***QUICK disclosure this is my second take on the topic of authenticity I wrote this before the first one I posted but thought it was interesting how I could take two different paths to describe the same subject matter. Let me know which one you liked better!***
What’s up SIDsters! Yes I said SIDsters. Gary Vaynerchuk has his Vayniacs and the Vayner Nation, it’s about time we create our own community. I’ll be honest though I’m open to name suggestions (haha).
Anyway, I did an interview earlier today with one of my buddies and we got on the subject of authenticity. We didn’t get to explore the subject much so I wanted to expand on it now while it’s still fresh on the mind.
I pride myself on being authentic to myself and my audience on and offline. In my blogs I use foul language appropriately. In my podcasts I keep mistakes instead of editing them out. I do this to be the most accessible in terms of realness. All too often we see people that we look up to, as perfect. Then if we ever get the chance to befriend these people we meet the real person and we’re let down by who they really are. I never want that to be the case for any of you. If anything when you meet me I want you to walk away saying I’m even cooler in person #narcissism.
I wasn’t always like this though…
In middle school and high school I was more concerned with fitting in like most of us. I was conflicted growing up. During my middle school years I transitioned from my unique self to matching my friends bad habits. This meant alcohol, smoking weed, popping pills, and “trying” to hook up with girls. I took up rollerblading which was the only good habit I picked up. It’s funny talking about it now that I’m older but I was a bad kid. That said I was never terrible, I always maintained control and I’ve never been habit forming. Well except for with girls I’m habit forming AKA get attached quickly in that area.
My high school years were drastically different. I stopped with the pills. I dropped out of the band…. Oh yea I was in the band from 5th to 8th grade. I also stopped rollerblading. The new in crowd wasn’t doing any of that so I had to assimilate. At this point in my life I was concerned with “being black” whatever the hell that means. The way I dressed and talked changed. For a long while, I was consumed with being cool. Partying, more alcohol, weed, and hooking up with girls. High school was interesting for me. I also picked up smoking black and mild’s for some reason, something I still do sporadically.
After high school it was much of the same.
I went to a community college in town so I didn’t get too crazy with the partying. To be honest I was lost and confused. I was going to school but didn’t know what for. I had a job but wasn’t looking to advance. As long as I had money to go out and modify my car with, I was happy. Eventually I got the idea that I would become a chiropractor. I wasn’t intrigued by the medical field or even interested in making a difference. There were a few factors that lead to that career choice. Chiropractors made good money and could open their own practices, thus controlling their schedule. Also my girlfriend at the time had scullious/severe back pain and I wanted to help her. I didn’t have many noble motivations.
And then I had a daughter.
My perspective changed over night, all those years I spent spinning my wheels not progressing in life were now wasted years. Having a kid matured me. I started making moves at work, even got a few promotions. I stopped partying and wasting so much money on cars trying to be like my older friends with disposable incomes. I was struggling to find myself and my own path. Going to school, becoming a chiropractor, those weren’t my ideas they were what I was lead to believe I should do. I needed to do something different….
And then I did….
For those that know my story or read my ‘about me‘ section . I found MLM, personal development, and my entrepreneurial spirit. Now I’ll spare you the details, the gist of what I came across was the foundation for where I am today. I’m happy to say I pretty much stopped smoking and drinking except for on rare occasion. Personal success and improvement have become one my obsessions. And I’ve discovered who I am and what I want to do with my life. I dropped out of school and now becoming a full time entrepreneur is my goal. I dress how I want, listen to what I want, hangout with who I want, and I’m damn happy. I’ve realized that all those years I spent trying to fit in, would have been better used standing out.
I’m a happy introvert.
I enjoy spending time with myself and doing virtually anything solo. I don’t watch much TV but I read a lot. Life is good I found the courage to be myself and stop apologizing for it. And it feels damn good too. I hope that you find the courage to be your 100% authentic self.
Stay awesome my friends!
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