Hello Awesome People!
It was only just recently I had the massive honour of Mentoring Public Speakers at TEDx NSI. My clients and friends ‘The Northern Sydney Institute’ (NSI) took the High Risk / High Reward honour of hosting one of the famed TEDx events.
They thought of who they could put their speakers in the trusted hands of – and they said me! (yay, awesome!)
I remember the day – the stress, the focus, the preparation and I remember everyone having Skin in the Game. From the Year 10 Level students doing work experience to the head Board Members of NSI – if this went bad it would be bad for everyone.
Even me, I was working very hard on impressing my client and at the same time, mentoring a squad of great people with ideas worth spreading, making sure that they were ready for the big day. One awesome character I met was Phyllis Foundis. When I first met her, I said to myself “She should be a TV character” and what do you know? She has previously had her own TV show and currently is cooking up something (now I can’t tell you more than that…)
I met up with Phyllis post TEdx, instantly connected and I was honoured when she said she would like guest blog on the Edward Files. She wrote an amazing piece I’d love to share it with you awesome people:
“Wanna be successful in business? Great. Get NAKED!” – Guest Blog by Phyllis Foundis:
Telling the truth is overrated. Honestly. And no, this blog isn’t about telling lies, no matter how white or sweet they may be. It’s actually about intimacy. Yes, even in business. Correction, especially in business.
When Edward asked me to write a piece for this site – intimacy was the first word that sprung to my mind. Okay, two words: intimacy and connection.
In my opinion – and certainly in my experience – if you can connect on a visceral level with a client – potential or existing – suddenly you have a genuine edge over the competition. And when I say visceral – much as I love that word and all it connotes – I’m not talking about hugs, kisses or other physical intimacies – though if that’s your speed in your line of business, who am I to judge? (!) No. Getting intimate with strangers is all about truth.
You see, the truth leaves me cold. At best it’s bland, generic, impersonal and at the other end of the spectrum every thought leader and his copycat is confessing the crap out of it at events, meetings, status updates, tweets.
How many times have you heard –
‘To tell you the truth…(insert some generic blah-blah here).’
I question, the authenticity and originality of said honesty. Is it a recycled opinion? Something you think clients want to hear?
The truth doesn’t interest me – and deep down it doesn’t turn your clients on either – not if they’re being honest. And herein lies the core of my argument.
Being truthful with yourself about who you are and what you’re offering to your industry is all about getting naked. It relies on asking yourself the biggest, hairiest questions before your clients beat you to it – and choose your competition instead.
Why are you in business? What is it about your service or product that contributes to the world, to connectivity – heck, humanity? Deeper than you wanted to get? Perfect. Not deep enough? Bring it on.
Basically, it’s another way of asking yourself – what is your ‘why’? Simon Sinek illustrates this brilliant line of thinking in his popular TED talk.
The other day I was sitting in a big office opposite an influential TV executive. I could’ve schmoozed. Told her what I thought she wanted to hear about someone like me – a 40-something emerging producer with a few show ideas that may or may not fly. But I laid my truth out like a colourful piece of handmade craft only a mother could love (!). And… she didn’t reject me! I felt light as air – albeit slightly terrified which is normal for this terrain. And human. (I’m no Wonder Woman – in spite of my blatant lust for red boots).
And while we’re on the subject of super powers… every time I’ve inched out onto that limb and told my truth great things have happened… delicious opportunities crop up and some of the most supportive, selfless people I’ve ever met walk into my life – in other words, my tribe shows up.
You’ll know your tribe when you meet them – and they’re not necessarily related to you – in fact, often times, they’re not. Your tribe are the selfless folk who truly ‘get you’. And their adoration of all that you stand for will come in all sorts of guises… clients will move deadlines, shift budgets just to work with you, managers or industry leaders will reach out totally unannounced, inspired by your vision and business ethos. It’s almost effortless. But never accidental.
So. The truth…
You can stretch it. Varnish it. Embellish it. Be economical with it. But spouting some revelation ‘outside’ of who you really are simply because you believe that’s the gospel clients buy – is selling yourself – and your business – short.
Ultimately, anything other than your story will always, always feel at odds with you – that naked, unrepeatable, flawed, fabulous you!
And ain’t that the truth?
Phyllis Foundis is a writer, producer, story hoarder and a multi-award-winning TV host of Foxtel panel show, Foundis, a talk show for men, by men and those who love ‘em. A recovering advertising copywriter, Phyllis performed in her self-penned, one-woman show, the virgin club on London’s West End, the Edinburgh Festival and Melbourne’s International Comedy Festival. In 2013, she produced and hosted her crowd-funded men’s talk show, Foundis. And in March 2015, Phyllis was awarded an ASTRA for Most Outstanding New TV Talent. In May this year, she was invited to speak about her Lightbulb Moment at TEDx.
And in July, The Screen Producers of Australia announced Phyllis as one of only 14 producers nationwide to be selected in the 2015 ‘Ones to Watch’ program.
A champion of intimacy that goes beyond (just) the bedroom, Phyllis enjoys detonating status quos and is currently writing, The Joy of Sags: Sexual adventures from the pre-menopausal frontline. Out in 2015.
Edward’s Post Blog Commentary:
Agree and isn’t that awesome? I usually have a lot to say and this time I don’t. Only because it’s so true and obvious. Bravo Phyllis and my advice and thinking? Stay tuned for her upcoming literature and watch this space. Who knows what great profitable ideas we may have in mind….
Trust this has been another Helpful Topic. For more savvy tips and to keep up to date with New Ideas to Market your Business, please sign up to the “The Awesome Marketing Vault”
Love your work, and thank You for the read, enjoy the thoughts, Edward Zia signing out – Stay Awesome!!
Edward Zia is a Marketing Mentor and Business Leader who have worked for a very long time in Marketing and loves helping Awesome Small Business Owners get more clients.