On being you and still being a badass business person.
One crop-top wearing exec’s take.
Do you. Be you. Be authentic. Be real. Just be yourself. Sounds so easy, huh? Not for me it wasn’t, and sometimes still isn’t. It’s honestly taken some serious self-reflection and ball bracing to figure out. I used to wear suits nonstop. I cut my hair short to fit into corporate America. I played it safe because my intensity can, and does. make people uncomfortable. So I toned it down. I tried to dress to not show my female form. I replaced stilettos with flats, because you can't be sexy and smart, can you? I still struggle with this.
Can you be a serious business person, executive, or entrepreneur and not play the role? I decided I would try. Why? If you do what the average person does, you will be as the average person is.
Average is not something I strive for, do any of us?
I became more successful, I got better clients, bigger accounts, more employees, and more opportunities.
Thus, for me the easiest things to alter first were external. I like crop tops so I wear them. I work-out and am proud of my albeit imperfect but perfectly "me" body, so I wear form fitting dresses. My hair is often too long, I love my words four lettered and my cars fast. As a cautious toddler dips his foot in the pool to test the temperature, I brought in each one of these “Codie-ism’s,” one by one.
I recall thinking oh dear sweet baby Jesus, I am going to get fired, or lose clients, or lose respect, or get called out in front of everyone like those naked public speaking nightmares. Let the cold sweats begin. Then as time passed, nothing happened. In fact, I became more successful, I got better clients, bigger accounts, more employees, and more opportunities. So I said alright little toddler Codie, jump in that damn pool. And jump I did. I jumped into letting some of my internal weirdness and realness out.
I'm god awful at details so I outsource everything I can. I have zero patience with politics and rarely hold back. I travel almost constantly and mix business and pleasure publically. I work every single day of the week, even on vacation, and I f*cking love it.
These internal changes are harder because they are the core of who we are. We aren’t what we wear, or what we drive, but we are that thing inside of us that speaks, acts and does. I realized that if I want to find this thing called happiness, I would, in fact, have to figure out who I was, and then live as that person wholly and unabashedly. Step by small step.
My take is that people today are craving what's real. Why do you think that Instagram stories, Snapchat, Facebook Live, and Periscope are all the rage? They are unedited, raw, instantaneous and you can’t pretend to be in a bikini on a yacht when in fact you are sitting in your cubicle in sweatpants. We want the whole person, the highs and the lows. Well – we want mostly the highs, no one likes negativity, but above all else we want to see that the people we engage in are human. Flawed but extraordinary. The problem is that corporations, society, and family, inherently don't like risk. They want to protect us and them.
However, being real means showing your scars. That is risky. Here’s the thing, we can't actually be anyone but the human we are and it turns out people just might like you even more that way.
So why not let our little freak flag fly and say f*ck it? Seems to me that's the only way to live. I'm working on it... What about you?
Codie Sanchez Baker