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Ask Philip: The Importance of Authenticity

You want it; you got it. Philip Michael is back to answer our viewers’ questions! In this segment of Ask Philip, he covers authenticity and being yourself, even when you don’t dress in “business clothes” or don’t have hundreds of “likes” on LinkedIn. Oh, and he shares his favorite smoothie flavor, too. Check it out!

Q. How can I seem authentic when Instagram is flooded with fake energy?

A. I mean, just be yourself. I could use myself as a personal case study because that’s all I can really talk about. People have said to me that my content is authentic. I do one take when I record, say what I feel, and if I am nice to somebody, it’s not because I made an effort to be nice. It’s an extension of my personality. If somebody says I’m an A-hole, it’s not because I tried to be; it’s an extension of my personality. So whenever you’re just true to yourself, people innately will feel that. It’s kind of like if you have a friend that’s offering you a favor, and you can sort of feel that there’s an ulterior motive behind it. That’s the absence of authenticity. So go in there, try to try to add value and be yourself. It’s really, truly that simple. 

Q. What do I do if I don’t look like the typical businessperson?

A. Let me respond to your question with a question in return: Do I look like a typical business person? It’s 2021, bro. There’s no such thing as looking like a typical businessperson. Have you seen the CEO of Twitter? If you look at what he looked like as a kid, he was like a punk rocker. He became a CEO (even though with being a tech CEO, there probably were some liberties with how professional he had to look). Now he’s got a nose ring and a full beard.

As long as, again, you’re authentic, and you know your stuff, people will look past that. I’m personally in an industry that is dominated by a demographic that is not me. But it doesn’t really matter because once you know what you’re doing, all that stuff goes away. It’s just an initial impression, and that literally fades away the second that it comes across that you know what you’re doing. So I wouldn’t worry too much about that. I used to wear suits all the time. I just don’t anymore. I couldn’t care less. But I’m also a little nuts. 

Q. How do you master LinkedIn? I have around 300 connections but get three or four likes on a post.

A. Well, I don’t even know what to tell you because I’m not exactly great at LinkedIn, either. I think there’s something to be said for, again, the “a word:” authenticity. One of the things that I see on LinkedIn that I don’t really appreciate is people will hit me up under a guise. “Hey, let’s connect,” and then they instantly send spam messages trying to sell you some tomfoolery. That’s not really how you develop relationships. I would say authenticity adds value. Try to develop sincere connections; add tons of value. Don’t ask for anything in return. Don’t expect anything, and that could help you build your network. In terms of likes, I wish I knew.

Q. Favorite smoothie flavor?

A. Strawberry and banana is pretty good. I try not to consume too much sugar, but that would be my favorite one. 

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