When I started my professional organizing business, Simplified Living Solutions, I knew that it was extremely important to me that everything my team members or I did presented a very professional image. I wanted potential clients to know that we were a real company that they could take seriously and trust.
From the beginning, I made the decision that I would never tell anyone that I had another full time job. I was afraid that if people knew I worked another full time job, they might think that I was just sort of dabbling in professional organizing and that would not have projected the professional image that was so important to me.
I consider myself to be an extremely authentic, genuine person and so from the beginning this decision has felt like a lie to me. In all reality though, in the 7 years that I’ve been in business, there have been very few people that directly asked me if I had another job. So in that sense, I really wasn’t lying per se, but rather I was withholding information about myself. Nonetheless, whatever you want to call it – lying or withholding information – it felt so yucky!
It’s funny how this innocent enough decision became a big monkey on my back. Even though my decision to withhold that information wasn’t really shared with any of our clients and didn’t really impact the level of service we provided them, it really impacted me. That one minute decision started decaying away at my true authentic self. Even though most people weren’t even aware that I was withholding this information since they never asked, I knew that I was lying – or that I had made a decision to lie.
That’s one thing that has been so freeing about leaving my “real job”, I can begin to confess, and let go of, these little white lies. In the end being able to do that will bring me closer to living a more authentic life which is truly what I desire. What I’ve learned from all of this is that even though the decision I made to tell a little fib didn’t really impact anyone else, it had a very strong impact on me. I found that this decision alone caused me to be a little more guarded in my interactions with clients than I wanted to be. I love nothing more than having real conversations, with real people about real stuff and you can’t do that 100% authentically if you’re not being 100% authentic.