A warning to entrepreneurs: let’s not get too “authentic selfy”

A little over a year ago, we were despairing over maximising synergies moving forward, and wondering how leveraging our core competencies by close of play (or COP) would help us to drill down into the business ecosystem and take it to the next level - giving 110% the whole time, of course.

We no longer work for large corporations - we run our own small business. We’ve had a year of absolutely zero low-hanging fruit, taking things offline, or putting our ducks in a row. But there’s a whole other kind of lingo in Entrepreneurs’ Land - and we’ve already succumbed.

In Entrepreneurs’ Land it’s all about OTT positivity blended with the sort of spirituality that makes us Brits cringe a little - cringe yet still blurt out every so often. Don’t get us wrong - positive and spiritual language can be great when used in the right contexts. But so many terms are being overused in the wrong contexts, and rendering them useless.

Take “authentic self” - a phrase we’re seeing over and over and over again. Originally, the phrase was all about being true to your personality or character in the work you do and actions you take. These days, we talk about things “resonating with our authentic self” when we actually mean “Yeah that sounds kinda interesting.”

Or “inspirational”. We use this the whole time too. But really, a seminar about improving your Google search ranking by writing quality content is common sense - not inspirational.

“Pivot” is another. “We’re pivoting our business: we’re going to start selling doggie treats online rather than get affiliate commission for promoting beauty products.” That’s not a pivot! That’s a business failure, followed by a new business.

Corporate jargon had its place and its uses too, once - but now it’s just the butt of jokes and the “go to” target when BuzzFeed has run out of cats for the week. If we entrepreneurs aren’t a bit more careful with how we use our own words and phrases, we could soon find them plonked as quotations on photos of Buddhists and gurus, and ridiculed before the online world.

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