You Don’t Need Permission To Be Great

“The reason you’re looking for permission is because you know so many people are fakers.” It’s no secret I love Gary Vaynerchuk. I love his no-hold barred, balls out style that cuts through the bullshit. In the video above, I believe he hits on a very important point.

The world is full of fakers. And because the world is full of fakers, seeds of doubt are planted in our minds. Therefore, in order to be seen as credible, you, consciously or unconsciously, ask for permission to be great.

[Tweet theme=”basic-full”]Respect everyone. Listen to no one – @GaryVee[/Tweet]

If you’re being true to your authentic self, then what others are saying won’t matter.

Cut Through The Noise

It’s no surprise that the social media landscape is a noise place and it’s difficult to be heard. One look at your Facebook timeline and you’ll see a plethora of sponsored posts and advertisements promising the next big thing. Over the last 12 months I’ve subscribed to dozens and dozens of lists just to download the free gifts.  I’d estimate that over 90% of these downloads were crap and I’m spending the beginning of this year unsubscribing from those lists.

It’s these fakers that ruin everything for everyone else.

While all the noise is making it harder to be heard, your authenticity is your volume booster. Being authentic will automatically make you more credible because people can smell fake a mile away. You may not be the most popular voice in your niche, however you will have authority because you’re authentic.

You Own Your Story

Your story is where you currently are, not sometime in the future. Start telling your story in the middle of your mess and you’ll immediately bring value to the marketplace. And that’s what it’s all about, bringing value. Don’t worry about immediately monetizing your brand. Sometimes just being a voice so others don’t feel alone can be enough.

For example, I recently joined a Facebook community for parents with estranged adult children. One of the first things new members say when they introduce themselves is “I didn’t know there were so many like me”. It stuns me that in this age of extreme social connectivity that people still feel isolated.

I guess it shouldn’t as, until I joined this community, I was feeling the same way.

Be Authentic

Authenticity is the currency of the social media world. Quit asking for permission to tell your story and just do it. When you rely on others to give you the ‘ok’, you’re borrowing confidence. And, like any addiction, you’ll need bigger and bigger doses in order to get the same high.

There’s two thoughts I am going to leave you with to drive this point home.

In her book “You Are A Badass”, Jen Sincero tells a story about a friend who is scared to share her story because others might be offended. The bit of advice Jen gives is that as long as you’re not polluting the environment, taking advantage of people, or defrauding people of their money….who gives a fuck what they think. Not telling your story simply because someone might be upset is a chickenshit excuse.

The second comes from Anne Lamott, and is one of my favorites:

“You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”

[Tweet theme=”basic-full”]Forget safety. Be notorious. Destroy your reputation. Give zero fucks.[/Tweet]


  • Great post. Being authentic seems to be the most important. People buy into you or your company and if you aren’t who or what you say you are they will feel betrayed and leave. It is best to just be who you are and roll with it.

    • csalafia

      Amen to that! The more I was “me”, I found the less I cared about others’ opinions because I knew in my heart that I would find my tribe. It really is freeing and feeds the creative juices…the less you worry about how you’ll be taken, the more creative you can be.

      I’ve had my experiences with bad entrepreneurs, which does leave me a little skeptical….but you know what they say, the burned hand learns!

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