Hey My Classy, BlackGirls!! Have you seen the Reality TV Show Catfish, wrote a business etiquette blogpost about it, like to read it??...here it goes!!
The Premise of Catfish is that two people have met online, communicate for months or even years and never meet or even have real video conversation. They only exchange pictures and sometimes the pictures are not of them. What??....Who can pretend to be somebody that they are not for months or years?
I started thinking in terms of Business Etiquette, "Are we sometimes Professional Catfish?"
Do we sometimes represent one identity but really have something totally different going on?
This is the OUCH Moment.
One of the issues that I have always struggled with is time. My Business is based on Business Etiquette and Class. At my first event I was late-to my own event. Arriving 20 minutes before the doors were supposed to open. There is nothing about being late that screams Business Etiquette. Yeah, I was a Professional Catfish. Saying one thing, painting one picture and then doing something totally different. I survived, cried and took several seats. Now, I am at my events 1-2 hours ahead of time depending on the event.
Here are 10 Tips on Maintaining whatever Business Etiquette that you wish to establish and avoid the dreded Professional Catfish syndrome which can happen to any of us.
1. Be Honest. One of the first issues with Catfishers is that they are not Honest, mostly dishonest with themselves.
2. Figure out the story that you are telling professionally and what problem you can solve. Tell it to yourself and others over and over again. I can't tell the story of being an engineer, Im not one.
3. Do not look at somebody else and try to impersonate them. This is the FIRST thing that a Professional Catfish will do, repeatedly. They will snatch somebody elses business idea, name or logo, tweak it a little bit and "copy-cat." This rarely succeeds.
I LOVE RealityTV. Okay, I live for it. And One of the most scandelous things that I have ever seen anybody do was when on Real Housewives of Atlanta, Kenya Moore decided to create the "Stallion Booty" video and then commenced to bad talk Mrs. Phaedra Parks for her own original idea of having the "Donkey Booty" Workout video. I know, silly and a hot mess. Like I said, I live for it! The moral of the story is, dont get "shiny-eye-syndrome."
Display Business Etiquette...Stay in your professional lane and do it like only YOU can!
4. Take some time to figure out WHY you are a Professional Catfish. We always feel busy but there is always time for self reflection. This will help you to be more proficient and "less catfish" when you jump back into the swing of things. You may just need 15 minutes, or as much as a week. Evaluate.
5. Be inspired by somebody, but do not be a knockoff. Certainly, there are some professional characteristics of others that you want to possess, but you dont need to become their carbon copy. When I first started Classy, BlackGirl. Women's groups of various names started popping up. Klassy with a K, and groups that were clearly copying. At first it was irritating, and then it became amusing because people were trying to recreate ME. That is the problem in catfishing, you can only be yourself. Eventually the truth will be revealed. Improving means being yourself, but being better.
6. Realize How Frustrated it Can Make "The Catfished." When people put stock in you and expect nothing but success from whatever endeavor you have together, understand that faking it until you make it, in business knowledge and proficiency, is uncool. Stay in your lane or prepare to develop a very poor reputation for Catfishing People. Lying about who you are in business is professional death.
7. Remember, Catfishing is NOT the Highest form of Flattery. Taking on somebody else's professional persona is NOT the highest form of flattery. It is irritating for the business or professional that is copied. A proper professional person will posses good Business Etiquette, they will grin and bear you, but they will not like or do business with you. You will be the gossip talk of networking events far and wide.
8. Take a Tea or a Coffee...with that business person that you have contemplated catfishing. You can avoid catfishing when you actually KNOW the person(and the work) behind the business. If you invite them for tea you not only build an alliance you also get to know them as a person, get to learn about how you can be assets to each other instead of you copying them. #PowerTip
9. Don't Back Down if You Aren't Catfishing! On the Flipside, if you are NOT a catfish and you have an idea similar to another business professional then stand your ground and understand that there is nothing new under the sun. Work hard to be better than your professional competition and if you are ever confronted with the fact that you may be a copycat, be prepared to share with anybody who will listen HOW you are the best professional solution. Bad talking another business is never neccesary, but uptalking your OWN business will show people that you are hardly a Catfish!
10. Lastly, When rightly accused of Catfishing, own up to it and say, "Yeah, there is an issue here." And while you don't need to dwell on it for a long time, you must acknowledge this mask that you are hiding behind. Because I know that I have an issue with time I work to head it off at the pass days before an event so that I avoid having the look of lacking Business Etiquette.
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Sharelle D. Lowery Business, Etiquette & Lifestyle Blogger | Author Profit Driven Affliliate Marketer Want to Take Your Business or Brand Viral?...LET ME SHOW YOU NOW!