In recent months, I have been exploring the deepest parts of who I am - specifically when it comes to being a business owner. Working in the marketing world for a few years now, both corporately and self-employed, I have learned this: genuine authenticity is really hard to come by. There is a pressure to put up some weird front, almost a caricature of who you really are. Sales meetings are full of half-true-promise-talk, and networking events are stiff and uncomfortable. You try to do whatever you can to seem like you have it all together as a “professional”.
So, for the past few months I have been paying extra attention to how I conduct myself in meetings with clients and peer-professionals, and I have realized that I am becoming what I am most fearful of: being inauthentic. I find myself distant from my most genuine self. I am not lying per se, but I question myself when I am around others. Sometimes, it’s superficial, and I stress out about what to wear at networking meetings. Other times, it’s fantastical, and I find myself wondering, “What would I say if I got to talk to one of the big CEO’s in my community? How do I sound professional? What’s the “in” lingo?!”
I hate giving out business cards. They are basically good for two things: cluttering your car’s center console and getting free lunches from the local diner. So, why do I continue to spend one hundred dollars a year on these scraps of paper?
I do it because it’s something everyone else does. It’s something you do to be perceived as, you can guess, professional. I literally never look at a business card again after I have been given one! Alas the game we play.
I realize that this information may shock some, showing transparency with the frustrations I have with the industry I work in. Although, you need to start with honesty and authenticity somewhere, so I start here. So, if you see me wearing jeans at the next business soiree, please know, that’s simply what I actually wear when I work. Who really wants to work with someone who tries to hide his true self? Don’t we all long for authenticity? Aren’t we all hungry for it? I want you to get exactly what you pay for and who you pay for.
I vow to no longer attempt the fancy-jargon-dance. I promise to be honest about the skills in my wheelhouse even if it loses me sales. I will remain professional and courteous, but I swear it will taste like the actual me, Mike Myers.
A lack of authenticity is a problem affecting all types of industries and hard working people.
I, though, am choosing to run MiMy Media differently.