The hardest question we’re always asking our clients over at Braid Creative is “What do you want to be known for?” And recently I turned that very complicated question on myself. Do I want to be known as a branding expert? Do I want people to remember me by my hairstyle or how I dress? What kind of impression do I want to make? What kinds of conversations do I want to be having?

I did a little bit of soul-searching but didn’t have to look too far to find the theme that comes up over and over again in my life:
Just be who you are.

I’m pretty sure my mom was the first one to tell me that it’s better to be liked (or disliked) for who I really am than to fake it for a bunch of middle school jerks. And then I remember the biggest piece of advice from the first reality TV stars on the early seasons of MTV’s Real World was to just “be yourself” and the casting directors will love you.

These days the idea of “being who you are” goes beyond fitting in with middle school cliques or flirting with the idea of auditioning for a reality TV show. Because the flip-side of “having it all” is that now we have so many roles that shape our identities (entrepreneur, wife, mom, feminist, boss – just to name a few) and so many platforms where we can share who we are (conferences, dinner parties, social media, blogs, podcasts, and more!). Just knowing where and how to show up can make it tricky to know where and how to be your most authentic self. And that doesn’t even acknowledge the distractions and demands that crave our attention and influence who we become.

So the conversation I want to be having begins with this question:
“What is authentic?”

I’m asking some of my favorite people this question and I’ve decided to record the conversations to share with you. We start with my sweet friend Jessie Artigue of Style & Pepper and Marriage is Funny. I first met Jessie when we randomly shared a cab from the airport to a blogging conference years ago. I admired her bold style and we’ve been friends ever since. I asked her if she’d be game to have a conversation about authenticity with me and we discuss everything from how being vulnerable and talking about tough stuff on air as podcasters plays into what it means to be authentic, Botox, lipstick and personal style, self-worth, selfies, and social media, and how the assumptions we make of others plays into how we express true selves.

And if you want to learn more about Jessie subscribe to her podcast Marriage is Funny or check her out here at Style & Pepper.

P.S. Have you listened to our episode with style coach Tiffany Ima yet? I believe style is such an amazing way to express who you want to be, so of course I had so much fun chatting clothes and creativity with Tiffany.

Kathleen is the co-host of Being Boss Podcast, helping creative entrepreneurs learn how to run their own creative business while being their most authentic selves. She also co-owns Braid Creative, a business visioning & branding agency for people- and purpose-driven businesses.