In the 90s there was a saying — Keep It Real — that meant everything.
It meant telling the truth, representing who you really were, not fronting for an audience or lying to be accepted. Anyone found to violate the Keep It Real laws was shamed and rejected. Realness was the currency of the day.
It ain’t the 90s anymore.
The new currency is attention, and the gold rush is on.
Authenticity is still valuable, even respected by some, but not as attention-grabbing as something funny, shiny, or impressive-looking (no matter how untruthful). Be too real and attention evades you. Rail against the attention-seekers, longing for the days when realness was a requirement, and you seem (and actually are) a relic of the past.
What are you to do???
[dt_quote type=”blockquote” font_size=”h4″ animation=”none” background=”plain”]Dre Philosophy Vol. 0: Decision, Action, Mindset and Being Unapologetically Who You Are[/dt_quote]
I like jumping all the way in on things, personally. But I don’t want to exploit my brand and cheapen my name for attention — attention that’s quite fleeting if you don’t maintain the act (for those who are, indeed, acting). And I don’t want to lose a huge chunk of potential audience in being old school, boring and dull.
Well, it’s an act of balance, a word that I don’t even like using much. Balance seems like a compromise; an inability to go fully into anything, so we sit somewhere in the middle.
Here’s what you do: be who YOU are, on full blast.
Stop censoring yourself. Having an opinion is a requirement for building an audience. You can’t be neutral on everything. Speak your mind, even if your opinion is that you’re to choosing a side.
Enjoy yourself. Expressing who you are is supposed to be voluntary and fun. Stop making it feel like a work assignment, even if it is! When you have fun, your audience has fun.
Tell the truth. The truth will set you free. People will respect it and appreciate you for giving them space to face their own truths. You’re the leader — so lead!