A couple of months ago, I was faced with the question: what did I want to make happen?
It didn’t take me long to answer: “A difference.”
You can’t become real without wanting to help others. The desire to be real, to be authentic, comes first, because that’s what builds powerful brands, right? But as you peel back the layers, trying to expose the beauty underneath, you uncover ugly. It’s just part of the process. And so you have to stop peeling, and you have to fix the ugly. You have to fix the self-centeredness, you have to fix the blind spots. You have to work on the anger, the bitterness, the grudge-holding. Because all of that stuff is authentic, too, but no one wants to see it.
If you’re going to be transparent, you have to work at making transparent at least somewhat presentable, even if it is raw.
The part that surprised me was that when you start to get rid of all the “me, me, me”, a genuine desire to help others and make a difference starts to sink in. And you find yourself saying things like,
I DO need Africa, more than Africa needs me.
I need to go volunteer at a soup kitchen to remind me what real problems look like.
Sure, I’ll sit on the board of your new non-profit/for-purpose start-up.
I can be a voice for children who need families.
Maybe the proceeds of this event should go to those less fortunate than me.
When you lean in to becoming who you really are, it just might shock you.