HOW TO BE YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF IN YOUR PROFESSIONAL LIFE

Tips on how to be your authentic self in your professional life with Megan Macedo

  • Our current iteration of my business is all about helping people be authentic in their marketing, authentic in their businesses and actually put their real selves into every aspect of their work.
  • I feel like people have problems and those problems show up in their businesses and their marketing the same way they show up as everywhere else in their life. And I think I'm interested in that kind of stuff and I want to go deeper.”
  • What am I naturally really good at and how can I build something robust around that?
  • There's a little film on my website that kind of tells my story and it talks about my grandparents and it talks about where I grew up, it talks about Northern Ireland and there are footages from Donegal and it actually doesn't tell you what I do.
  • I see one of the circles is being you and your story and the other circle being your ideal customer and their story and the area of the intersection I call the empathy zone.
  • Yeah, I mean the minute that you stop trying to convince people who are not naturally drawn to you, it's incredibly freeing and it really simplifies your approach to business and marketing.
  • So I'm a big fan of experiments. Okay, I'm going to send out some messages that I'm going to put my real self into. I'm going to talk about the things I care about most.” Something I encourage people to do a lot of the time is to do a 30 and 30.
  • It informs how I communicate with my customers into the future and informs the products and programs that I create.
  • What is the work that only you can do? What are the things that only you can talk about? What's the marketing that only you can do?

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HOW TO BE YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF IN YOUR PROFESSIONAL LIFE

[just click to tweet]

HOW TO BE YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF IN YOUR PROFESSIONAL LIFE

Our business is about helping people be authentic in their marketing, businesses, and every aspect of their work.

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Doug: Well, welcome back listeners, to another episode of Real Marketing Real fast. Today in the studio I've got joining me from Ireland, Megan Macedo. Now I met Megan, I was introduced to her through Perry Marshall who I had on my podcast earlier and I really fell in love with her style. The fact that she had a marketing company, has a marketing and web design background and then she made this transition. And today's episode, I think you're going to find a very interesting conversation about our professional persona versus being yourself. So, Megan is an Irish writer and entrepreneur, she runs a marketing and storytelling consultancy in London where her work is about helping people be themselves in their professional life. Megan writes and speaks about authenticity in marketing, and taking an artistic approach to our businesses. Her story is one for searching for a way of doing business that feels genuine and authentic.

Doug: Her work is informed by her experience of growing up in a big family at the tail end of the troubles in Northern Ireland. She explores how family and culture contacts shape your story, shape our story, our work, and our business. Megan's output includes the short film Becoming Yourself in Your Business. The video interview series, The Business Self-disclosure and regular 30-day writing series on topics like uncertainty, gentleness, artistry in business. Megan hosts workshops and retreats in the UK, Ireland, and the US and she has shared the stage with the likes of many well-known speakers such as Jay Abraham and Perry Marshall. So I'd like you to give a warm welcome to Megan Macedo today to the Real Marketing Real Fast Podcast. Well, Hey Megan, I'm so excited to have you on the real marketing podcast today. I've been waiting with anticipation because I guess I reached out to you quite a while ago and you had a conference going on or your first retreat. So Hey, welcome to the show today.

Megan: Thanks, Doug. Thanks for having me. I'm excited to be here and see where it goes.

Doug: Well, I'm not sure whether you are reinvigorated or you're tired because you just had a retreat, which meant you spent a lot of time leading people and listening and helping people out.

Megan: Yeah, I would say I am both reinvigorated and tired if that makes sense. We spent an intense week in Ireland, but a lot of it was out in the landscape and we walked to beaches that you can't get to by road and we did some hiking around and had some philosophical discussions walking through dunes. So yeah, reinvigorated and also tired.

Doug: Well, and I think the outdoors perspective, when I was looking at the pictures on your website, I'm thinking, “Man, that would be a great place just to go enjoy the culture and the food.” But I'd probably be there for a few days and say, “Hey, we should stay for a month or so and just to have to soak it all in.”

Megan: Yeah. There's something about being outside with people and there's something about just walking side by side, looking at the mountains and hearing the sea that you just get to a level of conversation that you don't get to if you're stuck in a hotel room all day.

Doug: Yup, I hear you.

Megan: Yeah, it's a special thing.

Doug: Yup. I do walking meetings sometimes with clients, which means leave our cell phones and go for a walk into the woods. So I don't want to take a bunch of time, in the beginning, trying to introduce you properly other than, Perry Marshall made the introduction, which I'm super grateful for. I've been through your website and read through it and have subscribed to your list and I've downloaded your first worksheet, although admittedly in full disclosure I have not done my Discover Your Story exercise that I bought off your website.

Megan: You're forgiven.

Doug: Well, thank you. So can you give us a little bit of the backstory? I mean, I really enjoyed your backstory in terms of where you've come from. But just to kind of frame up our conversation today, kind of where were you when you got into your business and then what was your transition to where you are today? And I think that'll really help our listeners understand our deeper conversation a little bit later.

Megan: So I feel like I've had three iterations of my business. I first started out, I just kind of fell into a marketing consultant. I didn't know what I wanted to do. I studied geology, I realized I didn't want a career in geology. I got a job at a music shop cause I liked music, that didn't go anywhere. Although I did meet my husband there, so it was a productive time.

Doug: Productive, there you go.

Megan: But while I was at the music shop, I got really interested in how the business worked and I kind of like brought in a new system. We were selling more online and doing that kind of stuff. So I got into the marketing end of things, I got really interested in it and became a marketing consultant. And then taught myself web design cause I needed to figure out how to make landing pages and do all that kind of stuff. And then I really went on just like a few years of ferocious learning. Trying to learn everything I could about direct response marketing and online marketing. And so the next phase of the business was I started a web design agency because I was helping a lot of clients with their marketing, and one of the biggest complaints is that they couldn't get their web designers to actually implement any of the direct marketing stuff.

Megan: So I started a web design agency and had some success with that. But that was the phase where I realized I understood this marketing stuff, I could make it work. And it was kind of really depressing to actually make it work and have the company start making money because I realized, “I don't want to do this. Like this is not for me.” I saw the direction the company was going in and I saw that if we kept growing at the rate that we were growing at, that I was essentially going to create a business that I didn't want to run and a job that I didn't want to have. And at the same time, I realize that I wasn't particularly comfortable with a lot of the marketing tactics that I was using and a lot of the best practices in the industry.

Megan: And I started kind of searching around and I started paying more attention to Perry Marshalls stuff at this point. And actually it was a day that I spent with Perry Marshall in London where he came and he did a one-day seminar and you could buy a hot seat to get someone to one time with him. So I bought a hot seat and me just kind of laid it all out. It was the first time I'd ever actually told the truth to anybody about my business. I laid it All,” I was like, these are my numbers, this is what I'm doing. I don't really want to be doing this. I want to talk to people about deeper things.” And he said, “Well, like what you want to do” And I was like, “Well, I don't really know what I want to do, but I feel like I want to talk to people about relationships. I feel like a lot of my customers, the problems that they have aren't really business problems. Like I feel like people have problems and those problems show up in their businesses and their marketing the same way they show up as everywhere else in their life. And I think I'm interested in that kind of stuff and I want to go deeper.”

Megan: And he basically said, “I don't know what this is. I don't know what it looks like, but I think you should keep going with it.” And I took that as permission to try some new stuff out. And I started just playing around with my marketing, and I started actually putting myself into my marketing. So, up until this point, I was a pretty good copywriter, I'd done a lot of copywriting training and I was doing all the things you're supposed to do like a good copywriter. And I was setting myself up as the expert and talking it up, and I stopped doing all that and I started telling personal stories in my emails. I started talking about the stuff I actually cared about it and believed and just talked about more personal stuff. And that really was the beginning of the current iteration of my business, which is all about helping people be authentic in their marketing, authentic in their businesses and actually put their real selves into every aspect of their work.

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HOW TO BE YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF IN YOUR PROFESSIONAL LIFE

[just click to tweet]

HOW TO BE YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF IN YOUR PROFESSIONAL LIFE

Our business is about helping people be authentic in their marketing, businesses, and every aspect of their work.

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Megan: And so I spent about maybe 18 months trying to figure out what to call this. I started calling it Self-Disclosure Style Marketing cause that's what I was doing it was self-disclosure through my marketing predominantly email marketing at that stage and then I was at a conference and I was talking to a guy about, “I'm doing this thing, I'm calling it Self Disclosure Style Marking but I feel like people aren't really getting it.” And he said, “Oh self-disclosure. So I guess the benefit is you get to be yourself.”

Doug: Well, it's really cool because that's a different approach. I mean, I want to, first of all, say congratulations to you for having created a successful business and saying, “You know what? This is not what I really want to do.” Because I often listen to people that are in business or working for a business and they're doing stuff they don't want to do, but because it pays the bills is making money, they're too afraid to actually follow their passion and their heart and, I call them their gifts, like, Where are you gifted and why aren't you working in your gifted area?”

Megan: Yeah, and I mean, it took a few years to make that transition. Like there were a few years where the web design stuff was still paying the bills while I was figuring out what the hell is this other thing that I call my real work. I didn't know what it was, but I was lucky enough to have the business set up so that it could pay the bills. And I had enough free time to explore like, “What is this other stuff that I'm trying to do?” And it took a couple of years and then it started to take shape and then I figured out how I could get paid for that work and transition away. Because I think that's the other mistake people make, is they realize what they're doing is not what they want to be doing. And they walk away from it cold Turkey without having a clear idea of what it is they're walking into.

Doug: I think, nope, that's Fair enough. Yeah, I've heard that said that and I don't know if the stats true, but I heard that they said that when teenage boys are getting out of school, they spend more time doing research in the car they want to buy then the career or the business they want to run. And I'm thinking, “Okay, I only have one boy and he's not a teenager anymore. But I would say that was probably true.”And that's still true today, and he's made me a granddad. So he's obviously had been around a little while. So, when we started talking before this podcast episode, we talked about, “Hey, what are some of the things we could talk about?” And you brought up something that was very interesting and that was the difference between a professional persona and being authentic. And so many of our listener's host events, go to events.

Doug: I just came back from an event, you just finished hosting an event. I met a whole variety of people. I'm not going to comment on the people I met, but there were some people definitely in each camp. So it seems like the pendulum has swung from, “Hey everything marketing, attention, getting headline picture, Problem-Agitate-Solve, two PSs to close the business to, “Hey, let's have a conversation.” So do you want to kind of guide our listeners through the professional versus authentic and then why authentic today is working?

Megan: Yeah. So when I talk about professional persona really all I mean is your professional persona is everything you have been taught that you have to be in order to be successful. It's all the things you've been taught you have to do if you want to appear to be professional. So it's really something that you're taught to be, but it's not necessarily who you actually are and that's definitely how I started in my career. Like I am a very good student, I went and studied with lots of different people and I started doing things the way they said they should be done. And what happens with that is if you come away and you are using someone else's script or you're using someone else's tactic and you're not putting your own spin on it, or standing back and going, “Hang on a second, who am I? What is my work, and what parts of this are useful to me?”

Megan: If you don't do that, then you end up just essentially being the same thing that a lot of other people in the industry are and you see this a lot, there's a level of disengagement and lack of aliveness, I think, whenever you have a lot of people who are operating out of their professional persona. It's like if you see someone in a professional context and then you see them in a personal context and they seem like a completely different person, usually what's going on there is like, “Oh, they're not bringing their real self to their work. They are doing what they think they have to do to be professional and successful. But it's not really who they are.”

Doug: Yeah. I read a book years ago and the author's name is Roger Ailes, but it was really about, like you said, being authentic on the stage and off the stage, it was called You Are The Message. And he talked about coaching Ronald Reagan when he was running for Us president and all the typical PR guys were telling him what to say and what to do and he came back basically with your advice saying just, “Amplify who you are.” He said, “You can't stand on the stage and talk to people as a business person and then get off the stage and meet them or see them on a golf course or for a cocktail,” Or in your case for a walk by the ocean, ” “and be a totally different person. You need to be the same person in all of those places.”

Megan: Yeah. And everything is easier if you are the same person in all those places, that was one of the big lessons that I learned was I spent a long time trying to be really good at what I thought everybody else wanted me to be good at trying to make my company really good at the things that I thought the market cared about without taking the time to figure out, “What am I naturally really good at and how can I build something robust around that?” Because of it kind of changes the conversation around things like USP. So most people approach a USP and think about it as something that you hone, and something you devise, and something you design and come up with. But actually, I think that your true USP is something that you uncover. It's something that is inherent in your story, your specific set of experiences, your specific perspective, and if you uncover that USP and you lean into being who you authentically are, then you can find the groove that is the work that only you can do.

Megan: So you don't have to worry about the competition coming along and doing it better than you're doing it because if you find your groove, it's so specific to you and the experiences that you've had, that it's virtually impossible for someone else to come along and own that thing. Which is why, you talked about looking at my website and there's a little film on my website that kind of tells my story and it talks about my grandparents and it talks about where I grew up, it talks about Northern Ireland and there are footages from Donegal and it actually doesn't tell you what I do. That's the interesting thing about it is it's the piece of marketing, if you think about it like that, that has been most effective, that most people will watch and say like, “Oh, I love what you do.” And that kind of blows my mind because I'm like, “Well, It doesn't tell you what I do, but thank you for that vote of confidence.”

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HOW TO BE YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF IN YOUR PROFESSIONAL LIFE

[just click to tweet]

HOW TO BE YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF IN YOUR PROFESSIONAL LIFE

Our business is about helping people be authentic in their marketing, businesses, and every aspect of their work.

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Doug: Yeah, that's funny.

Megan: But the more that you lean into that, it's like, “Okay, well no one can rip that off. It's so specific to who I am and my story.”

Doug: Well that's true, and that's why I've always said if you're telling your testimony and how you built your business or built your product or you're whatever, like you talked about earlier as well, even in the art space, it's your story. People can argue about the facts all day long, we could have a big debate on email marketing, whether I'm the best email marketer or not, but you can't contest my story of what I've done to get to where I am because that's my story. and that's the truth.

Megan: Yeah, and also-

Doug: And we can talk business facts and argue about that all day long.

Megan: Yeah, and the other thing about sharing your story and showing who you are is there will be a set of people who are onboard with who you are and your values and they like your style and they like your vibe. And there's a set of people who will never naturally get along with you. So I think about it like if you picture a Venn Diagram, I see one of the circles is being you and your story and the other circle being your ideal customer and their story and the area of the intersection I call the empathy zone. So that's basically the hopes, and fears, and dreams, and values, and attitudes, and aspirations that you share in common with your ideal customer. And I think that if you show up as yourself in your marketing and in your business, you get to draw from this natural empathy zone that you have with your ideal customer. You don't have to pretend to be someone you're not, you don't have to learn how to do things that don't come naturally to you. You just get to effortlessly be yourself and you attract the people who are naturally drawn to you.

Doug: But on the other side of that is that you repel the people who don't like your style. And so I've often said, “Hey, you know, I offend people.” Which, personally, that's fine because there are fewer people to talk to if I offend them or they don't like my style, we're not going to work well together. So if we get that out of the way right up front, it's better for them, it's better for me, so let's move along.

Megan: Yeah, I mean the minute that you stop trying to convince people who are not naturally drawn to you, it's incredibly freeing and it really simplifies your approach to business and marketing. It's like you don't have to be all things to all men. It's enough to be yourself and just work with the people who are naturally drawn to that. But most people never show who they are, that's the biggest pain that is out there in the market and in the world. And most people are not consciously aware of it, but the biggest pain people have is disconnection and they don't feel connected to the people around them. So if you actually show who you are, people can feel connected to you and it's incredibly powerful.

Doug: Well, two things. I mean, now I want to ask you, so this first is a comment. So there's been, I almost cringe at the word about being authentic because it's been overused in the marketing world, to steal something from Gary Vaynerchuk, there are all these good things that happen and the marketing guys take it over and ruin it. And I think that's probably the case in terms of, tell your story and be authentic. The marketing world's taken that over and trying to do exactly what you've said before, trying to fit it into a box that will leverage the being authentic persona so I can generate more business.

Megan: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Doug: So how do our listeners that are going, “That sounds nice, but you know, I have a website and I have email lists and I have existing advertising and you know, we've had our ad department or my graphics guy design this.” How do they start to make the transition from all corporate as taught by the experts to more personal and, “This is who I am, this is the authentic me, these are my superpowers, these are the areas that I really excel.” How do you start to make that transition? Because that's a huge disconnect from what you see on Facebook versus how people really live.

Megan: So I'm a big fan of experiments. I kind of view business as just a series of experiments. So I think that the best way to go about it is to run a little experiment, take one channel. I like email, email feels relatively private and safe to me, so it feels like a safe place to start this. But equally, you could take like your Instagram client or your Facebook client, whatever makes sense for you. Take one channel and just try it for a month, two months, like do a little series where, “Okay, I'm going to send out some messages that I'm going to put my real self into. I'm going to talk about the things I care about most.” Something I encourage people to do a lot of the time is to do a 30 and 30.

Megan: So, write an email a day for 30 days, or do a Facebook post a day for 30 days and choose a theme that you care about that is in some way related to your work. So the last series I did, and I do one of these at least once a year, but the last series I did was about cultural forces, which is kind of like the growing edge of my work. So it's was like, “Okay, I'm interested in cultural forces, I'm going to bring this stuff into my work. So for the next month, I'm going to write a piece a day and put it onto my email list and it's going to be around the theme of Cultural Forces.” I don't plan it in advance, I just create that container and then every day I have to produce something and it's amazing what you will actually produce. It's amazing what you find in the well once you start drawing that water out. So it's not about going, “Okay, I'm going to make wholesale changes across the board.” You can do it incrementally and you can do it in very safe ways. It's easy to run a little experiment like that and just view it as an experiment.

Doug: Yeah, fair enough. And I tell people all the time to test, test, test, and I think it was after I first started receiving your emails and signed up back a several months ago, I thought, “I'm going to change,” As a shared with you, “I'm going to change the way that I write my emails to be less corporate.” So I still send an email out on Thursdays for my podcasts. So, it's really great interviews that I've had guests that I've interviewed or people that have interviewed me with a lesson, but my Tuesday email is more personal. And as I also shared with you, I mean, I was super concerned about unsubscribes and then I got my head around, “Hey, this is good unsubscribes mean not my tribe. Better deliverability. They don't like the style, they'll move along.” But what I found was, yes I did have some people unsubscribe, say the in like the change of the content.

Doug: However, I started getting more personal messages back saying, “Hey, I really like x, I really like this, I really like that. ” So before it was all corporate, I didn't get so much. Now I'm getting more feedback, more connection, a more engaged audience, a higher open rate. And that was just really saying, “You're not gonna see this on my website. If you want to see this piece of me, you need to be subscribed to my list. That's the relationship. That's the trade-off.” And so, taking your advice and looking at what you were doing back several months ago and moving that over. I've seen great results and I'm super happy to have implemented that.

Megan: Yeah. It's the best market research you can do because the stuff that people will tell you whenever they email you back, if you put your personal story out there and you actually put some vulnerability into it and it's not some like slick marketing thing, it is a genuine communication where you're showing who you are. You will be amazed at what people will respond and the stories that they will share. Things that people have told me in the emails in response to some of my emails, you can never get that from any other kind of market research. It's personal, it's deep stuff and it is, I mean, I don't think of it as market research, but I guess that is basically what it is. It informs how I communicate with my customers into the future and informs the products and programs that I create. Yeah. Having a really deep understanding of who your customer is, is super important.

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HOW TO BE YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF IN YOUR PROFESSIONAL LIFE

[just click to tweet]

HOW TO BE YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF IN YOUR PROFESSIONAL LIFE

Our business is about helping people be authentic in their marketing, businesses, and every aspect of their work.

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Doug: Well and for me, I think that even if they're not your customer yet, it's about relationships and for new entrepreneurs that are trying to pay the rent at the end of the month, the long game doesn't sound very appealing. So I realize that there's going to be times when you have to take clients to do things that aren't a perfect fit because you've got to keep the lights on. However, I think this sort of a conversation for me, at least anyhow, is that lets me work with people that share the same values and that are more fun to hang out with. I mean there's nothing weird that's going to happen. I kind of know what their expectation is, “Because my rule of thumb has always been, hey, if I wouldn't invite you to meet my family, you probably not a good fit to work with.”

Megan: Mm-hmm- (affirmative) Mm-hmm (affirmative) yeah, everything is just easier when you're yourself.,it really is, it has an impact across the board. My business life now is so much less complicated and more straightforward than it was whenever I was running that web design agency. And I was trying to be all things to all men and working with people who were outside of that natural empathy zone. It really is a simplified across the board.

Doug: So what tips would you give our listeners, what's something they could do today to kind of make that change? Whether it's something that they actually do or it's a shift in thinking or something they should go away and go grab a cup of coffee, shut your phone off and grab a notepad and take a few minutes?

Megan: So, I think one of the questions that are really powerful for people to think about and none of my work really is about, “Okay, go do this thing and you'll have clarity within 30 minutes and you can go make changes in your business.” It's much more, “Embed these questions into your brain and at some point, over the next weeks and months you will have some insights off the back of them.”

Doug: Okay.

Megan: But a question that I would encourage people to think about on an ongoing basis is, “What is the work that only you can do?” And an extension of that is, “What are the things that only you can talk about? What's the marketing that only you can do?” If you can lean into that, that's where the magic is. That's where your strongest marketing pieces come from, but it's also where your greatest fulfillment comes from in your work and it's where your best work comes from. I think a lot of people are running businesses that are doing well, but they are not doing their best work and they have this sense that they have something bigger in them, and I don't think that you ever get to the point where that big thing reveals itself to you and then it's like, “Oh, I'm going to start doing that.” It's much more, you start asking these questions, you start asking, “What's my story? What's the work only I can do? What am I uniquely placed to do?” And over time, if you keep asking those questions and you keep them bring in the insights, you get into your marketing, and into your business of things like running these little experiments over time, it starts to reveal itself.

Megan: And the most common conversation I have with people is, they'll go from saying like, “I don't know what the thing that only I can do is I don't know what, like my unique thing is.” And they'll say that to me for months and months and months and then one day they'll say, “Do you know what? I've realized what it is, and it turns out I've actually been doing it for the past six months. I just didn't see it.”

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HOW TO BE YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF IN YOUR PROFESSIONAL LIFE

[just click to tweet]

HOW TO BE YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF IN YOUR PROFESSIONAL LIFE

Our business is about helping people be authentic in their marketing, businesses, and every aspect of their work.

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Doug: Wow, that's cool.

Megan: That's almost always the way it goes. So it's about asking these questions, and I'm a big fan of free writing exercises. So, just write at the top of the page, “What am I uniquely placed to do? What's the work that only I can do?” And then put 10 or 15 minutes on a timer and just start writing whatever comes to mind, and don't lift your pen off the page, keep the pen moving for 10 or 15 minutes. It might come by as gobbledygook, but somewhere in the midst of it, you will get to something that you know in your subconscious, but you don't yet know consciously.

Doug: That's a great idea. I mean, I've been kind of doing some reflection in that area of my life is saying, “What do I really like to do and what am I good at? What makes me unique?” Because people ask you, “So, Hey, nice to meet you. So what do you do?” And everybody's got their elevator pitch and I thought, “Yeah, you know? Yeah, I'm known for all the work I do in email because I have a lot of experience. We've had lots of success, but that's really not my superpower, that's just a tactic that I used.” So like you said, it took a little bit of time to dig in and figure out, “What is it that I'm really unique at and what do I do really, really well for my clients?”

Megan: I think you've touched on something that's really important as well. So I see a lot of people come and say, “I need to figure out what my USP is or I need to like update my elevator speech, but I feel like it doesn't really describe exactly what I do or who I am.” And I think that one of the reasons for that is, so I think there are two kinds of an entrepreneur. I think that you get people who operate primarily as traditional business entrepreneurs and so their number one focus is building a business and they're passionate about the game of business. But then you also have artistic type entrepreneurs who may build a very successful business, but their number one thing that they are most passionate about is the work that they do. So their primary focus is building a body of work. And if you are a traditional business person type operating in that world and you're focused on building the business, it's relatively easy to get clarity around your USP and elevator speech.

Megan: But if you're an artistic type and you're passionate about the work that you do and you're always trying to go deeper into the work that you do. I think that it's kind of a waste of time to focus on trying to find a USP, an elevator pitch that sums you up because it's never going to be able to contain all of your work. And I think what we should focus on instead is our story. Our story inherently conveys to the world, and that has it within it what our USP is, what we're all about. What our work is in a bigger sense, kind of like my video that I mentioned, it doesn't say what I do, but it conveys the essence of what I do. So that's one reason why I encourage people to figure out like look back at what your story is. Look back at the different chapters of your life and try to see what is the thread that runs through your story. What is the thread that runs through all of the different work that you have done over your life and make the switch to when someone asks you what you do, like tell them your story? You don't have to get stuck on USPs and elevator pitches. Your story is the most powerful thing you have.

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HOW TO BE YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF IN YOUR PROFESSIONAL LIFE

[just click to tweet]

HOW TO BE YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF IN YOUR PROFESSIONAL LIFE

Our business is about helping people be authentic in their marketing, businesses, and every aspect of their work.

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Doug: Well and I had heard somebody once say, “Take a few and think back, what are the compliments that you often receive and dismiss?” And so you started thinking of people say, “Hey, you're really good at, ” Fill in the blank, or, “Hey, you're just really smart in,” Fill in the blank. And then, often people and I included, dismiss those like, “Oh yeah, like no big deal. Like whatever.” And they're going, “There's something there because that's other people looking at you differently obviously than you're evaluating yourself. And that may point you to areas that you stand out compared to everyone else in terms of being unique.”

Megan: Yeah, and I had a very similar experience actually talking about Perry Marshall. So I had a conversation with Perry Marshall, this was like as I was beginning to make this transition into doing the work that I do today and I've had this consulting client who just saw youtube ad, signed up, paid for a few hours consultation and it was the first time that I had done that kind of consultation where I was just talking about stuff that felt like fun to me and we weren't digging into nitty-gritty of adverts or any of the other stuff that I used to do. And so I talked to Perry afterward and I was like, “Yeah, I did this consultation and I feel a bit funny about it.” He's like, “What do you mean?” I was like, “Well, I feel kind of bad. Like she paid me all this money, but I just showed up and had a conversation with her. Like it didn't feel like I was doing anything and she seemed really happy with It.” Perry started laughing and he was like, he was like, “Yeah, people will pay you to show up and be who you are. Like this is where you've been trying to get to. Like that's a good sign when you're in your little genius slipstream it doesn't really feel like anything special to you.”

Doug: Yeah, that's true. I'm part of a men's mastermind and one of the guys in the mastermind this week said to me, he goes, “You know, I hear you say that so often though, ‘Oh no big deal.'” He said, “You just do all this stuff.” And it's like, “I guess I don't really think about it.” It's like, “I'm just doing that because it makes sense to do that. And it's really no big deal.” But I guess for other people, your things that are no big deal can be a big deal in their life.

Megan: Yeah, yeah, totally. And I hear people say that about their story a lot as well. I do a lot of story work with people, helping them like, unpack their life and then figure out like, “What is a clear narrative and what's the narrative that's going to relate to your customers.” And so many people will come and say, “You know, I don't really think I have an interesting story. I don't know if this is going to work. I don't know if I have a story of worth telling. Like I don't have any like big things that have happened.” And then whenever you actually unpack your story, I'm like, “What are you talking about? This story is amazing, this is incredible. But because you have been living it and because you know it's like, ‘Oh well that wasn't really such a big day.'” But almost everybody thinks their story is not interested in and not worth telling. But actually, I am yet to meet someone who has a story that is not interesting and not worth telling. Everybody has a really powerful story hidden away.

Doug: Yeah, and I agree, I mean we live in our houses and often we don't go outside and we don't see or talk to your neighbors. And so you kind of view the world through social media and the Internet, and obviously that's not the real world. And there are people that have been through the same things that you've been through. And I just felt this real urge to, on social media, say, “Hey, I think someone's really hurting out there today. I just get this sense they're hurting and if you want me to pray with you, I will.” And I had a whole bunch of people respond. People that I didn't expect, people that were well-known share some stuff that was really deep and I went like, “Wow.” And the stuff I didn't know. Totally, as you said, stuff I had no idea before, but it was amazing. So you know, we need to tell our stories because there are people that have done the same things that you or I have done that have been through the stuff that we've been through. And it can be the difference between them, hey, waking up or not waking up because it's inspiring to them to, “Say that you made it, you got through whatever it is.”

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HOW TO BE YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF IN YOUR PROFESSIONAL LIFE

[just click to tweet]

HOW TO BE YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF IN YOUR PROFESSIONAL LIFE

Our business is about helping people be authentic in their marketing, businesses, and every aspect of their work.

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Megan: Yeah. And I think that we think a lot about the work that we do and the value that we can add to people's lives through our work or through the message that we have to share. But actually, I think that the most transformational thing we can do is share our stories. I think that a lot of the time it's our story that makes the biggest impact on people.

Doug: I probably just need to work on shortening my story cause I was playing golf with some guys yesterday so we had four hours. So we could tell a lot of stories, but I don't always have that time with the customers. So kind of a personal business question answered whatever way you'd like. What are you most excited about in the next six to 12 months?

Megan: What am I most excited about in the next six to 12 months? I am doing a project, so I'm excited about it cause I don't know what is gonna happen, but I'm doing a project. One of these experiments that I've been talking about related to cultural forces related to my youth growing up in Northern Ireland at the tail end of the troubles and all that kind of stuff. So I'm kind of like, as I go through the years, every couple of years I realized, “Oh there's another layer to the story that I wasn't aware was there that I haven't told.” So I'm going to be starting a project in the summer to start to unpack what that story is and go even more into my personal story. So I'm excited/terrified about that.

Doug: So a practical question for people who might be panicking by this point, listening to the podcast, how personal do you get? I mean there's got to be some boundaries, I'm assuming. So, let me rephrase that, there doesn't have to be some boundaries, but for me, there would be some boundaries of how much do you share in your personal story because this is a business or some form of communication with the world, right?

Megan: Mm-hmm (affirmative). So, I'm glad you asked that question because boundaries are super important. A lot of people here, “Okay, I need to tell my story.” And then they go off and they just like unload everything onto the Internet and that is not authentic sharing, that is like a whole other thing. So yeah, you have to have some boundaries. So I have two rules that are kind of like rules of thumb that I use. One is I don't share anything in my emails or in any of the work that I haven't already processed and made sense of myself. So if it's anything that I'm still feeling all at sea over, it's not ready to go out publicly. So it has to be something that I feel like, “You know, I've processed all the emotion around this. I'm not going to be unloading anything on anybody.” And the other rule of thumb is it has to be for the audience rather than for me. So there has to be a reason for sharing it.

Doug: That's a great point for the audience.

Megan: Yeah. So it's not about, “I'm just going to rant because I want to round up this thing.” It's not about, “I just feel like writing about this thing today.” You can do that, but maybe that's on a personal blog or in a journal or something like that. If you have an audience that you're trying to serve with this stuff, you have to ask, “How does this serve them? How is this relevant to them?” So usually I use like an 80/20 approach to whenever I'm writing my email. So it's 80% story and 20% some kind of lesson, or take away, or concluding thought that is useful to the audience.

Doug: Okay, that's a great rule of thumb. So if you haven't emotionally dealt with it, don't share it and remember why you're doing this, you're doing this to serve your audience. If it doesn't serve your audience, calling out somebody who wronged you isn't serving your audience, it's just a bad idea.

Megan: Yes, 100%.

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HOW TO BE YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF IN YOUR PROFESSIONAL LIFE

[just click to tweet]

HOW TO BE YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF IN YOUR PROFESSIONAL LIFE

Our business is about helping people be authentic in their marketing, businesses, and every aspect of their work.

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Doug: So, a couple of questions. I'll let you get back to you, we said we wouldn't talk about the weather, your Sunny Day, I'm going to forecast a sunny day. Who's one guest I absolutely have to have on my podcast.

Megan: I think you should talk to a lady called Nancy Schlesinger. She is from the UK, she's a hiring expert but she's a hiring expert like you've never met before. And a lot of her approach is informed by marketing approaches and it's a lot about like how you write the ads and I know you talked to Perry before about 80/20. So, she has taken the rules of 80/20 and applied it to hire. She's super smart, very interesting, I think you two would have a good conversation.

Doug: Well, that'd be amazing. If you could for an introduction, that'd be wonderful.

Megan: Yeah absolutely.

Doug: And we'll do our best to get her on the show now. Now, where's the best place for people to connect with you? I would suggest before you answer, I would suggest going to your website and watching your video on that hooked me. But where would you like people to go?

Megan: Yeah, that's the best place to go. Just meganmacedo.com, the film is on the home page. That gives you my story, that also gives you an idea of what I'm talking about whenever I talk about sharing your story and being authentic and you can get a sense of where the boundaries are. But yeah, that's the best place to start.

Doug: And I'd also recommend listeners, that you subscribe to her email list, emails, you can subscribe, you can unsubscribe. But I suggest starting by subscribing and just see how Megan's writing, and the best way to kind of process the conversation we've had today is seeing how she markets and how she talks to her audience, I've really enjoyed it. So, I just wanna say thank you for taking the time today to share with our audience. I really appreciate that.

Megan: My pleasure. Thank you very much for having me, Doug.

Doug: Well there you go, listeners. There's another episode of Real Marketing Real Fast, and today we talked about being authentic and then some rules around that and my guest today was Megan Macedo and I really enjoyed our conversation. I'll make sure that we have the show notes all transcribed and the link to her website will be there. I'd really strongly encourage you to go watch your video and consider what would your video look like if you took that approach as a starting point. So, thanks again for tuning in, I hope we're able to serve your needs today. I look forward to serving you in the next episode.

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HOW TO BE YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF IN YOUR PROFESSIONAL LIFE

[just click to tweet]

HOW TO BE YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF IN YOUR PROFESSIONAL LIFE

Our business is about helping people be authentic in their marketing, businesses, and every aspect of their work.

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Get in touch with Megan:

Find out more about Megan:

Links to other related podcasts and or blog posts:

HOW TO CREATE AUTHENTIC “KNOW, LIKE, AND TRUST”

ARE YOU TELLING YOUR AUTHENTIC BRAND STORY?