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If You Call Yourself “Authentic”, Can You BE Authentic?

A few months ago I wrote a piece accusing Chris Brogan of being less smart than Gary Vaynerchuk. Chris didn’t like it, and he said so.

Because it’s my nature to care about the impact I have on people, it bothered me that I had hurt Mr. Brogan’s feelings. I mean that sincerely. I mean it authentically.

A couple of weeks ago, Chris Brogan wrote on the subject of authenticity. He essentially said that we can’t be authentic because we all have filters.

I’m going to be authentic right now and tell you that I think Chris Brogan needs to stop listening to himself pontificating on marketing and start being a person again. Chris Brogan, from everything I know about him, is a nice guy. AUTHENTICALLY. And I just can’t understand why he’s come to believe that you can’t be authentic and still be a functioning member of (business) society.

Sure, there’s understanding that you need to be careful. But you can still be real.

Now with that said: when you tell people you’re smart, you’re generally sending out a “oh really? then why do you have to tell me so?” message. When you tell people you’re being honest, it’s likely they’ll think you’re being the opposite. “Trust Me”? Probably not if you tell me to!

But Chris Brogan, in rejecting the mantle and the very idea of authenticity, IS BEING AUTHENTIC. It just happens that he’s also being cynical.

Chris, I don’t really think Vaynerchuk is smarter than you. I just wish you’d stop outsmarting yourself, because the rest of us can see right through it.

Start by being authentic.


  1. You’d have to work really hard to find any spot where I call myself smart. It’s pretty much the opposite of how I refer to myself in any given day. I do say I’m funny. Smart? Well, that’s for other people.

    And as for the title of your post, I most definitely and very recently pointed out that I’m not authentic. : ) Am I being cynical? I don’t see the connection.

    There we are at that part where I don’t get what you’re trying to say. Maybe blog some answers to other questions, because I’m not getting the question you’re answering with this post.

    • I’m trying to say that claiming inauthenticity is no different than claiming authenticity. Chris, I REJECT your claim of inauthenticity


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