Why too much style over substance ruins connection

Dear Lovely Business Owner,

Too much style over substance?

Recently, I have noticed so many business owners and entrepreneur going for too much ‘style over substance.’

Style can mean many things. The reference here is that Tony Robbins said something along the lines of : Style over substance gets you taken seriously but without substance only takes you so far. Substance without style, rarely gets you in the door. ”

Recently, I have seen this sentiment being played out. Style for me, might  be that there is emphasis from someone on how many followers, or sales, or how much data that they might have gathered together over whether their audience feels listened to, valued or indeed heart, ie the substance part.

I have noticed that the ‘style’ part to be seen, and to be noticed is much prevalent than the substance and for me it is ruining the connection.

For example: there might be live videos or facebook lives, carried out, but there are  questions have been ignored, as they were out of the time; which comes across as lack of care, and indeed substance.

Obviously, if the numbers go into hundreds, or thousands this can be much harder to achieve;  yet the principles are the same

For me, this is why I admire Madalyn Sklar who runs the most successful Tweet Up, called ‘Twitter Smarter.’

She has a team of four or five greeters who welcome everyone, acknowledge everyone and ensure that every question is answered. In turn, every participant feels seen, feels valued and feels heard so it is no wonder it is as popular and as successful as it is and as it continues to be.http://www.madalynsklar.com

Or there might be a wonderful looking website, yet nobody seems to get back to people, or respond to any social media activity as they are too busy.

I have even heard recently of people asking for feedback, just as a ploy to create connection, when they had already decided on a particular graphic for a website.

These are cases of too much style over substance. Granted some style is of course needed. We have to present ourselves as professional as possible or not depending on what our brands is

. We need to be in alignment  about the how we look and our business looks in a way that is in keeping with our brands and our business’s message and values.

Yet you will still need to create emotional connection with people, which for me is where there can be a lot of room for improvement.

Showing your human side, that you are not perfect or indeed a robot endears you to others; instead of pushing them away. Yet the overhang of the masculinity of business is still there.

For example: many are afraid to say: I am not so good at the technical side of business, like me, or number-crunching like me, yet I am brilliant at the relationship-side of business.

Whilst other people might be less creative and much better at number-crunching, or putting their systems and structures in place  to create a product or service. It is rare that everyone is perfect or good enough at all aspects of business.

Recently, when I wrote a blog about PR being like going clothes shopping with your dad, ie very awkward, it struck a nerve with quite a few people. They said they even the thought of putting themselves forward to the media, felt deeply uncomfortable, even though they knew the power of it.

This for me is connected to this issue of people preferring to stay behind their screens, or their facades of everything in their business being perfect. Personally, I find this sad .

When people  could share their flawed and human side even a little bit more in their content then it would create much more emotional connection. I see this is covering up a number of rising mental health issues in small business owners and entrepreneurs, which I will be writing about next week.

I know when I have shared my struggles with systemising and structuring my courses, or even spending too much time on my own in my office, more people and more people have hopped a little closer to me, which was lovely.

When all looks perfect it consciously and subconsciously,  ie too much style; I believe puts people off. When they sense that you are not brilliant at everything, I believe it creates a more authentic human connection; ie substance.

Even one of the most successful female Speakers and coaches Mel Robbins shared that she did not consider herself an expert, rather a student still who had made and still was making many mistakes. Did this endear her to her audience and cause her to sell out her ninety-day programme? You bet. http://www.melrobbins.com

I’d love your thoughts below about this,

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Love Carrie x

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Carrie Eddins

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