Do you always tell the truth in business?

“Tell the truth. Tell the truth. Tell the truth. Because the truth has legs. It’s the last thing that will remain standing in the room when everything else has gone.”

I was listening to @elizabeth_gilbert_writer’s conversation with @gwynethpaltrow on the @goop podcast while driving to a client meeting yesterday and I found myself still deliberating on this moment many hours later.

It had me thinking about how many times as business owners we’re afraid to “tell the truth”. And I don’t mean to imply we spend our lives outright lying… it’s more that we bite our tongues, or say a censored version of what we’re really thinking, or downplay a situation that involves a tonne of work, or deflect, or answer an email or text at 9pm even though its outside “business hours”, or say yes when we really should have said no!

Why do we do this? The lightbulb answer to me was “out of fear”.

  • Fear of what someone might think of us.

  • Fear of how our real answer might be interpreted.

  • Fear of being perceived to be seeking recognition.

  • Fear of sounding long-winded.

  • Fear of a client questioning our fees.

  • Fear of letting someone down.

  • Fear of not being enough.

How different might we feel if we more conscious of telling the truth?

Explaining to a client the work and cost involved in the “out of scope” addition they’re asking for instead of just saying “yes”.

Setting boundaries and expectations around response times and actually abiding by them.

Confidently communicating our workflow upfront so a client understands and values the process of editing their photos will take 4-6 weeks and not 4-6 days.

Accepting praise gracefully in appreciation of a damn hard job well done, instead of deflecting or giving the “it was nothing” response. Because it wasn’t nothing. You gave it EVERYTHING.

It takes courage to always tell the truth. And some days we’re at our limit and just don’t have it in us… and that’s okay.

But on the days you DO find your courage, in the words of Elizabeth Gilbert, “Reward yourself. Give yourself a gold star. You were brave.”

Tahnee Sanders