When you Embrace Imperfection and Reveal your Naughty Bits, This Magical Thing Happens

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I’m going to let you in on a little secret.

Perhaps its the best-kept secret in content strategy…yet a secret hiding in plain sight.

The secret? Your audience wants to see your naughty bits. Hear me out.

When I say ‘naughty bits’, I’m specifically referring to the pooch, the dark spot and the stretch marks of your business. You see, these are the three things every target audience member wants to see…but no one wants to show. Including your competition. Everyone is quick to share the highlight reel, but hesitant to expose the outtakes.

I’ll use myself as an example. When I started my first business, it was in an attempt to get and stay sober. I was a lush to say the least, and starting a kombucha bar and microbrewery seemed like a FANTASTIC idea. Because…why not open a bar and microbrewery when you’re trying to achieve sobriety? (Logical, right? Exactly.)

So I started my business, developed my formulas, ironed out my production and logistical strategies and set in motion the foundation for what would become one of the first and most successful kombucha bar/ microbrewery establishments in the Commonwealth of Virginia at the time. My highlight reel was teeming with photos of me serving fancy libations, twirling glass stems and doing all the things. It was great. But behind the scenes, there was a different story brewing.

Behind the scenes, I was desperately trying to stay sober. I was hoping you wouldn’t notice that I did not, in fact have a speech impediment and that I was actually inebriated.

i was hoping you’d not notice the smell of gin masked by Tom Ford Black Orchid seeping from my pores.

I was hoping you’d never see my naughty bits…with those bits being that I was failing miserably in my attempt at achieving sobriety.

The Pooch: The big gaping secret was that I was inebriated for a good few first months of my former business, and that pooch was spilling over into the public eye in very subtle ways. Sure I did my best to tuck it, cover it and hide it, but it was still there.

The Dark Spot: The dark spot was my fear that I wasn’t going to be successful: that ultimately it would all come crashing down when you realized my struggle.

The Stretch Marks: Though it started off grim, I was making efforts to achieve sobriety. Efforts I won’t disclose but they worked and continue working to this day. The stretch marks of my entrepreneurial experiences are tattoos in my growth as a seasoned, savvy business owner…and honey, I’m sleeved out.

So what gave, you’re wondering. At what point did I decide to get honest about my struggle?

When I was nominated for the 2013 National Outstanding Young Entrepreneur Award. I put myself and my FULL story out there…and I won.

The stretch marks of my entrepreneurial experiences are tattoos in my growth as a seasoned, savvy business owner…and honey I’m sleeved out.

…Then the Magic Happens

After you embrace imperfection, a funny thing happens. You discover the world isn’t quite so lonely. People, in a jacked-up-sort of way, start trusting you more. Why? When you embrace imperfection, your transparency fosters trust. You gain the buy-in of those believing you to be the SME (Subject Matter Expert in your industry).

When I chose to embrace imperfection in the public arena, I became a public figure for those secretly struggling. Young women across the nation would message me, telling me about how I inspired them to try to get and stay clean. Other young business owners battling addiction became comfortable with sharing their story, and began to reveal their naughty bits.

I’m not telling you to lay your reputation on the line. I’m not even telling you to bring your most personal struggles to the public arena. Frankly, what you choose to disclose is for you to decide.

What I AM telling you to do, is to discover your Pooch, your Dark Spot and your Stretch Marks and stop body-shaming your business: be okay with what that exposure looks like for you and how it may further solidify your stronghold over your audience.

  • Your Pooch: What is the gaping issue, story or hidden element that you’re afraid to say but is inherent to the core of how you do business? For one of my clients, the ‘Pooch’ was that she developed her business plan and set her trajectory in motion…while living temporarily in a homeless shelter. Another client? Some of their best ideas and content were created over happy hour drinks at the bar each week. Whatever your Pooch is, my dear, let it all hang out. You never know who’s waiting to fall in love with your pudge.

  • Your Dark Spots What is the fear keeping you from sharing this element of your story? Is that fear rational, or is it rooted in your own personal values conflict? Consider shedding some light on the heart of that darkness.

  • Your Stretch Marks: How have you grown past the danger point of your vulnerability and used what you’ve learned to further push the envelope of innovation in your industry? For me, my personal struggles with alcohol meant that I developed a rigorous standard for testing the %ABV in each stage of my kombucha production…because I knew I was my biggest critic. I wasn’t going to drink something that put my sobriety at risk. As a result of my over-the-top, above-and-beyond protocol for testing for alcohol in kombucha, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) invited me to help establish the standards for kombucha production in Virginia.

After you embrace imperfection, a funny thing happens. You discover the world isn’t quite so lonely. People, in a jacked-up-sort of way, start trusting you more. Why? When you embrace imperfection, your transparency fosters trust. You gain the buy-in of those believing you to be the SME (Subject Matter Expert in your industry).

We at BPC Content help our clients #embraceimperfection and move past the shame of their naughty bits by strategically leveraging them in order to secure their stronghold at the forefront of their industry. We’d love to do the same for you! Contact us today to schedule a consultation and let’s get started!

Oh—-and FYI, I’m still achieving that sobriety. Only today, with over 6 years and counting.