Gilmore and Pine in their book Authenticity developed a 2×2 matrix that classifies all genres of economic offerings (i.e. commodity, good, service, experience, or transformation). Real and Fake are the vertical and horizontal markers. Each of the four modes of authenticity indicate a consumer’s perception of a product or business’ authenticity.
- Real-fake – IS what is says it is and IS NOT true to itself.
- Fake-fake – IS NOT what it says it is and IS NOT true to itself.
- Fake-real – IS NOT what it says it is and IS true to itself.
- Real-real – IS what it says it is and IS true to itself.
Over the past several years, I’ve wrestled with how I’m positioned in the speakers’ world. Am I a speaker? Or am I a Forrest Gump impersonator who speaks?
My blog of two weeks ago started the process of answering that question. I now feel confident in declaring myself a former Forrest Gump impersonator, or former look-like. While I still consider myself a Forrest Gump Tribute Artist – I mostly prefer to think of myself as a communicator and a creator of experiences. I communicate using both the written and spoken word. I create experiences by using my gump-like image combined with the words I speak. My purpose is to teach businesses and individuals to live a gump-like life … and specifically, to Function with Gumption.
That is my reality. That feels real. That’s how I will go forward.
Going forward, I’ll now be able to tell my story in conjunction with the wonderful story of Forrest Gump.
So why is being Real-real so important?
Being Real-real is important for the sake of simplicity:
- I won’t be pretending.
- I won’t have to constantly balance.
- I won’t have to play act.
During my impersonator years, I operated primarily in the Fake-real quadrant. I was not Forrest Gump, but I said I was. I was true to the character. People advised me hundreds of times, “Never break character.” As an impersonator, this advice was brilliant and served me extremely well. It made the job easier. The client was happy. Customers loved it. I was being well compensated and was pleased to offer this service to the client and experience to the public. It was a win-win-win.
But I also operated a good portion of the time in the Real-fake quadrant. I was genuinely being Forrest while not being true to Steve. This one is trickier to understand. In reality, I was genuinely being Forrest using my own interpretation of who Forrest was. There was an awful lot of Steve in that portrayal. That made it being real as Forrest. In one sense, the Real-fake offering was my most successful way of operating. I was pleasing the audience. I was having tons of fun. The client was satisfied. It was a very good act. But deep down inside, I always felt it was play acting … or being theatrical.
My new approach will be to operate primarily in the Real-real quadrant. I’ll be who I say I am and I’ll be true to myself.
I am a former Forrest Gump impersonator. I am a communicator. I am a writer and speaker. I create experiences using my gump-like persona. I have fun. I encourage others to live a gump-like life. I teach businesses and individuals to Function with Gumption.
I’ll still use both my Fake-real and Real-fake personas as they are a part of who I was … and by extention, a part of who I am.
But now … it’s time to get Real-real.
Are you also tired of play acting … or faking it?
Are you tired of being theatrical … or pretending?
Are you willing to get Real-real?
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Next Blog Date: July 30, 2012
Steve Weber is a speaker, Forrest Gump tribute artist, facilitator, blogger, and author. The three principles of Gumption are specifically designed to get you (and your team) to Function with Gumption. Steve uses the simple, yet powerful, life lessons from the movie Forrest Gump to bring positivity back into the workplace. Learn more at SpeakingGump.com.