The #1 key to grow the audience you want

You’re a boss. And you have the power of creativity in your heart, mind, and soul. Don’t be fooled by what you don’t have. Don’t long for something that you don’t really need.

Our fast-paced instant-gratification digital world is teaching us all the wrong lessons.

It’s me-first. And “you” second. And yet it’s guised in this manner as if to placate you and lead you to believe that it’s all for you. But it’s really all for them. Many people aren’t offering true value. They’re offering a regurgitated version of a reality TV show. One that you may not be able to turn away from, but one that isn’t really helping you.

Want go for the win? Want to truly start building an authentic community that you can interact and grow with, and that can lead to an abundance of great opportunities? Be yourself and give away every ounce of value that you can give without any expectation of anything in return. Do that and you will be on your way to growing and retaining the exact audience that you want.

Social media today teaches us to “sell” others on things that we don’t even believe ourselves. Which leads some to craft personas and images of themselves that are the farthest thing from authentic. And yet, the living of the lie continues are they are passed off to others as if they’re the representation of that person’s true self.

The social media landscape isn’t “a game” like so many people like to say.

It’s a magnanimous opportunity to show millions of people who you really are and why you matter. If you showcase yourself in a way that is true to yourself, and that demonstrates value that others crave, you’ll start to see that the world is buying what you’re selling.

The point of representing yourself for who you truly are is that the opportunities and relationships that you desire most will actually come your way. And when they do, you won’t have to even hesitate in your decision-making to emphatically and enthusiastically say, “YES!!!”

You’ll feel it and you’ll immediately know. Then, you’ll start to say …

“Yes, I’d love to come collaborate with you on this idea for a start-up.”

“Yes, I’d love the opportunity to come build the _____ program at your company.”

“Yes, I’d love to come craft this marketing vision for your organization.”

“Yes, I’d love the opportunity to come speak at one of your events.”

“Yes, I’d love to sign this book deal. When can I begin writing?”

Authenticity

The times that I’ve gotten bad results are the times that I’ve put out a version of “myself” that isn’t really myself. I got caught up in “the game.” I got caught up, like you may from time to time, in the game of writing for likes, comments or offers of whatever. Thank God I discovered this early on and kept this to a minimum. What a colossal waste of time!

The game to win is the one of being your unique self every, single day and producting a product or content that will change the world around you.

That’s the person that others want to see. I know this because every time I’ve gotten up to speak in front of an audience of people and I’ve been myself, I’ve been well received. When I poured my heart out into my book, The Value of You, others saw it as an authentic guide that changed their lives. They thanked me.

Maybe you know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s a “feel” thing that feels SO right when you nail it. And it’s not hard. It’s easy to lean in to who you really are, while dismissing any notions or perceptions of needing to be someone else.

Do whatever you’re going to do for the pureness of it — the love of it. You must do this first.

You’ll find that over time, even if you receive adulation, likes and comments, it will become darn-near impossible to sustain the consistency and passion that you need to keep producing great work if you don’t actually love it. Every successful person that I’ve worked with got to where they did because they loved the process of what they were doing.

They were committed and enthusiastic about reaching their goals.

It becomes mentally and emotionally draining to continue doing something that isn’t true to who you are. You eventually run out of ideas. You run out of motivation. You start to doubt yourself more. If your whole platform is built off the likes and attention of others, what in the world do you do when it’s no longer there?

Or when it’s diminished in size?

Do you add more sensationalism? More “shock and awe”? If so, it sounds like you may be operating more like a print journalism operation in the year 2018 than what would be a successful digital representation.

Is being someone else and living a phony life really what you want? Or do you want connection with the customers and fans you aim to attract? What could be better than using your natural skills, talent and passion, and melding those things together to form a product that is authentically you?

Is there anything better than that?

Isn’t that the product that people will want to buy, follow and trek with on their own journey? If it’s real and good enough, yes.

Be a boss

The world doesn’t like copycats. The world likes originals. People who have a positive attitude, work hard, practice what they preach, then back it up with highly productive output on a consistent basis. When you are achieving this by doing what you love, you have truly achieved the pinnacle of self-actualization, as defined by Abraham Maslow.

You’re a boss. And you have the power of creativity in your heart, mind, and soul.

Don’t be fooled by what you don’t have.

Don’t long for something that you don’t really need.

Read the books that stir a passion in your soul. Seek out an education that demands that you challenge your beliefs — one that opens your mind to limitless possibilities.

Discover opportunities that aren’t going to be handed to you on a silver platter — ones where you may have to dig a little bit deeper to find. Opportunities that don’t come with an easy-to-use instruction manual. Ones where you may have to come up with a pitch or unique proposition to gain the attention of the decision maker. Forge your own path. Be a pioneer.

Create relationships that will cause you to become overjoyed with positivity and self-discovery. Find people who help stir excitement, hope, confidence and self-realization inside of you. Then, turn around and add value to those people’s lives. Offer up your services, a listening ear or companionship to them. Help them. Help them help others.

Your end product will be one of delightful self-satisfaction because it will include all of the ingredients that make you, you. Stop searching for ways to replicate someone else’s exact approach toward life. Use them as examples, instead.

The audience you want is identical to the person that you want to be. They want the same thing. The authentic you.

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This article first appeared on Medium.