When you were little, I’m sure a parent, teacher, or other authority figure in your life, at one time or another, told you “Honesty is the best policy.” The words might seem trite now, the sentiments a little corny, but give them another read while thinking about all those times in your life when circumstances might have been different, outcomes more predictable, and life a little easier to manage if you or those around you had been honest and more genuine. (I think we all have some stories to tell!)

Think about it: when we’re genuine, when we’re authentic, there’s no need to slip on a mask and pretend to be someone or something we’re not. We don’t have to remember who we are for this particular audience or who we are supposed to be for this person—we just “are” and life is a whole lot simpler and satisfying.

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Applied to business, how many brands out there say what they do and do what they say, versus how many simply spin their stories and pretend to be something they’re not? Again, I’m a believer that the truth always wins out. Eventually, no matter how well you “pretend,” the real you, the real brand, the real company emerges. From big oil and big pharma, to organic growers and car manufacturers, to the entrepreneur working out of his or her garage, imagine if all businesses were true to their brands. Life would be a whole lot simpler and our day-to-day choices of what to eat and who to do business with a whole lot clearer.

Now think about politicians, from our local school boards all the way to the highest office in the land. Can you think of one other profession where so much widespread deceit is accepted, even expected? Anywhere else and such disingenuity would be rewarded with firings, shunning, and possibly even jail time.

The same goes with sports and performance enhancing drugs. We put athletes on pedestals and applaud them for tremendous feats of strength, endurance, and skill. Yet how much of it is real?

I had the pleasure of doing a photo shoot recently for Passback™ Football (www. passbackfootball.com) with former NFL wide receiver Johnnie Morton who played from 1994 to 2005 with Detroit, Kansas City, and San Francisco. Let me tell you: Johnnie is the real deal. My time with him was refreshing, comfortable, reinvigorating. (See Johnnie’s player profile at http://www.nfl.com/player/johnniemorton/2502213/profile.)

Imagine if all aspects of our lives—from personal relationships, to professional and political—were as genuine. Imagine all the day-to-day baggage, the mind games, the lies, the disingenuity we could simply do away with. Imagine what it would be like if, every waking moment, the real “you” showed up for others and for yourself. How much “lighter” would we all feel with the burden of pretense lifted off our psyches? No doubt we’d have lots more time, energy, and focus for the bigger challenges before us.

How genuine are you in your business, your relationships, with yourself? How might your life be simpler if the persona you project is the “real you”? What’s your experience been with authenticity?

Share your thoughts here . . . curious monkeyz want to know!


Volleyball Anyone?—I’m proud to sponsor an event booth and be participating in “Smackfest,” a co-ed beach volleyball tournament at Hermosa Beach CA from 7 am to 7pm, July 28. The So Cal Foundation for Children (SCFC) raises funds for scholarships, educational guidance, and athletic opportunity to underprivileged youth. For more information, see the events section of www.smacksportswear.com.

Outdoor Retailer Summer Market—I will be at the Outdoor Retailer Show in Salt Lake City, Utah, August 1 to 3, walking the show with Fred, my dog. This is a great chance to catch up with what’s new and exciting in the outdoor retail industry, plus it’s lots of fun with tons of activities and demos. Find more information at http://www.outdoorretailer.com/

AMA San Diego Mixer—The San Diego Chapter of the American Marketing Association holds an evening networking mixer at the Hilton Del Mar on Thursday, August 9. The mixer will feature a presentation from Sony Electronics’ Jeremy Lyons, Manager of Consumer Data Strategy, on Sony’s recent experience with customer engagement. Find out more at http://sdama.org/.