Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Price of Honesty

Honesty can be really expensive. At least it seems like it. Because if I were to tell you a list of truths, you might make decisions about me that were not necessarily pleasant. For example:

I hate exercise.
I'm bored with green juice and the entire juicing craze.
I like wine - probably a little too much.
I'm productive from 7:30 am until about noon, and then the wheels fall off.
I love writing. I hate writing. Then I love writing again.
I procrastinate by reading articles about procrastination.

However, honesty can be misleading. Just like some people lie by leaving out part of the information, sometimes honesty leaves out pertinent information that can color this "truth."

I hate exercise. But I love dancing.
I'm bored with green juice and the entire juicing craze. Though I drank green juice this very morning.
I like wine - probably a little too much. I can't help but prefer to have a glass or two with dinner.
I'm productive from 7:30 am until about noon, and then the wheels fall off. I try to make myself more productive by using the last part of the day for calls and emails.
I love writing. I hate writing. Then I love writing again. At least I'm passionate about it.!
I procrastinate by reading articles about procrastination. Who doesn't?

I've been grappling with the question of transparency and authenticity lately. Advice for business from people I know varies wildly from, "always tell people you are doing great - no one wants to do business with a loser," to "have the courage to be honest and people will respond to that honesty."

My tendency is toward  the latter. I expose a lot. Maybe too much. Maybe not enough.

Recently, I went to New Media Expo (#NMX) in Las Vegas. This conference is for bloggers and podcasters - content creators of all types really - and it fed my soul. Although I haven't written in my blog for a while I realized that I still self-identify as a blogger and the only difference between feeling guilty about that and not is my writing a post more often.

Pat Flynn was one of the presenters there. He is a lot of things now: business owner, podcaster, passive income guru, author, and speaker. More than all that, he is astonishingly REAL. He shares his financial information, about the way he makes money, with everyone online. He spoke about authenticity with Cliff Ravenscraft at #NMX and it was the most powerful session I witnessed. They were both a refreshing change of pace from the typical do-whatever-it-takes-to-make-the-sale old-school nastiness I'm sick of. Pat seems happy and at peace with himself.

One thing I had to recognize for myself was that I'm happier creating ways to communicate with people, than not...usually using something like video to do so. I decided I want to pick up podcasting again (I miss doing the Social Media Sweet Spot) even if it is just for fun and not related to business.

All of this is to say that I am going to be testing out some podcasting ideas. If they stick, they stick. If not, I'm not going to worry about it. But I will be sharing them here on my blog, if you are interested.

What truth are you not telling? Do you think honesty really is the best policy or are there reasons to "keep your cards close to your chest?"


  1. OMG we are totally separated at birth because I started drafting a post very similar to this one last night...but then just decided to journal instead. I think we should start a face-to-face inspiration meeting every few months--blogging has gotten too depressing and lonely, IMO. But I for one am happy to see you blogging again!

    Maybe for you I'll finish writing that post...

    1. We should definitely get together - the idea of an inspiration meeting sounds ideal! I just realized that I was holding back from doing podcasts and blogging because I wanted things to be perfect or categorized appropriately...but screw it. I just want to get stuff out and to stop waiting for perfection (because it isn't coming anytime soon, I've decided).

      Let's plan an inspiration meeting soon - with wine, of course.

    2. Oh, and please DO finish writing that post - I love your writing.

    3. KiKi, I swear that we are always at the same place at the same time. I love when I "stumble" across a new blog post from you because it always hits home with me. For me, 99.9% of the time, if I cannot be honest then I just do not say anything. Then I'm labeled as a "b*tch. Heck, if I say something I still get the same label. More often than not I go with, "have the courage to be honest and people will respond to that honesty." Besides, if I say I'm great and I'm not, it shows on my face and people know I'm not being honest anyway. Then I just smile and say, "Really, I'm fine." Do you, do what feels natural. I'm so tired of social expectations of how people THINK people should be. Be kind, have respect, and do no harm, that's all I need.

    4. Love this post Kiki! Very excited at the prospect of you podcasting again.

    5. Adrienne, we really do think in sync. I'm definitely tired of the argument that telling everyone you're fine when you're not is the way to go. I'm also kind of bummed that I've seen people who follow this advice, to grin and bear it, succeed. The fortunate thing is that I've met really brave and honest people succeed, too, and they seem happier. I want to be happy and honest, too. I'm not sure what that means for 2014 yet, but I know that my family and good friends like you have my back.

    6. Thanks, Stefanie! I'm ready for it...time to start sharing again. Perfection be damned.

    7. Wonderful food for thought. In my experience (and that's all I will claim here) when I am not fine and have shared that in response to the casual "how are you doing?" it definitely throws the other person off-stride and can make the subsequent conversation awkward.

      Because it feels that I'm not playing along with the generally understood conversational norms, I choose to then add to my response:

      "You know, this is a tough time for because of _____. I share that not because I need you to try and do anything for me, but because you might sense I'm a bit off or may I come across differently to you and I want you to know why."

      Obviously that's just one example and sometimes I indicate I would like to talk about the situation when they have the time and interest to do so. I've just decided I want to disarm the discomfort people seem to experience when they get a response they weren't expecting and make it easy for them to reengage with me conversationally.

    8. Jeffrey, Jeffrey, Jeffrey, I've said this to you before and I'll say it again, I love the way you think. Thank you for a great example. In keeping with being honest about if I am not feeling "up to snuff" at any given time, the thing that holds me back is the fact that I do not want to go into details about the situation that is keeping me from feeling less than stellar. What a wonderful response that I can use sincerely to stay honest and let people know, it's not them, it's me.

      And this reminds me that I really want to have that overdue 'get to know you chat' that I asked you about last year. I am emailing you now in hopes that you can find time in your schedule to say hello and let me get to know you a bit better.


Thanks for your comments!