You live in a pretend world where fears, anxieties, and problems are covered with smiles, laughter, and fake conversation.

In your pretend world, you post pictures on social media of the beautiful family, the nice car, and that expensive vacation. In the real world, you question your spouse’s fidelity. Your kids are barely speaking to each other. And the car was bought to make you feel good. In reality, the extra debt puts a choke hold on the little breath you have left. If nothing changes, you’ll be fine.

But you’re not fine. You pretend.

And so does everyone else.

When you pull back the layer of crap people tell each other, you find the truth.

You find honesty. Honesty is a glass of iced water after a long walk in the sun. Not only refreshing, it relieves pain. It gets rid of fake friends, fake love, and all the pretendness you don’t want to be.

Your business lives in the same pretend world.

You protect family, friends, employees, or your own ego. You bear the weight of the business problems so everyone else will be fine.

Customers hear things like:
We offer fast, friendly, reliable service.
You’ve had the rest, now try the best.
We’re a family-run business.
Our customers are treated like family.

In this pretend world, you’re telling customers fairy tales.

You think you’re being honest. The thin ounce of honesty weighs about as much as a happy picture of the bickering family.

Customers want to buy your stuff. The good ones want to buy from people they trust. In your pretend world, they won’t trust you until they know you’ll protect them from their problems.

As long as you play pretend, customers will never know the real you. They’ve heard the pretend stories before, so until you peel away your pretendness, they will evaluate you against the other pretend stories.

Here’s how you can peel away the pretend in your business.

Go to a quiet space and craft a list of your beliefs.
Pick a favorite beverage – spiked or not.
Relax, no distractions. No phones, emails, DM’s, kids, customers, etc.
Ask yourself, what do YOU believe in when it comes to business?
Write down EVERYTHING that comes to your consciousness. It doesn’t matter if it’s good or not. Right now, quantity is more important than quality.
Keep writing until you get to 100 beliefs. You’re gonna struggle.
When you struggle, use the WHY technique. Ask yourself why that belief is important to you. Whatever comes to your mind first, write it down. Then ask why that is important to you. Again, write down the first thing that enters your consciousness.
Using the why technique will easily give you 100 statements. Some will be repeated. It doesn’t matter. Keep writing.
Don’t worry if you write something that will upset someone. This is your private list for now.
Once you get to 100 answers, go back through your list and highlight the answers that did not have a pretend answer. You can identify pretendness through cliché. If words or phrases are used by competitors, or widely used by other industries, then you cannot own them. You cannot use cliché to escape the pretend world.

Living in a pretend world was fun when you were five.

In a pretend world you try to protect what you think you have.

You need courage to live in the real world.

Courage will come from your beliefs. When you use beliefs in your communications, good customers will drink that tall glass of water and keep coming back for more.

In the real world, all the real riches await the brave.

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