Monday, September 19, 2011
Up Close and Personal
A friend of mine recently told me I absolutely must get a web cam. He said it would be really fun and a way to take my consulting practice to the next level. I could record personal videos. I could also sit down at my computer and have actual live face-to-face conversations with my clients. I could supply a webcam for them (included in my consulting fee) if they don't already have access to one. They are fairly inexpensive- around $20.00. This is such an excellent idea because some of the folks I work with are not local. It's impossible to meet in person so we do it the old-fashioned way- telephone calls, computer instant message, FaceBook and email.
The whole 'Live on Camera' idea, however, presents a whole bunch of new issues. The beauty of networking or conducting a business through Social Media, email or over the phone is that no one actually has to see me or my environment. I can present a perfect image of myself and my whole life. Friends and clients only see what I want them to see.
Remember The Jetsons television show? Everything was computerized in George Jetson's world. They didn't have telephones, they took video calls. If Jane (his wife) happened to just roll out bed when a call came in, she stuck her head under a contraption that instantly did her hair and make-up. This way, she always gave the impression of being (and looking) perfect, even though there were times she obviously wasn't.
I am impatiently waiting for someone to actually invent such a device! Until then, I have to work with what I've got.
This means I am going to have to put in a little extra effort, especially if I want to present the illusion of perfection. But I am always talking and writing about being authentic, being REAL.
This raises an important question:
If I fuss and primp and take extra care to create a perfect picture before I get behind the camera, doesn't that sort of make me a hypocrite?
The last thing I want to be is hypocritical. I hate it in myself. I despise it in others. Be who you are. Never pretend to be something you are not. It's easier to admit your faults than to hide them. Do what you want and say what you feel because those who mind don't don't matter and those who matter don't mind. These are just a few of my personal favorite mantras and what I wish to convey to others. I believe these are the keys to living a successful, authentic, happy life!
Yes, I know I can turn the camera on and off any time I want. So if things are not in order, I can just avoid it. Schedule my live on-line appointments when I have everything all set and ready to go. Most of the time, I will probably be doing exactly that. All my consultations are scheduled in advance. But what if I have a great tip or an idea I want to record immediately so I don't forget? How about the client who wants to speak with me right away? They need me to talk them out of eating an entire cheesecake and a telephone pep talk just won't do. Would it be fair to put them off for an hour while I do my hair and makeup? Or insist they message me instead? Lie and tell them I am not at home? If I am front of my computer and they know I am, why wouldn't I be willing to turn on the camera to chat? Because my hair isn't done? They are paying for my services and paying me well. They deserve to get what they pay for and more.......don't you think?
So I sat down and thought about all this for awhile. If I decide to get behind the camera, what would people actually see?
Well, right off the bat, I can guarantee they are NOT always going to see this:
This is a candid shot of me taken when I was out with friends. The friend who actually snapped this photo just happens to be a professional photographer. It's a great picture. I have it posted everywhere but this is not how I look all the time.
Most of the time, this is what they're gonna get:
I work primarily from home. I always make sure I am presentable, but I am busy just like everyone else. I only fuss if I am going out or meeting with clients. My hair is always aggravating me so most of the time I have it up in a big clip and I can't read a thing without my glasses!
They might actually view my apartment which isn't always as neat as a pin. I no longer have an actual office in my home. It's being used as a spare bedroom so business is conducted at my kitchen table. Not very professional, but it's the best I can do for now.
They will most likely see my cat, P'aqu, walking all over my computer keyboard and hear me scolding him. He is always demanding my undivided attention. Or they might see him in the background, shredding up my latest issue of Bon Appetit magazine. He also does this for extra attention.
They might see me half asleep and slumped over my computer early in the morning, sipping coffee. Perhaps they will catch a glimpse of some not-so-eco-friendly products or even a plastic bag!
Do I really want clients and prospective clients to see this sort of stuff? Not really. Especially when I take a personal stand for health, wellness and protecting the environment. Believe me, I try to practice what I preach but there are times I fall short, just like everyone else. We can't be perfect all the time. Racing about to put myself and my surroundings in tip-top shape to impress others or to keep up a certain image is just going to wear me out. It will take energy away from my true passion and purpose- HELPING OTHERS. How can I possibly tell anyone to be authentic if I am constantly white-washing everything for appearance sake?
I am getting tired just thinking about all this..............
And that leads me to this: trying to be perfect is exhausting! Nothing will subtract years from your life faster than working overtime trying to present yourself in the most flattering light. As a result, you will be tired all the time, you will make poor eating choices, your relationships will suffer, and you will begin to find faults and problems with everything and everyone around you. Why? Because no one can keep up that kind of pace for very long. You will be stuck in a never-ending cycle of covering up flaws, mistakes and short-comings. You are presenting an image of yourself that is not authentic. And when others discover this about you., they will be disappointed because they were expecting something else. This is why most relationships fail. In the very beginning, we are on our best behavior. Everything is perfect. We are perfect. It's not until we are comfortable that we begin to let our hair down. If we pretended to be something we are not just to impress the other person, imagine their surprise when they learn who we really are!
Relax. Be who you are. Present to the world the genuine article: YOU in all your shining glory- flaws and all. You are beautiful exactly as you are and the world deserves to see that beauty. When you present the perfectly polished version, you are robbing yourself and everyone around you. No one can really identify or compare with perfection. It is something they know they can never achieve. If you are trying to present a perfect image- you are actually pushing people away rather than drawing them close. This could be the very reason why you are alone..............
There's nothing more wonderful than the real, authentic you. And if you are not sure who that is, why not discover it for yourself? If you need a little help or a push in the right direction, send me an email or a message here. It would be my pleasure to chat with you.
As for the web cam, as soon as I finish posting this blog, I am purchasing one! I will let you all know when I am ready to "GO LIVE" and if you decide to tune in, I hope you will see a genuine, caring, loving person- UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL!
And this is my Daily Cyn.......