Authenticity sells and your "story" needs to be truly authentic. Be true to your heritage. Be what you say you are. Don't be a phony. Be for real
Joseph Pine, author of The Experience Economy, makes the case that success will increasingly be based upon whether or not a company is perceived as authentic. In a nutshell, he theorizes that our economy has evolved from agrarian-age commodities, to industrial-age goods, to information-age services and now to preference for authentic experiences.

Says Pine, “Everyone now has the desire for the authentic. And authenticity is therefore becoming the new consumer sensitivity. The buying criteria by which consumers are choosing who they are going to buy from and what they are going to buy…” For more, checkout his full TED presentation below:

From a business POV, it’s just smart to start from what’s authentic. Your past, especially the seemingly un-matched chapters in your life, or those skeletons in your closet, are often great fodder for a Unique Selling Proposition. For example, Frank Lloyd Wright, one of the most influential architects of all time, started as a civil engineer and combined strong interests in sociology to remake architecture. In retrospect, this unique combination makes total sense, but it didn’t at the time and despite Wright’s success, isn’t taught as the obvious path to architectural greatness today.

As for that closet of bones, your angst just might provide the motivation to cure your’s and others’ ills. Just ask Oprah Winfrey who set out to explore her own early torments and now cures millions around the world. Necessity is indeed the mother of invention and it often results in meaningful business.

Also consider that in this age of Internet stalking, there’s a much higher chance that your bone stack will be revealed. So it only makes sense to turn a negative into a positive by integrating weaknesses into your story to create an asset. Besides, acknowledging weakness shows you’re human, and we all respond to that.

LEARNINGS: Authenticity sells and your “story” needs to be truly authentic. Be true to your heritage. Be what you say you are. Don’t be a phony. Be for real.

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