Lead With Your Authentic Heart and Good Business Will Follow

Authenticity is the outgrowth of listening to your heart and making decisions that align with your deeply held values.  Do this consistently in business and combine it with well learned and executed skills and magic happens.

It can be a struggle to run every decision through this filter. Sometimes the current is moving in a different direction. Occasionally “experts” will tell you that your method is not the best one. In the midst of the noise it’s easy to lose connection with your own voice and certainly challenging to listen to it, when all around you there are other opinions, ideas and strategies.

Good Business is tied up in integrity and an authentic heart. It’s also intimately connected with being about to see outside the box and even live outside the box! Being an authentic entrepreneur is not about being only unique. It’s about being true to yourself after exploring all possibilities – even the ones that are hard to see.


Authentic Business is Not Stuck in the Box

This morning I had the eye-opening experience of interacting with someone who appeared to live in very small rule dominated box that allowed no room for even common sense. The bus stop where I put my daughter on the public bus is on a rural but busy two lane highway. For many reasons the stop is poorly situated. It’s at a T- intersection where a variety of things are happening at one time. Those in the leg of the T are turning left or right and merging into both North and Southbound traffic running along the top of the T .

Southbound traffic is going straight or moving into the left hand turn lane. There is only one stop sign and that is on the  leg of the T that intersects the highway. In addition, there is natural gas pumping equipment next to the bus stop sign. Add in a location that has winter for 6 months per year and often ice and snow on the ground non-stop for the majority of that time. The leg of the T is the exit from a 700 family community. People at the stop sign are either on their way to work or school in the mornings. The rolling stop is a bit too normal as is people talking on phones or even texting as they get to that location.

Here comes the bus!

In order to protect the kids from the potential of sliding cars  and  other mishaps as much as possible, we have developed a ritual of how to park our cars and wait for the bus and then walk the kids to the door. The Bus has also paid attention and pulled up at the edge of a driveway about 50  feel south of the bus stop sign, so the kids can stand clearly off the road and not have to go anywhere near the natural gas equipment either. We’ve been doing this at this location for a number of years and it’s worked out well.

Last week a new bus driver arrived on the scene. The first day we encountered her she stopped the bus 50 feet north of us, even though we were standing where we always stand.  We walked up and I suggested to her that it was safer to move further up and she responded that her boss told her to stop right at the sign. So I called her boss who I’ve known for 15 years and explained the scenario. He agreed with my perception of the danger of that bus stop and with the safest place for the bus to actually load and unload passenger. He  said he would talk to new bus driver lady.

Today, she stops again 5o feet north of where we are standing. I walk my child along the roadway and past the natural gas pipes and say good morning. I ask her if her boss (Stuart) had spoken to her. She said he had and that he told her to follow the rules and stop at the exact place where it says “Bus Stop“.  I explained that he had actually agreed with me that further up was safer. She told me I should then ask the bus company to move the sign. I attempted to again explain the safety issues and she again explained to me that her job was not to think but to follow rules . {My words – a bit of sarcasm here.} She also proceeded to try and instill in me a fear that I was not allowed to complain because the bus was free. What?!! I pay for that bus with lots of taxes . And since when did riding a free bus mean giving up a right to safety and common sense and communication?

You may be wondering why I’m telling you this story. It has to do with THINKING for yourself versus rule or even crowd following.

It’s only in THINKING for yourself that you can build an

authentic heart centered business.

I pity new bus driver lady for her inability to grow beyond a rule follower. By not even considering alternatives, she is putting kids, riders and herself in a precarious situation. By the way – every other bus driver this year and in years past, does NOT stop at the sign in question, but moves up 50 feet to the safer location. And when I called her boss – Stuart – again this morning, he indicated that her perception of what he told her was incorrect and in fact he had told her to pull up next to the safe driveway.

Lead with your Authentic Heart and Good Business will follow is a powerful mantra even if you have a job instead of an entrepreneurial venture. Opening your brain to see possibilities outside a small narrow box of rules is so necessary for living life to it’s fullest. Examine the rules for sure. Many exist for good reason. But don’t ever give up your own authentic perceptions and understanding. Don’t negate what your own examination and intellect tell you. Nazi war criminals tried to use the excuse that they were only “following orders” and thus were not liable for their atrocities. That logic didn’t hold during the Nuremberg Trials and doesn’t hold today either.

What kinds of good things happen in business when you lead with your authentic heart?

For me, I have worked with this concept for a long long time.  For awhile I was swayed to a type of business that was fun, lucrative, certainly had integrity, but was not my true path. I made a lot of money and many friends. I had great experiences and ended up awarded on stage in front of 4000 people! But in the end, it was side step to my true calling . I think it was a chance for me to learn and grow in a different way, so I could return to my deepest self and be able to give more to my clients.

I have also been swayed by the marketing monster! So many “experts” are online sharing how to make more money; get more leads; bring in more sales; build a better funnel, etc..  Not to say all that information isn’t CRUCIAL for building an authentic business that is also financially sustainable and hopefully lucrative.  For a period of time I worked on structuring my entrepreneur coaching business in the manner expounded upon by the coaching sales gurus. It made logical sense for sure. The nagging doubt about parts of that ran through my brain and my intuition were addressed by one of my mentors as my own fear about stepping out and selling my services strongly. Interesting twist huh?

And for awhile I explored that too. Was my 25 years of  coaching experience not enough? Was I struggling with being unworthy of standing my ground and only accepting clients who could engage 100% in my Signature System and pay top dollar? Was my intuitive sense telling me to create multiple programs for different needs and even see a client once or twice if that’s all they required, just a fear?

I tried it their way. It worked. But I didn’t feel 100% right and in the end – over the past few months – I have forged my own marketing path combining the good things about my former mentors teachings and a lot of my own authentic heart centered understanding of how people operate and how entrepreneur business owners are best served. The proof is in the pudding – so to speak.

Since I brushed off the doubts laid at my feet by the “box” of how to market coaching services, and embraced all that I know to be true for me, magic has happened in my business!

In the past 3 months alone:

* I have been invited to be the featured entrepreneur speaker at my undergraduate University Thought Into Action Entrepreneur Program.

* I am the Kick Off speaker at Westminster College School of Entrepreneurship yearly  three day event – Lectures in Entrepreneurship.

* I’ve been a regular guest blogger on the well respected Launch and Hustle website for Digital Entrepreneurs

* I have been a Featured Guest on the Fearlessly Questioning Podcast with Joey Giangola

* I was Interviewed by Don Purdum this week on Unveil the Web Podcast

* Enstine Muki featured me as the Initial Blogger profile of 2015.

* I have two upcoming guest blog posts on well known entrepreneur blogs  (one being the wonderful Adrienne Smith’s blog) in the next two months.

* Oh- and I’ve grown my blog traffic by 300%, my comments by more than  that, and brought in the highest monthly income of my coaching career in this past month of January 2015.

Just today I was included on a exemplary list of 20 Top Bloggers to Follow. I was blown away by this  and in fact it was the tipping point that compelled me to write this post today! I was so honored, touched and grateful for what Enstine Muki wrote about me on this post.


Just One of 20 Top Bloggers


Authenticity is the outgrowth of listening to your heart and making decisions that align with your deeply held values.

Lead with your authentic heart (in all that you do)

and Good Business Will Follow



Deborah Tutnauer

Entrepreneur Business Success Coach at Deborah Tutnauer, LLC
Inspiring change in people for over 25 years, Deborah Tutnauer, MEd, MSWdigs deep to help authentic entrepreneurs move away from the stories that no longer serve them while clarifying and solidifying those that really do! Deborah helps frustrated entrepreneurs get exquisitely clear about meaning, purpose and expertise, then facilitates the creation of a financially sustainable and joyfully structured framework in which business and business people thrive.

Coaching both privately and in groups, Deborah is also a speaker, author, event leader and consultant. Creator of the Foundation and Framework Intensive, Question Master and Leader of the Entrepreneur Business Success Club, Deborah has been called an “Architect of Magical Business and Soul Structure”by her clients because she has a powerful ability to perform alchemy, changing passions and dreams into money and time by design.

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  1. says

    Deborah I didn’t know you also can be a good story teller until I read this post.
    I feel like I was there with you during your encounter with this robot (the bus driver). It only takes a programmed mind not to reason.

    That’s a good lesson for 2015. We have to jump out of the box to a wider surface. Out of the box is where there is room for growth. It’s where we have exposure and more energy.

    In life, some folks follow money while others follow their calling. Here is the point … if you follow your calling, money will follow you. If you follow money, you keep running behind it and become its slave.

    Reading your story, I see why you get featured everywhere and that’s just the beginning. They say “the sky is your limit” but with an “Authentic Heart”, you certainly will lift every limit.

    Thanks for the shout out in this post. I’m on the happy side and love what you do especially to keep our relationship going.

    It’s weekend dear friend so go have some fun ;)
    Enstine Muki recently posted…20 Top Bloggers & their blogs to follow in 2015!My Profile

  2. says

    Hi Deborah,

    It’s really eye opening to consider how many business owners and entrepreneurs think just like your bus driver and they uncompromisingly put their business at undue risk.

    I was actually talking over the weekend with my wife about the lessons we’ve learned about risk over the last ten years and for the first time I actually understand it.

    Risk isn’t about following rules or being stupid. It isn’t about being reckless and then defining it as as just a risk that comes with business. I’ve done that and learned that is being stupid!!!

    Their is a big difference between thinking about a bold move, accessing the positive and negative consequences, determining if I can life with the outcomes and then having a plan and strategies to execute in order to minimize the risk.

    In my opinion, the “experts” can be very helpful but not if what they are asking you to do doesn’t make sense for you or your business.

    That’s the key. How many business owners even know their business, their audiences and what or how they make a difference for people?

    My guess is it’s very, very few. Most of them are thinking about how they can make a difference for their own checkbooks.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with making an extreme amount of money. But, if that’s your only focus you will wind down a lonely and dangerous road of compromise that is filled with mistakes and ultimately regrets.

    Great post Deborah!!!! I love your story and how you make it practical from a business point of view.

    I hope you have an incredible week and thank you for the mention!!!

    ~ Don Purdum
    Don Purdum recently posted…Super Bowl Commercials Miss the Mark on Effectiveness! Is Your Marketing Missing the Mark?My Profile

    • says

      Such a powerful thought Don.
      “There is absolutely nothing wrong with making an extreme amount of money. But, if that’s your only focus you will wind down a lonely and dangerous road of compromise that is filled with mistakes and ultimately regrets.”

      As for the bus driver.. the situation made for a great story. At this point I may have squeaked to the bus company management a bit too much, as now ALL the bus drivers have been told they must stop at that sign rather than using common sense..and they all are. I have worked my way up the chain of command and am now in contact with the Colorado Department of Transportation to get the sign moved!!

      You are so right about how blind risk is just as bad an operating with blinders on. There is middle ground which requires understanding of what business you are in, and knowing the right questions to ask as you grow forward. So many don’t know even what to ask, so how could they possibly formulate a good plan? That is where coaches like and me come in!

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment Don!
      Deborah Tutnauer recently posted…How You Do Something is How You Do EverythingMy Profile

  3. says

    Hey Deborah,

    Wow, that bus driver needs an attitude adjustment. For those that always follow the rules even when they’re told not to needs a reality check.

    This reminded me of a position I once held in corporate America years ago. My boss at that time wanted me to do a few things that I just knew in my gut were wrong. He was the boss mind you but I know right from wrong and just like your example of the Nazi situation in this post this fell along the lines of being illegal.

    I didn’t follow his advice, I did get into trouble with him but the end result was that he was embezzling money from the company and because I didn’t follow his orders I was able to keep my job and moved to the corporate office while everyone else that followed his orders were fired and brought up on felony charges. Go with your gut girl, it will never fail you.

    I think at times we all have to do things our own way whether we’re told it’s wrong or not. To me you’ll never know unless you try and stepping outside the box and your comfort zone is sometimes just necessary. You followed your gut and look at you now.

    By the way, I’m excited to have you as a guest this year and the way you’re going you might not have time for much more.

    Great share Deborah and I intend to share this post as well. Wonderful lesson to learn here.

    Adrienne recently posted…16 People I Highly Recommend and WhyMy Profile

    • says

      Interesting story Adrienne about your corporate experience. I feel that there is probably so much of that kind of thing that goes on in “systems” throughout the world. And traditional education as it stands is not teaching our kids to think for themselves either. It is instead teaching them to be good rule followers and hoop jumpers, which is why my child has never attended public school.

      I find many who become entrepreneurs do so in part because they see the flaws in so many organizations and want to not only march to their own drummer, but work with high integrity. Like you Adrienne!

      Deborah Tutnauer recently posted…How You Do Something is How You Do EverythingMy Profile

  4. says

    Hi Deborah,

    Well, you actually just applied what I was talking about in my post today. You started your post by a pulling story, and I sure wanted to read it all.

    Oh my, we can only feel sorry for people like that, who are like pure robots, and seem to have left their human brain of their at home.

    Of course, if we are like this woman, as entrepreneurs, we’re dead :)

    My mother always encouraged me and my brother to think for ourselves and since children learn more by observing than by what their are simply told, I can tell you that she’s demonstrated lot of that quality all her life.

    I can say that I’m kind of like the opposite of that bus driver woman. I always think for myself, no matter what rules I’m given. And I follow them or not depending how logical they are to me.

    For example, I’m the kind of person who think that my health is my hands, not in the hands of a doctor. I’ve never believed that you must feel or look a certain way, at a certain age, or that you need someone to enjoy yourself.

    Those type of beliefs have served me well, and for many people I know they are kind of out of the box.

    We all have a unique brain for a reason. So let’s use it!
    Sylviane Nuccio recently posted…What Is Descriptive Writing And Should Bloggers Use It?My Profile

    • says

      We certainly do have a unique brain for a reason Sylviane!!
      And I too will always think for myself rather than blindly follow rules. From my perspective, this is one of the very important tenets of successful entrepreneurs. In order to create something you must be able to step outside the box.

      I’m in the process of writing an hour long talk that I’ll be presenting in March at a 3 day summit called Lectures in Entrepreneurship at Westminster College in Salt Lake City. The audience will be a mixture of undergraduates in the school of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial community members. A lot of what I’ll be sharing is this idea of gaining great clarity of heart and values, and making decisions from that place – not from a place of rules or expectations.

      Thank you for your comment Sylviane!
      Deborah Tutnauer recently posted…How You Do Something is How You Do EverythingMy Profile

  5. says

    Hi Deobrah,
    We’d love to have you guest post on our blog about how you’ve grown your blog traffic, comments and income. We are an ad network for bloggers that was started by bloggers. Our goal is to increase your income and influence. Your comments would be valuable and from a different niche than our typical blog, so we’d love to learn from you and share it with our bloggers.
    Blog on!
    Janet recently posted…65+ Bloggers Share their Top Post of 2014My Profile

  6. says

    Hello Deborah, and good morning!

    Hmmm…inability to grow beyond a rule follower? I’m not too sure. From the display of her pro-active stand even after your interaction and the call to her boss, I’d say she was unwilling, which has nothing to do with inability.

    I might be wrong in that—but I tend to hold people accountable and give them more credit for their use of brain matter. Cannot and will not are two distinct things.

    Thus this comment is from my ‘Authentic Heart’ for I deal with such personalities almost daily. I’ve had folks, heck, even in Church, who have said, “I’d do whatever my leaders told me to do, even if it was wrong…”

    What? Really?

    It’s been ten years now, on this path I chose for myself and one my wife and 12 children have encouraged me to walk. It’s about empowering and uplifting through fantasy stories. Yet the walk isn’t always easy or fun…especially when you’re not one who wants to beat on your own chest.

    Yeah, I’m talking about that Marketing Monster.

    I redesigned my business, website, installed new tools and even tweaked the funnel at the end of my books to make readers aware of the others available. Now what?

    My experience was very similar to yours. I have had results, but something just didn’t “fell right” because I was running after the whims of others and bending my message to the trends of society—rather than sticking to the mission and calling I feel I have with youth. To uplift, empower and encourage kids to be more than they are…

    So my wife said, “I think you’ve lost your WHY. Try being yourself, sweetheart.”

    “Hun, I don’t think people will like who I really am.”

    Ohhhhh, how wrong I was.

    Deborah, I can relate to your amazing achievements—for in the past few months, I’ve made more progress than I have in the past 9 years combined.

    Thank you for this article =)
    You, my friend, are bookmarked and I’ll be back…possibly with Chuck and a few friends.

    Have a great week!
    Jaime Buckley recently posted…Are You Condemning Your Kids to Poverty, Pregnancy & Prison? Read This.My Profile

    • says

      Good morning Jaime and welcome to my blog! I am thrilled to meet you through Sylviane. She has actually shared with me her appreciation of you, prior to today’s article.

      You are correct. There is the “inability” and then there is “unwillingness”. Though they appear the same at times, they are quite different. You have 12 kids!! I’m sure you can see this in them. I have only one, but in my teaching and psychotherapy career I have worked closely with thousands. Certainly there are times when someone is “unable”, but more often than not the inability is an unwillingness to think, or to change, or to try or to be uncomfortable or to risk or to just stop being lazy!. I am amazed every time (though I shouldn’t be) when my daughter is very clear that she “cannot” do something, and then I see her doing it because the motivation for it became higher!

      That Marketing Monster is a crazy one, isn’t it?!! I’ve marketed in so many different ways. I truly believe the path requires that we experiment and try on different methods and even philosophies. Each incarnation teaches up something about ourselves and about impact and then we modify. I don’t believe we ever really “Get There” because there it’s a journey not a destination. The success, the income, the satisfaction and joy are contained within the journey. And each time we “arrive” it’s also the beginning of the next leg!

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment Jaime! I’m glad you enjoyed your first visit here. I’m heading over to visit you as well!

      Deborah Tutnauer recently posted…Importance of Authenticity for Entrepreneurs in BusinessMy Profile

      • says

        TOTALLY agree, Deborah–we never really ‘get there.’

        You know what I think is crazy?

        The older I get and the longer my journey becomes, the more I see that the journey itself often changes the destination.

        …we rarely see our destination for what it truly is.

        • says

          I am in the process Jaime, of writing a speech/talk that I’ll be giving in March as the kick-off speaker for the 3 day event, Lectures in Entrepreneurship at Westminster College School of Entrepreneurship. The gist of my talk is on exactly this – the journey. They asked me to launch this event because my story is filled with so many twists and turns – very different than the predominant perception of an entrepreneur. As I was writing it, I realized that theme was all about authenticity and the journey. Funny how it worked out like that!
          Deborah Tutnauer recently posted…Four Myths About Coaching Plus One MoreMy Profile

          • says

            Well I wish you MUCH success in that venture! Fantastic =)

            This sparks another thought.

            For years I thought I was a failure. I’m a high school graduate, and had scholarships to several Universities…but I was too scared to go. After all, I was only 15 when I graduated with honors. My brother, brilliant man, also graduated and went to college at 14. I decided to work with my father until I got older–but never went back to school.

            Over the years, I’ve made a lot of money. Done things people still scratch their heads about. Yet I felt I was failing!

            WHY? Because I wasn’t getting to that specific end goal I had my sights on, that’s why.

            Job after job, contract after contract, I was thrown from one place to another. From making six figures to being homeless with my huge family (twice).

            Yet here I am, now pointed in the “right” direction…and at every turn, with every challenge…I am not forced to rely on others. Each point in my life where I thought I was failing, in reality, was honing me and shaping me, creating new skills and talents–drilling non-traditional perspectives into my brain, so I could do more with less.

            It was never failure, Deborah.
            No, I’ve learned since then that it was simply “Success in Motion.”
            Jaime Buckley recently posted…Why EVERY Mommy Blogger (and mommy) Should Connect With This BlogMy Profile

  7. says

    Hi, Deborah,

    First time on your blog after you left a great comment on mine today!

    I LOVE this article. I was just speaking this week to a colleague about how she and I give so much to our clients because we truly want to help. We don’t always “follow the marketing rules” when we do this – she and I answer every email we get from our readers – but it makes us feel good that we are giving back and helping from our heart.

    Thanks for summarizing in this post what she and I were trying to express.
    Sue Anne Dunlevie recently posted…The “F” Word And Creating A BlogMy Profile

    • says

      Glad you enjoyed it Sue and Welcome to my blog!

      Your “F” word article was absolutely wonderful. I’m glad we have met each other!
      The entrepreneurship journey has so many facets and discoveries, both within our business structure and decisions and of course within ourselves.

      I have found it takes great self-assurance and confidence to work from the heart and trust that it will unfold well – both in terms of impact on our market and of course financially.

      Thank you for stopping by Sue!
      Deborah Tutnauer recently posted…Why Customers Buy – Crucial ClarityMy Profile


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