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. And no, it has nothing to do with the between-the-sheets kind of intimacy – that’s easy (or ‘ier’ than the vertical variety).
What am I saying? It’s simple. Unfettered, meaningful success in your life begins and ends with intimacy.
In my opinion – and certainly in my experience – if you can connect on a visceral level with a client, employer, agent, lover, insert your own definition of ‘mover and shaker’ here – 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 –No. Getting intimate with the people who can make – or break – the success you crave is all about truth.
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 and texts.
How many times have you heard –
‘To tell you the truth…(complete the phrase with some generic blah-blah).’
I question the authenticity and originality of said honesty. Is it a recycled opinion? Something you think people want to hear?
The truth doesn’t interest me – and deep down it doesn’t convince the people you want to impact either – not if they’re being honest.
Being truthful with yourself about who you are and what you’re offering to your industry / relationships is all about getting naked. It relies on asking yourself the biggest, hairiest questions before your competitors beat you to it.
Why are you passionate about … writing, business, singing, music, gardening, love, children? What is it about your ‘brand DNA’ 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 writer / 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 unabashed 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, new friends and lovers will forgo their facebook feeds just to hang out with you, industry leaders will reach out totally unnanounced 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 people buy – is selling yourself – and your heart-powered endeavours in life, love and 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 2016.