PRODUCTION NOTE: Originally, I had intended this book to be a self-esteem builder for high school and early college-aged teens. The working titles or this project have been Spark, Wicked Epic Real and a hundred others as I waded through celebrity and professional insight and distilled my personal blather.
As it took shape I realized two things. First, that young adults can handle far more than we give them credit for. Second, individuals are never too old to revisit what makes them more connected to their true sense of power - self. For younger readers I do apologize if the language seems a bit raw, it is not my intent to offend anyone. For older readers - prepare to get a little silly…
STEVEN A. GEDEON, BSC, MSC, MBA, PENG, PE, PH.D
VENTURE TEAM, FRAUNHOFER VENTURE
SENIOR ASSOCIATE, BEHR & ASSOCIATES
DIRECTOR, RYERSON ENTREPRENEUR INSTITUTE
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, TED ROGERS SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT
TIFFANY SONNIER, MBA
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AT DESTINY INSTITUTE INTERNATIONAL, MOTIVATOR; SPIRITUAL COACH; INSPIRATIONLIST
@TIFFANYSONNIER | DESTINYINSTITUTEINTERNATIONAL.NET
WORLD-RENOWNED FANTASY & DISNEY ARTIST
@STRANGELING | FACEBOOK.COM/STRANGELING
CEO OF IDEAFAKTORY, AUTHOR OF ECONOVATION,
FORBES & HBR WRITER: EX-FORTUNE 100 INNOVATION EXEC
IDEAFAKTORY.COM | @IDEAFAKTORY
FOUNDER/CEO OF LIGHTSPEED VT, HOST OF THE BOTTOM LINE FEATURED IN: FORBES, ENTREPRENEUR, HUFFPOST
PODCAST: DROPPINGBOMBS.COM | BRADLEA.COM
Author of 18 international bestsellers translated into 35 + languages. Guru of change. Idea beast. www.SethGodin.com
STUART AVERY GOLD
International best selling author, purveyor of Ping, and all-around great guy.
Speaker and abundance queen. Radiant inside and out! Twitter: @2motivate
MARY LOU RETTON
First American woman to win the all-around gold medal at the Olympics.
KATIE MACK A.K.A @ASTROKATIE
Theoretical astrophysicist, international speaker and total-badass-girl-power-troll-stomper. www.astrokatie.com
One of the world's premier speakers on Leadership and Personal Mastery.
Singer, actress, artist, model & true L.A. icon!
Bring Back the Billboards!
Bestselling author, TEDx Speaker, TV Personality, Coach and all around mega-fab superhero.
American celebrity chef, restaurateur, & reality television personality.
Celebrity Game Show Host
Bob Barker on IMDB
Author & Poet of the heart
Author, Councilor, Energy Practitioner, Teacher, 4th Generation Psychic
After twenty years in the professional design business, I found I was doing as much training and brainstorming with clients on how to get the most out of their branding as I was actually creating the branding artwork. This led me to get my certifications in Business Coaching, Life Coaching and Time Management Coaching, giving me a broader scope of tools to help my clients succeed in presenting the essence of who they really are - and why their customers should love them.
Working with clients both small and large around the globe has been a fascinating adventure. One of my biggest takeaways is that authenticity is king.
Anyone can sell an appealing logo to a company. But when you go to the root of the business, the essence of what sets that business apart and you are able to effectively communicate that through social media presence, graphic elements, color schemes, packaging and overall presentation, the business pretty much grows itself.
True, customers will always be driven to some degree by price, but what becomes just as important is a feeling that what you see is the real deal. Transparency, trust and connection.
Figuring out what actually makes up THE REAL DEAL became an obsession. The parallel between what makes a successful brand in the commercial world is the same as what makes a successful individual in their personal life. To distill the crap - the unnecessary, the have tos and should dos leaves all the amazing qualities that create our very best versions of self.
The authentic self (insert angels singing here) is the ultimate source of personal strength.
No matter how many times you have fallen down, been underestimated, been herded back into the faceless pack or have been told to sit down and shut up, (and believe me I HAVE) there is hope.
I traced back through my life a series of stories, lessons, losses and wins that make up the factors and decisions that determine how authentic a person is, and how they can get better at it. And the more authentic a person is, the more they can become. These stories are gritty, wild, wacky stories make up my authentic self and I'm sharing them publicly as both illustrations, and as another level in my journey for transparent authenticity.
Having found myself accidentally alone with elephants in the Okavango Delta; broke and hungry in Santa Barbara, California; dealing with lawsuits; coping with relationship disasters; sipping champagne during brunch on the Panama Canal; taking an ultralight over Victoria Falls, and sleeping in the snow with a broken ankle.... it's been a weird bunch of decades.
But you don't just have to take it from me. I've been tracking down experts and dream-livers to help me tell the story; namely, contemporary and legendary icons being their own authentic powerful selves out there right now. These are people who have recognized and blown the roof off what it means to be yourself.
"Never put up with those who put you down. You are here to live your life not someone else's. The dream does not begin unless you do." - Stuart Avery Gold
I share through this book many of my personal experiences with the ups and downs of finding my own authenticity and what I know you can do better.
What does your authenticity look like?
How do you ignore the Bullies? The Nay-Sayers? The Critics? The Doubters and Haters?
What does your passion look like against the backdrop of the "real world"
...and how do you get the two to play nice together?
This book is a series of snapshots illustrating - on a very personal level - how to find that authentic self. It addresses what the wrong way looks like --ways to stay motivated on the journey. It deals with how anyone can bounce back and find the silver lining.
I wanted to have fun! Inspire! Soooo.... it's all here. Recounting my crazy stories of personal adventure and self-exploration peppered with the philosophies and methods of current professional badasses, this book fights the forces of anonymity and slays the dragons of self doubt.
Trust yourself. Develop your intuition. Have faith in yourself. Believe you can do it.
Any ideas how that happens? Authenticity!