Personality vs Character

I’d like to share an experience I had during one of my dog grooming appointments. While at one of my client’s house, I had a wonderful conversation with a young lady name Dyamond. Dyamond is a part-time entrepreneur who found her passion for her business by accident.

Dyamond told me that she loves baking. No matter what was going on in her life, no matter how chaotic, baking always helped her feel better. It was where she could find her center – her inner peace. So one day she baked a cake that she felt particularly proud of. Instead of just cutting into it, she wanted to take a picture of it as a reminder. After sharing it on Facebook, she started getting numerous requests from friends and family to bake them a cake as well. They even offered to pay her – which she wasn’t expecting at all. So that gave her an idea to start a part-time business baking cakes for people.

One day, at a charity event, she was working with some volunteers who were helping her sell her cupcakes to donate to the charity. Dyamond was watching a young man putting the icing on the cupcakes as if he were mindlessly washing dishes. She was kind, but this was her passion. She was not going to just sit idly by and watch someone tarnish her artwork – her gift. She explained to him that “if you don’t make it pretty, people won’t want to try it. We’re here to raise donations for the charity so let’s try to sell as many cupcakes as we can.” She was wise enough to know not to criticise him or explain to him how much this really meant to her. She used the financial aspect to appeal to his rational mind, and got him to do a better job icing her delicious cupcakes.

“When people would try it, they would get one and walk away. After they taste it though, they would come back and buy some more,” Dyamond told me. Not only did they come back for more, they asked if she would bake them a cake for certain events that they were planning. Imagine that. A cupcake that tastes so incredibly delicious that you stop right in your tracks, turn around and all you can think is, “I have to get some more!” That’s because a good dish never lies. That’s called “Character.”

You may have heard the phrase, “Personality opens doors, but it’s character that keeps them open.” It’s much more than just a nice saying. It’s truth. However, it’s hard to tell what that phrase really means. I’m so grateful to Dyamond for the perfect analogy: The Cupcake. Personality is the way the cupcake looks. Just like how she explained that if it doesn’t look good people won’t want to try it, if we don’t have a good personality people won’t want to try us out. Character is the way the cupcake tastes. If it tastes delicious, people will want to try more, keep using our services or buying our products.

Personality is fairly easy to change, just like it’s easy to change the way the cupcake looks by decorating it better. Character, however, is not so easy to change. It means you have to change the recipe, and that takes some real effort. It’s not always easy to find the right recipe that works. Perhaps we already have all the right ingredients inside of us, but the measurements are off – meaning some character traits are off-balance. Never stop working on your character – never stop perfecting the recipe. Because although the way you look to others may get them to try you out, the way you make them feel when they experience you personally is what keeps them coming back for more.

“Personality can open doors, but only character can keep them open.” Elmer G. Letterman

If you’d like to hear a podcast recording of this story, or other thoughts that I share on my channel called The Tao of Jun, please click the following link:

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