atom thought
atom thought

How to have an authentic business

17 Mar 2015
By atom42

This week, the brand new ‘Authenticity Rules’ website went live.

atom42 Director, Paul Egan, was invited to talk to the website’s creator, Craig Goldblatt, on the subject of authenticity in business. The video is transcribed below.

CG: When you get to the end of your life; when you’re in your rocking chair and you look back at the last 40, 50 years of your business life, what’s most important for you to create?

PE: You really want to be proud of what you’ve done on a personal level.

Day to day, you tend to think about what your business needs, what the current challenges are, solutions to all the problems that you’re trying to solve.

Quite often, you get a mini-snapshot of this whenever you get to the end of the year and you’re starting to think about your New Year’s resolutions. You look back on the year: are you really proud of what you’ve done?

For me, a business is very personal. It’s very important to me to be able to reflect and to be able to be really comfortable with what we’ve done; what we’ve done as a business and what my part has been.

CG: Tell us more about your business; how it’s grown and how you’ve grown it with authenticity

PE: I work for atom42, we’re an online marketing company. Our business really centres around people. Everybody knows how it’s easier to keep customers than to win new ones, easier to to retain the best staff than it is to hire new talent.

It became quite obvious early on that you can align what you do as a business with what you want to do as people. We’re very fortunate that we’ve had most of our clients for a number of years now. We tend to keep the clients that we win, and we do that by building up that level of trust and connection with them.

We like to get really close, really engrained in our clients’ business, so that we’re almost like their internal online marketing department. But that can only happen if they trust us.

So, we’re transparent with our invoicing, we admit mistakes, even if we don’t think they might find out. We encourage them to give us constructive feedback like we give it to one another.

For us, it’s really about people and relationships, and there’s no real difference between maintaining the personal need to have strong relationships and genuine connections with people and a business need to have strong connections and relationships.

CG: When you look at your values; honesty, integrity, passion, trust, commitment, what’s really most important to you right now?

PE: I think number one is integrity. If you don’t live with integrity then it’s impossible to have a genuine connection with another person.

Secondary to that, I think compassion. It’s very easy for me, as someone who’s quite experienced at what I do, to see somebody who works within atom42 and is perhaps more junior, making a mistake. It’s very easy for me to see how they could have done it better.

I think it’s very valuable if you can be compassionate. First of all, it makes you not angry any more, which is great for you. It’s also great for them, because then you’re more likely to be helpful to them.

CG: From an authenticity point of view, if you were to give one or two pieces of advice to an 18/19-year old looking to really grow and develop themselves in life and their business, what’s your advice?

PE: The first thing I’d say is: “What do you want to achieve in life?” I guess it comes back to your point earlier about values. You need to know who you are in order to know what it is you want to do and what you want to achieve.

The next question is: how are you going to achieve that? In order to figure that out, you need to be very selective about who you listen to. There are hundreds of people who claim to know the secrets of life or the secrets of work. But actually a lot of them are just trying to write a new article for their website, or whatever it might be.

If you’re really clear about who you are and what you want to achieve, then where you need to go to figure out how to get there, for me that would be an authentic and really helpful piece of advice. I think!

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