Are You Walking Your Talk?

As a person who is fully committed to the idea of LIVING MY BRAND — you know, walking my talk in a way that is authentic and connects me with my audience — I found it troubling to learn that some of the people whom I admired from afar were actually something different from the reality they portrayed.

It was a watershed moment.

I was having a deliciously juicy conversation with one of my dearest friends and fellow entrepreneurs about business when she dropped a bombshell on me: one of the people I admired most was not living up to the hype. Moreover, a few others I watch closely were also falling short of glory. One was even downright copying the work of another.

And, here’s the kicker — she even had proof to back up the claims.

Sheesh.

I am not so incredibly naïve to believe that people (in business or otherwise) don’t sometimes feel pressured to slightly embellish their reality.

I am also not so jaded to think that each and every business superstar is a sleazebag.

However, as a person who is fully committed to the idea of LIVING MY BRAND— you know, walking my talk in a way that is authentic and connects me with my audience — I found it troubling to learn that some of the people whom I admired from afar were actually something different from the reality they portrayed.

I should have known better.

In at least one of those instances, a quick search, due diligence, if you will, would have told me that this person’s business life was not bearing the fruit s/he purported. If you know me, you know I am completely and totally obsessed with ‘receipts.’ That is, solid proof that one is as good as he or she claims. I actually say my favorite time is ‘receipt-check’ time in which I love to answer another’s questions about why or how I am uniquely qualified to do whatever thing I am doing at any particular moment. (Full disclosure: receipt check time also happens when I am digitally stalking another human.)

So, if I love checking receipts and even offering up mine, why would I be so shocked that a few of the folks I admire would be falling short of glory?

It is because I had completely bought into their story without studying or checking to verify the claims. Because these folks are considered to be super successful and well, famous, I automatically believed them to be authentic. I automatically believed them to be walking testaments of those who lived their brands — not just talked them.

My disappointment was turned into a teaching moment the following day when I was reminded of one of my favorite stories about a tree and the fruit it bears.

It reads:

“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. … Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.”

In other words, you can tell if a person (or business) really is who they say they are by the work produced in his or her life. You’ll be able to tell if you observe the person talking the talk AND walking the walk.

I always say branding is more than a logo design. It is more than what is said and done on social media. It is more than your web site. Good brand development encompasses all these things and much more. Branding is part story, part visuals and part actions. It is all about walking your talk.

Sound off: how are you walking your talk?

Tell me about the fruit of your life and work my Facebook group, #LiveYourBrand.