Recently I had the pleasure of attending a talk by Margaret McNab. She’s, a freelance growth strategist, co-founder of the freelance league of NC, longtime freelancer, badass mom and -- dare I say? -- friend.? Her talk was for the NCIDEA for Entrepreneurs group on Authenticity. She spoke about self awareness and authenticity. Do you know who you are? Do you know what people say about you when you're not in the room? Does that match with what you want people to be saying about you when you’re not in the room? These questions can be answered by knowing who you are, what you value, and then holding yourself accountable to those values.
Being authentic is something I rarely pay attention to in myself because I sort of expect it to always be passively ‘ON’. The more Margaret spoke on this topic, the more I started to question myself. Influence hits us from all directions many times a day, every day. This means our authenticity is constantly and continually being tested and challenged.
During Margaret’s talk she gave us an activity. Start by drawing two lines on a piece of paper so that you end up with three columns. In the first column, we were asked to write down five people you would invite to a dinner party. Attendees could be dead or alive.
I really had no idea where Margaret was going with this exercise, and I think it made all the difference in my choices. The forefront of my mind recently has been the idea of a decentralized economy, so all of my choices were based on those who could create good conversation around this topic, be it positive, neutral or negative. So, here are my choices:
Elon Musk - of Tesla, SpaceX, Boring Company, etc.
Satoshi Nakamoto - ehhh, BitCoin? :)
Benjamin Franklin - Founding father - paper currency advocate? - Notorious BIG was all about him.
Bernie Madoff - Puppet master of the largest ponzi scheme to date
Warren Buffett - CEO Berkshire - Investor - Philanthropist - Digital Currency Hater
In the second column we were asked to write a sentence as to why we chose each person:
Elon Musk - aside from being successful, he just really comes off as a good dude, cares more about the greater good, than he does about making all the monies.
Satoshi Nakamoto - I believe they could contribute heavily to the ideas of a decentralized economy.
Benjamin Franklin - History repeats itself, what information, warning signs, or ideas could he provide that we might have overlooked?
Bernie Madoff - The opposite of Elon? The idea here is maybe to pick his brain on how we might make this new digital economy more secure for the average user. Are there lessons we can learn from the vulnerabilities he exposed.
Warren Buffett - Wildly successful businessman and doubter of BitCoin and a digital economy.
I think you can all agree this would be on conversation you would love to be a fly on the wall for.
In the third column, we were asked to list the qualities or values each invitee held. This is where I had an “oh shit” moment. I had a dead dude and Bernie Madoff on my list. And then I thought back to earlier in Margaret’s talk when she noted how we, as individuals, are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. Crap. I struggled with this one. I gave it a go:
Elon Musk - Authentic, Genuine, Humanitarian, Hard Worker, and Driven
Satoshi Nakamoto - Mysterious, Bold, Disrupter
Benjamin Franklin -
Bernie Madoff -
Warren Buffett - Risk Taker
We were then asked to circle all the values we valued the most, which I underlined because I am a rebel like that. Genuine, Driven, Bold, Disrupter and Risk Taker. The idea is that these should help you determine your own personal values and set you on the path of authenticity and accountability.
I really enjoyed your talk Margaret, you're definitely invited to the next dinner party!
Who would you invite to your dinner party? I would love to see your results!
by Spencer Horn