The Authentic Entrepreneur Philosophy

Authentic — If something is authentic, it is real, true, or what people say it is.

Synthetic — Synthetic products are made from artificial substances, often copying a natural product.

The whole philosophy of ‘The Authentic Entrepreneur’ revolves around one guiding principle … creating a life aligned with your deepest values to empower all areas of your life and live authentically.

Most people live their lives synthetically, often competing and comparing themselves with other people, racing through life striving to ‘get’ something … only to wake up when they’re much older with a whole host of regrets about not living the life they wished they’d had.

“On their deathbeds, people don’t think about their work or their life experiences or the items remaining on their to-do list. They think about love and family.”
— Anais Nin

I know I lived my life like this for a LONG time.

This isn’t just theory. This has been backed up by research by people like Bronnie Ware, an Australian nurse who spent several years working in palliative care, caring for patients in the last 12 weeks of their lives.

She recorded their dying epiphanies in a blog called Inspiration and Chai, which gathered so much attention that she put her observations into a book called The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.

Ware writes of the phenomenal clarity of vision that people gain at the end of their lives, and how we might learn from their wisdom. “When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently,” she says, “common themes surfaced again and again.”

There’s nothing like the very real reality of death to remind us of what’s important in life.

Here are the top five regrets of the dying from her extensive research along with my expanded versions of how this relates to living an authentic life:

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

Living a life true to yourself revolves around getting clarity about who you are, what your values are and what drives you and living life from that place. Not living a life of ‘people-pleasing’ and trying endlessly to meet the expectations of others. You can never meet the expectations of everyone else … but you can live a life congruent with your own values if you know what they are.

2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.

Working hard isn’t a ‘bad’ thing. Working hard in a job or career that doesn’t fulfil you by not being aligned to your values is hard … it drains energy and makes you feel like your life is drifting away. The opposite is to create a career that’s aligned, or linked, with your highest values. That way you don’t mind working hard because it fulfils you. Most people never do this.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

We are taught from a very early age to ‘fit in’ with societal norms. Authority figures tell us how to think and act, injecting their values and belief systems onto us which we then pick up and ‘think’ it’s who we are (it’s not). Then we go to school and are told how to think and behave, often learning lots of ‘stuff’ that isn’t aligned with our values. And, the overriding context is that expressing your own feelings is something that ‘shouldn’t be done’, we have to keep a stiff upper lip and carry on regardless. Having the courage to express feelings is fuelled by having clarity around your values and purpose, and being comfortable knowing that you are keeping your word to yourself. Expressing your feelings isn’t bad, it’s very healthy. Suppressing feelings creates illness in your mind and your body. Choose expression over suppression.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

Staying in touch with friends does take energy and time. Most people don’t tend to do it because they are either too ‘worn out’ from life, often because they are asleep at the wheel and not living authentically, or, the friends they have are ones that take their energy away vs. give them energy. They are living a life of trying to be friends with everyone which can be overwhelming and almost impossible. Some friends are for a season, some for a reason, and others for a lifetime. When you create an authentic values-led life it helps you identify who you value in your social group, the people who you love to be around. When you do this, staying in touch becomes a pleasure, not a chore.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

This statement is so profound if you slow down and understand why. Many people think happiness is something to be attained. ‘When I get that car, then I’ll be happy’, or, ‘when I learn this amount of money, then I’ll be happy’. Unfortunately, things outside of your inner self and your inner world only give fleeting ‘hits’ of excitement and enjoyment. True fulfilment is a choice that comes from the inside out, much like the statement says, ‘I wish that I had let myself be happier’. When you live a values-led life with raised awareness about who you want to ‘be’ in the world that choice becomes much easier.

Bronnie’s research aside, I too have been on a long search to understand how to create an authentic life I love to lead and it took me on a journey over many, many years with several false starts, failures, moments of enlightenment, setbacks, and the incredible experience of being coached by some of the world’s best in this area.

What I discovered along the way is that there is a way, a system, you can use to get clarity about what your purpose is. I then created my own system from everything I’d experienced that worked for me and my coaching clients.

There are 12 stages.

Here’s a brief summary which revolves around: Purpose – Plan – Progress.

Purpose

You and Your Values
Your Life Leadership List
Your Purpose
Your Future … 5, 10, 25 years from now

Plan

Your Mission and Vision
Your Goals
Meaningful Metrics
Your Purposeful Plan

Progress

Creating Space and Getting Organised
Your Progress Systems
Your Systems Checklist and Healthy Habits
Your Personal Internal Commitment and Your Word

Here’s what some of my clients have said about working with me:

“After I met David, my business changed because I started to learn the fundamentals of being a proper leader and realise my vision for the business, to turn things around. David has taught me to be more patient and strategic, and helped me to believe in myself as a business owner and leader.”
— Graham Simmons

“The coaching has given me an environment to express my dreams, fears and problems and then be shown ways to deal with them. This has, of course, had a huge impact on my life. I am less stressed, more in control, a better leader and — importantly — my business is stronger than ever.”
— Adam Goff

“[Working with David] has allowed me to spend more time as a father, husband and friend! I am now achieving the business that I need to get done within working hours, which has meant that work has become a part of my life rather than the sole purpose of my being! I am now making it home in time to spend time with my children before reading them their bedtime stories and putting them to bed. My relationship with the kids and my wife is better than ever and our home is now a much happier place!”
— Jamie Harding

“After meeting David my business changed because I fully understood the purpose of a vision, and I now have the knowledge, experience and systems to augment my people and my organisation in pursuit of the delivery our vision — powerful stuff!”
— Tim Bretman

“[Because of my work with David], my life changed because I am much happier in my own skin, spend more time with the family and have a much clearer understanding of what makes me happy. I am also more reflective and able to make choices that reward me.”
— Mike Jenvey

“[After working with David], I started to understand the relationship between me and how the business functioned. Fundamentally, the business was a reflection of me and if I wanted it to change, then I had to change. I took back control and began to realise what was important to me and the business. As I slowed down, I became more and more aware of the issues that were holding us back.”
— Stuart Brook

I’ll be sharing my whole system on my next Authentic Entrepreneur Program.

If you’re ready for transformation and heading towards a crossroads in your life and business then this program is for you. Contact me if you’re ready to progress to the next level in your life — personally and professionally.

Love and wellness,

David.

“Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let out true selves be seen.”
— Brene Brown