, sales, and he does not care whom he impacts along the way.

In order to gain credibility, there are a couple of important things we need to demonstrate:

  • Transparency
  • Trust

Everyone and his dog ( a Brit expression) owns a small business today. The people who thrive and reach the success they are  working towards are honest, open and gain credibility over time.

The people who struggle, and we can see the struggle online and face to face, are the one’s in it for a quick buck. The ones who climb over everyone, or anyone to get what they want.

It takes time to build trust, in order to gain that credibility for our brand, and of course us, as the business owner.

Don’t Wear a Disguise

The obvious solution here if you want to be known as genuine and not someone dressed in wolf’s clothing, a disguise, is to be who you really are. Be honest, be open, be fair, be helpful, be knowledgeable, share, and help others along the way.

By helping others, even our competitors, it allows us to be seen as human, and more than ever today our customers want us to be human.

The internet is a powerful tool, with all the online resources and platforms, we can see who is genuine and who is out for themselves.

I still meet people and take them at face value, but I have always been cautious, and this is what saves me from being eaten up by those pesky wolves in sheep’s clothing. In order to survive today we have to be honest and admit not everyone operates the same way we do, and that’s their choice, but we have to be on the alert.

The Good News

Yes, there is good news as well as doom and gloom. I have known people turn themselves around and realise the error of their ways and join the community of people who are honest, trustworthy and grow their business in an ethical way.

It’s about making choices that work for us, and if we don’t want to associate with people who appear to do business in a way that does not appeal to us, we don’t have to. There is actually enough room for everyone.

As always I strive to create awareness about the many obstacles, challenges, and wonderful things that happen along the way when we are small business owners. I love offering tips, ideas, resources, and some of my expertise gained along the way to help you, my awesome readers.

Please feel free to email, phone, connect with me online, or leave a comment here, I love reading your comments, and of course hearing your stories.