I am a huge fan of Gary Vaynerchuk! He gained “internet fame” in 2006 when he launched Wine Library TV and today he helps Fortune 500 companies “find their social media voices and build their digital brands.” But that isn’t why I am a fan, well not exactly. Gary Vaynerchuk is always who he is, authentically himself at all times. Whether he is presenting at TED, giving an interview online, or speaking on his own YouTube channel, you will see an exuberant and passionate guy, who speaks from his heart, gives it to you straight, and even tosses around an F-bomb or two. I LOVE that about him. No fronts or facades, nor censoring or filtering. In fact, I launched the Millennials Mentor to do what I love, while being exactly who I am. When I work with young people, I believe that the best I am the best and most authentic version of myself. Don’t we all want to succeed at being our true and authentic self?
Just recently, while training a group of seasoned professionals, a couple of trainees thought it was “unprofessional” when I used the F-word in the training. Now let’s set aside the fact that I was actually quoting a line from a film clip I had just shown, and that I had warned them the clip had “strong” language; and consider how irrelevant it is that at of all the words I used in 16 hours of training that the one word they got caught up on was “fuck” and not respect, equity, trust, understanding, patience, discrimination, oppression, and the list goes on. Typically, I don’t use profanity when I train, unless it seems relevant and/or appropriate for the group or context. And in retrospect, perhaps it wasn’t actually the profanity that offended them, but all the truth I was telling while being my true and authentic self.*
So don’t feel like you have to fake it or be something or someone different to be successful; just find what it is you love that fits the “real” you and do that all day long.
*The aforementioned client is renewing my contract.