Be Your Authentic Self: Why Self-Awareness & Owning Your Authenticity Help You Achieve More Success by Elisa Schmitz
Sarah Hofstetter has always been unapologetically herself. Her parents divorced when she was 13, then both remarried, creating a blended family. Sarah could be found picking up after the younger kids and helping to balance the family checkbook while constantly packing bags to bounce between her parents’ homes.
Sarah’s maternal grandfather – a rabbi who spoke seven languages – emigrated before World War II, arriving in America with nothing. Her paternal grandparents – survivors of the Auschwitz concentration camp – met each other on a death march and made their way to America. Guided by her grandparents’ example, Sarah has been keeping kosher, observing the Jewish Sabbath and striving to stick to the 613 commandments of the Torah her entire life.
Sarah views her turbulent childhood and devout religion as essential to her authentic self. Her self-awareness from a young age allowed her authenticity to shine brightly. “You have to embrace your individuality,” Sarah says. “If you try to be somebody else, it becomes inauthentic.”
As president of Profitero, an e-commerce performance analytics company, and a board member for Campbell Soup Company, Sarah’s authenticity is her calling card. Colleagues and clients alike know what to expect from her because she always tells it like it is.
Being your authentic self means you have honed the skill of self-awareness. You know your fears, needs, desires and values. You know what you’re good at, what you believe in and what you’re passionate about. That self-awareness leads you to be your authentic self, which results in more success.
Sarah attributes much of her success to self-awareness. “I’m my authentic self,” she says, noting that, ultimately, success comes down to who you are and what you believe in. Sarah stresses not only having a values system, but living that values system, such as “I stand for X; therefore, I do X.”
I’m honored that Sarah shared her inspiring story in my book, Become the Fire: Transform Life’s Chaos into Business and Personal Success. As the featured “Flame” in the chapter on being your authentic self, Sarah explains how she learned to embrace her differences, become a trusted adviser and lead with empathy. “Look at who you are in your totality, then create your own authentic style that works for you,” she says.
Sarah shares many insights learned from her experiences on the road to the C-suite, to encourage women from all walks of life to achieve their own goals. You can read more about Sarah, and get many more of her insights, by ordering your copy of Become the Fire (foreword by Mary Dillon, former CEO of Ulta Beauty and current CEO of Foot Locker) for yourself or for someone you think may benefit from the stories and lessons shared by her and this diverse group of highly successful leaders:
- Paula Boggs, former chief legal officer of Starbucks
- Laura Desmond, former CEO of Starcom
- Talita Ramos Erickson, chief legal officer and chief D&I officer of Barilla
- Sarah Hofstetter, president of Profitero
- Angela Martinez Korompilas, former CEO of American Hotel Register Company
- Kim Oster Holstein, founder of Kim & Scott's Gourmet Pretzels and Twisted Alchemy
- Winnie Park, CEO of Forever 21
- Jules Pieri, founder of The Grommet and author of How We Make Stuff Now
- Desiree Glapion Rogers, CEO of Black Opal Beauty
- Emily Smith, former CEO of Wild Sky Media
Order your copy of Become the Fire: Transform Life’s Chaos into Business and Personal Success.
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