ONE SPARK

Bring Your Best Self to Build Your Business

Web designer advises being your own inspiration

Wren Lanier gave her speech, "You Won't Change the World by Biting Your Tongue" on April 19.
Jade Douso
Wren Lanier speaks to the audience at the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts.
Jade Douso
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Wren Lanier said the key to building a successful business is to just be yourself. The web designer from Richmond, Va., spoke to those in attendance of her One Spark speech "You Won't Change the World by Biting Your Tongue" about the importance of personal authenticity when building a business.

Lanier broke down the criteria for building authenticity into five parts: Honesty, making tough choices, bringing your best self, being your own inspiration and taking action. 

Being honest with yourself and others, especially co-workers and bosses, was one of the main points Lanier stressed. She told the crowd that living in fear of what others think of you is not conducive to personal growth. The best thing to do is to just put it all out there. 

"You've got to bring yourself," Lanier said. "The more you share yourself, you are less likely to shock people." 

She also introduced the concept of Self-regulation, which to Lanier means bringing your best self. It's important to be honest with others and but it's also imperative to a business to have self-awareness, she said. Be aware of your strengths and weaknesses but focus on making your strengths stand out.

Lanier told those in attendance to be their own inspiration: Looking at someone else's creativity and judging yourself on it is unhealthy. 

"You're never going to achieve brilliance by following someone else's star," Lanier said.

The last point Lanier left the crowd at the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts with: Take action. If you don't like the way something is, change it. And if something doesn't exist yet, create it. 

"Talk is cheap and talk is easy," Lanier said. "You bring to the world what you want to expect."

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