If you and your brand aren’t in sync, customers know you’re faking it.

To ensure that the business you’ve implemented is real—and not fake or disingenuous—take some time to reflect. Just because someone tells you to run your business a certain way, you don’t have to listen. It must feel right to you. And if it doesn’t, change it. Start by choosing three words that describe your business and its essence. These words might be part of your mission statement, and in the end, they should describe the kind of experience you want for each and every one of your customers.

As president of the American Wine School, Marianne Frantz uses the following words to describe her customers’ experiences: sip, learn and savor. She measures success in terms of a flawless event or a well-attended wine tasting. Making attendees happy is the most rewarding element of what she does as a wine educator. Best of all, she’s in sync with her personal brand, and customers know she’s real.

Let’s face it. You know a fake when you see one. To make sure you don’t fall into that trap, read Life Lesson 16 in Real You Incorporated.

Have you chosen your three essence words? Share them with us!