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October 26, 2023

Navigating the Smoke and Mirrors of Online Business with Integrity

Today I wanted to dive deep into a critical aspect of the online business world: how to avoid the smoke and mirrors and operate with integrity. 

If you’ve been following me for a while, you probably know that at JillFit, integrity is one of our core values—we believe it’s essential for success in the world of online business. But let’s be honest, the online landscape is rife with strategies to manufacture success, so it’s crucial to learn how to identify and avoid them.

In the online space, transparency and honesty are like rare gems. So many entrepreneurs are operating without integrity, and they often rely on overblown success stories and manufactured personal brands, rather than just being truthful. It’s astonishing how many business owners exaggerate their success, buy followers, likes, and views, and craft an illusion of prosperity. 

The question is, how do you know who to trust in this space where there are no checks and balances?

When someone claims to be a seven-figure business owner or brags about going from $50,000 a year to $50,000 a month, it’s essential to understand the nuances. Does the seven figures represent cumulative earnings over several years, or is it an annual income? Are those $50,000 months consistent, or did they happen just once during a product launch? That’s why it’s crucial to differentiate between authenticity and deception. 

Transparency marketing—the concept of providing complete information to help customers make informed decisions—should be a fundamental value in online business. As you explore your next steps, especially when considering coaching or mentorship, remember that your coach’s success should reflect your values. 

How you are reached by a mentor or coach reflects how they will teach you. As consumers, we have to learn to distinguish what’s real online from what can genuinely help us and how to avoid bad coaching investments.

Here’s a few things to consider when deciding to work with a coach or mentor:

1. Ask for testimonials and referrals. A good coach should have a wealth of testimonials, referrals, success stories, and case studies to share. If they are unwilling to provide these, it may raise questions.

2. How long has this person been in the business? Although experience doesn’t necessarily guarantee proficiency, it’s important to consider how many people they’ve worked with and how deep their understanding of the industry is.

3. Has this person had success in your industry or a similar one? Working in business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) markets can be vastly different, so it’s essential to know if the coach understands your industry’s unique challenges.

4. Do you vibe with this person? Can you see yourself hanging out with them? Your energy should align with the coach’s and the group they attract. If you’re not in sync, you might not thrive in the same environment.

5. Trust your gut. If something feels off, listen to your instincts. The sensation of “ickiness” shouldn’t be ignored. Remember that discomfort and fear can be part of growth, but true “ick” doesn’t belong in your business decisions.

It’s so easy to be swept away by the allure of social climbers and status-driven entrepreneurs, but it’s important to stay grounded, authentic, and true to your values. Trust your gut, prioritize transparency, and remember that integrity is your strongest asset in the online business world. As you explore coaching or mentorship opportunities, ensure that the person you choose is aligned with your values and vision. It’s the only way to navigate the smoke and mirrors and thrive in the online business arena.

In a world of smoke and mirrors, integrity and authenticity will always stand out. Remember: success in online business begins with trusting yourself.

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