A word that is being (over)used like a weapon, which frankly, raises a red flag – especially when it’s being used as a tactic in a perfectly executed offer, pre-launch campaign, or in someone’s ultra slick talk from a stage [insert stampede to the back of the room here].
By definition, authenticity is the quality of being authentic.
Authentic is defined as not false, real, actual.
It seems obvious and simple enough, and yet, more and more I hear of the horror stories of people who’ve been duped and disappointed by their ‘authentic’ coaches, experts, and guides and the programs they’ve participated in that promised [insert a number not less than 10] x results.
In 2016 I officially became a resident of the United States and while my home country, Canada is, for all intents and purposes similar, I learned very quickly that it is actually same same but different as they say in Thailand.
While I’ve been entrepreneurial (and successful) my entire life, as a new immigrant, I paid close attention to ‘how we do business here’.
Here’s what I observed…
I kept hearing over and over again that in order to build success in this country you have to deliver VALUE.
I was instructed to find my niche…and then to niche-down in that niche.
I learned that heart-centred and conscious are highly prescribed ways to approach business and community building.
If I followed these practices and values, I would become successful.
So, I subscribed!
I started producing content like it was going out of style, tapped back into my days and way of being in the yoga world, LOVED everyone, and referred to transactions as energy exchanges (I figured that would instantly display my consciousness and heart-centred spirit), and I picked my niche – even created my avatar and named him Gerry.
The results: frustration, exhaustion, feeling overwhelmed and out of alignment, no real business to speak of, and oddly enough, I felt completely out of integrity with myself – inauthentic even.
As I considered my results (as I like to call them, UNresults), I started to realize that this was neither my path to success now, nor had it been my path to my previous successes. Something had to change – and it was me (and I suggest you consider that you are the root and cause to all of your successes and failures, too).
The Value Lie
Let’s consider VALUE for a moment. What does it actually look and sound like to deliver value? It’s a topic that has become very near and dear to my heart and the foundation for one of my keynote talks.
It’s a topic that has become very near and dear to my heart and the foundation for one of my keynote talks.
In doing my research and following the trends, it should come as no surprise that content has actually lost value today. Google has bankrupted the value market. There is practically nothing you can share with the world that can’t be found on Google in some form or another – for free!
Delivering value, then, would have you in a position of sharing content which ultimately convinces the consumer to find said content so valuable, that they decide to get their credit card out when you present your call to action.
And of course, because you’re operating in the spirit of delivering so much value, you’ll guarantee nothing less than 10x results at only 1/10th the price – and you’ll use the words exact, system, and step-by-step to prove the value. (Am I right?)
The reality is, doing any combination of these things may mean you are operating out of lack and scarcity, chasing opportunities, and trying to measure up to value, which by its own definition, is an extremely subjective proposition.
Ask anyone to define value and you’ll get just as many answers (or confused looks) as the number of people you ask.
The Niche Lie
The niche. After a lot of painful niching-down (you know it’s painful, you’ve been there, or are going through it right now), it occurred to me that just like I felt when trying to deliver value, creating content, services, and offers that specifically catered to a niche left me feeling broken, confused, and like a square peg being rammed into a circular slot. Yes, I felt like a square!
Sure, there are a lot of people that can create success based on identifying a very specific problem and solving it, however, I’ve come to learn that most of those successes are short lived (except for the unicorns – those ideas that become blockbuster hits) and the people behind them move on to re-create and re-invent themselves multiple times.
I don’t know about you, but the idea of having to constantly come up with something absolutely brand new and sensational seems like it might eventually get old and tiresome. Speaking as a creator at heart, I will never stop creating, however, I would like to know that when I’m in my 70’s I could take a few minutes, or a few months off of having to chase after the next big thing. I venture to imagine you want that for yourself, too – I want that for you!
The Authenticity Lie
My favorite element – the authenticity angle, or what is often referred to these days as being heart-centred and conscious.
To put things in perspective (and for your entertainment) I owned a yoga studio for a short time. Yoga – perhaps the most heart-centred, connected industry you could imagine.
The reality is that it is actually one of the most cutthroat industries I’ve ever experienced (and I have entertainment industry experience as a comparison). The notion of namaste (the mutual honoring of light and being) for the most part, applied on the mat. Period.
I recognized a similar pattern in business and especially in the digital marketing space. There is a movement of people who tout their heart-centredness and conscious approach and it leads me to recall a lesson I learned back in recording school that went something like this:
In the [production & recording] industry we know that, with very little exception (ProTools being one), real ‘pro-audio gear’ never has the word ‘pro’ on it. In fact, seeing the word ‘pro’ on anything is a dead giveaway that it’s consumer grade and trying to trick people who aren’t in the know into thinking it’s more than it is.
My experience has been that those who use these titles are either sharks in disguise or they are so conscious they are practically unconscious to the reality of what it actually takes to create success.
Here’s what is working and creating exponentially expanding growth and success in my business and life and for those around me on a similar journey.
Stop delivering value and start delivering vision!Davide Di Giorgio | Being UNapologetic
In my own experience, the moment I did this, I became on-purpose, aligned, and on fire! People took note. I am up to something bigger than collecting credit cards (and I know you are, too) – I invite you to develop and deliver your vision and watch what starts to unfold for you. Incidentally, the side-effect of delivering vision – you end up collecting more credit cards!
Abandon niche codependence and become the niche.Davide Di Giorgio | Being UNapologetic
When I stopped looking for my niche and stopped trying to deliver content that would satisfy it, everything changed. I realized I was the blueprint for the kind of people I’d attract. I also realized that my vision quickly became the niche; what I believe, what I stand for, what I do not stand for – these attract 100% of my ideal followers and clients. The other good news is that I’ve also mastered repelling 100% of the wrong people by being committed to who I am and what I’m up to. Vision: lead with it and lay it as the foundation for everything you do. People are inspired by big ideas and vision!
Be you – UNapologetically – without label, without titles or pretense.Davide Di Giorgio | Being UNapologetic
It’s not necessary to announce your level of heart-centredness.
Talk is cheap.
Whether you’re talking to one person or several thousand from the stage, BE in the moment – acknowledge the responses you get when you ask a question (instead of just moving on – I see this all the time from speakers on stages). Your way of being matters more than anything you will ever say, anything you will ever offer, or any level of success you achieve. At the end of it all – you will have to BE fulfilled with who you are.
Authentic success comes to those who are being authentic – true to their own personality, spirit, and character. Start being UNapologetically you and success will follow.
Originally published in Success Profiles Magazine May, 2018 edition.