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THE MOST VALUABLE GIFT YOU HAVE TO OFFER IS YOURSELF

Years ago my family went to San Francisco on vacation. I was about 11 or 12 years old at the time and I had always heard that China Town was amazing and a place that we had to see. To give you even a little more background, two movies had come out right before we went to San Francisco; The Karate Kid and Gremlins, both of which had oriental culture within the movies. As a child, I always found the Orient fascinating, and I absolutely loved to eat Chinese Food. 

When we arrived in San Francisco I was so excited to get to see and experience China Town, and I kept telling my mother and father that all I wanted to do was eat at an Authentic Chinese Restaurant. You know how children do; they keep talking about the same thing over and over knowing that if they talk about a certain topic enough that the parent might fall into the manipulation trap and give in to what they are talking about.  This was exactly the case in San Francisco. I believe my father got a little tired of hearing me talking about eating at an Authentic Chinese Restaurant and he decided to give in to my manipulative technique….SCORE!

We walked and walked and walked some more until we found the perfect place. From the outside and the way it was decorated in Oriental fashion, everything looked perfect.  My mouth began to water as I began to think about what I was going to have to eat. I was FINALLY going to experience true Authentic Chinese food….SCORE AGAIN!

As we entered into the fine establishment that was painted a light mint green, I noticed there was a lot of chrome metal in the seats and booths. I noticed that the tops of the chairs and bench seats were worn down, puffy, burgundy pads. I noticed that there was an antique milk shake making machine up by a bar type area where people were sitting on cafe bar style stools. The waiter brought our menus and I began to look through to see what type of Authentic Chinese Food I was going to experience. Immediately it hit me…I believe we found the only 1950’s themed hamburger joint in China Town. I was so disappointed!! How DID this happen? How COULD this happen?  We flew three thousand five hundred miles eat Authentic Chinese Food and here we found ourselves sitting in a burger place IN THE MIDDLE OF CHINA TOWN! 

I am sure everyone reading this has a story like this. You desire something real and authentic. You long for it. You can’t wait to experience it (whatever “it” is), but then you discover what you thought was real actually isn’t at all. It is disguised to look like something else. A facade. How disappointing and devastating!!

So where am I going with all of this? I am glad you asked. 

It doesn’t matter how well you know your job. It doesn’t matter how educated you are. It doesn’t matter how many training classes you attend to learn every way to close a transaction that there is. It doesn’t matter how many scripts you memorize that you just received from the latest Top Producer in the country with the promise and 100% guarantee that if you use his/her scripts you are guaranteed success. It doesn’t matter how well you dress the part, how great your hair looks and how well your shoes match your outfit. If you are not authentic in your business dealings AND in life, you will never achieve the success that you so desire. It will keep being plucked from your fingers. You can try this technique and that technique. You can try this new technology and that new social site. You can read every success book in the library, but if you can not be yourself and give yourself…you will always fall short of reaching your maximum success and potential. 

Make sure your self confidence shows your authenticity. If you are not self confident, you WILL come across non-authentic. All the skills and tools you have or have learned become fodder if you do not come across authentic. (Quoted by Bob Burg at the South Carolina REALTORS® Annual Meeting Networking Breakfast on Thursday, September 12, 2019 in Charleston, SC)

Am I saying don’t worry about training, skills, scripts, etc….absolutely not! Remember Bob Burg’s famous quote, “All things being equal, people will do business with and refer business to, those people they know, like and trust.” This is where the TRUST part comes in from that statement. Not being authentic creates doubt. Authenticity is your most precious commodity. As the law of authenticity states – The most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself. 

Learn from others. Adapt and use their wisdom, their skills, their tools, but you must ALWAYS stay true to your authentic self. It’s okay to admit to a customer or client that you don’t have all the answers. It is okay to use the words, “I Don’t Know!” It is okay to admit that you are going through some tough times in life and that you a hot mess right now. The average person (customer / client) will understand. We all go through things. We all get asked questions we do not have the answer to.  As long as you are authentic  in your actions and your statements you will keep other’s trust. 

Let me end with some inspiration:

”Authenticity is more than speaking; Authenticity is also about doing. Every decision we make says something about who we are.” Simon Sinek

“Stay true to your brand and true to your voice and audiences will respond to that authenticity with enthusiasm and passion.” Kevin Spacey

And one of my favorites – 

“If you’re your authentic self, you have no competition.” Anonymous

Until next time ~ MLT

Matthew