>Inspiring Your Authentic Week

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Inspiring Your Authentic Week

Be the brand

Posted: 30 Jun 2008 12:18 PM CDT

In his book “Raising the Bar” Gary Erickson, founder of Clif Bar Inc, tells the story of how he came to the point of selling the business he had founded, because that was the conventional thing to do.

Gary was sitting in the meeting with the buyers, and the lawyers, and his business partner, and a cheque for $60 million with his name on it.

He felt uncomfortable and told the meeting that he had to go out for a walk. When he came back he explained that he could not go through with the sale. He not only lost the $60 million, but he had to find another $60 million to pay his partner.

He could not go through with the sale because he knew that the trade buyer would not honour the values and purpose of the business that they had built.

Today Clif Bar is one of the worlds leading producers of sports food and a tremendously inspiring business that is committed to creating great products sustainably and with great working practices.

Starting or running a business can be challenging. Fortunately there are all sorts of books and advisors to tell you how things are done. If your business is an authentic business not all of the more conventional advice will sit comfortably with you.

A brand is defined by the behaviour of the business and as the business evolves that brand may be articulated to help customers and staff understand what the business is about.

The difference with an authentic business, is that the brand is defined by the authentic purpose, values and ideals of the people involved.

Authentic businesses are a personal expression, the artistic creation of their founder. They are not just about money and business, they stand for something significant in the lives of their creators.

When seeking advice for an authentic business it is important to remember that most advisors are unlikely to really understand the concept of authentic business.

I have worked with many people setting up their authentic businesses (see list below) and often they have been quite demoralised by some of the advice they have been given.

The important thing to remember is that if your business is going to be authentic – you ARE the brand. Your values and beliefs define how the brand behaves and no one else is better qualified to design the business than you.

If you are feeling uncomfortable with a route it may be because that route is off brand and you need to trust your intuition and find another route that feels better for you.


Drop me a line if you want some authentic support with your business.

with love


neil crofts  – coach, consultant, facilitator
Authentic Transformation – join the evolution
UK mobile 07775 658534

First man: sometimes I’d like to ask God why he allows poverty, famine and injustice to continue when he could do something about it’.
Second man: what’s stopping you ?
First man: I’m afraid he might ask me the same question

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About Neil Crofts

Writer, coach and consultant on authentic business and authentic leadership. Neil has inspired and motivated hundreds organisations and thousands of individuals to their highest potential. Neil has written three published books and numerous e-books. Neil is a coach, facilitator and consultant helping people and businesses find their authentic purpose and use it to inspire and motivate them to be everything that they can be. Neil has raced cars, been self-employed, run a company and sold it, been employed by large companies, experienced growth and contraction at the heart of the dotcom boom, tried changing companies from the inside and from the outside as European Head of Strategy at internet consultancy/rock band Razorfish. Neil has been independent for over 10 years and delivered his Authentic Leadership message to a diverse range of business audiences including people at BP, Shell, Microsoft, Kraft Foods, MSN, Jamie Oliver, South Gloucestershire Council, National Blood Transfusion Service, KaosPilots Business School, Fashion company By Malene Birger, German technology company Eleven.
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