business storytelling

Show Don’t Tell. Why Saying You Are SO Authentic Isn’t Cutting It.

March 27th Blog Post-001.jpgLast year, when I really set out on my voyage as an online entrepreneur I was so taken in by how real, just how authentic everyone is.

After years of working in corporate, it was refreshing to have so much personality included in the brands I was following. Hell, it was enchanting. I was completely bewitched.

I even wrote about how I felt liberated and how excited I was to be able to share my own authentic voice in a blog post.  Fast forward less than a year later and….and let’s just say the novelty has worn off.

Now I feel like I’m walking into a fraternity keg party only for the “ladies drink free” element. The music is too loud. The boys a just a little too forward. I want to chug my free draft as fast as humanly possible and get out of there.

In the online world, the word authentic is so overused, that I have the kind of hangover only draught beer at a frat kegger can give you.

Let me explain.

I seriously heart people who are real, honest and open. I pride myself on being direct and straightforward. So my issue is not with the idea of being authentic, but rather from people constantly proclaiming how authentic they are.

The more you tell me you’re authentic, the less apt I’m going to be to believe you. In fact, I’m going to roll my eyes.

[Tweet “Stop telling me you’re authentic. Show me instead. New blog post from @magspatterson.”]

Stop telling me you are authentic. Show me instead.

Anyone can say they are authentic. But more times than I can count, the cases where I’m being told you are authentic I see anything but. I see carefully worded, controlled and contrived messages. I feel a disconnect between you saying you’re authentic and your actions. My intuition is screaming at me that something is off.

Instead of brow beating us into submission to prove your authenticity, let people get to know you as a person and respect you as a professional. A real person. Not some cultivated, phoney baloney online persona who is just SO authentic. Please. Stop it. It screams “pay attention to me” and as the mom of a 9-year old, I don’t need that in my professional life too.

Instead of telling me how authentic you are, SHOW me. And not as a strategy. Not as a ploy to get attention. As part of what you really and truly do.

Maybe it’s your amazing ability to follow-up, how you write your blog posts with funny little anecdotes, that you give freely expecting nothing in return or your commitment to being someone who is a super connector.

Whatever it is, do it and do so damn well so that people can truly feel and experience your essence. You’ll never have to say you are authentic ever again because people will simply know you are the real deal.

Constantly proclaiming you are authentic is anything but. Challenge yourself to dig a bit deeper to find more and work on showing it instead.

[Tweet “Proclaiming you are authentic is anything but. @magspatterson riffs on what to do instead.”]