Thoughts On Authenticity Part II: Marc Maron

When you let who you really are show, you'll make amazing connections.

When you let who you really are show, you'll make amazing connections.

Last night, I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts, WTF with Marc Maron. He was interviewing Dana Carvey and at the end they decided to sing "I've Just Seen A Face" by The Beatles. It was such a sweet moment rooted in an authentic joy that the song brings with it. It was an authentic moment, it was powerful. 

Mr. Maron, as long-time listeners to his podcast know, has been on a journey. The start of his podcast was a lot of him burying the hatchet with comedians he had upset in one way or another. It was also a lot of him wrestling with his jealousy while learning earnestly from those who had accomplished things that he felt entitled to at one point or another. Through these incredible authentic conversations, he's built a legion of loyal fans and attracts guests like Keith Richards, Lin Manuel-Miranda and Barack Obama to name just a few. 

The entire library is worth a listen because not only can you listen to him letting go of vitriolic ideals and modalities, but because you can literally listen to a man write his own ticket to freedom and (assumed) financial comfort all through the power of using authenticity to create connections. 

This is something that I highly recommend for all creative entrepreneurs who know in their heart that they weren't put here for a traditional path, but to do something that is burning inside of their heart. 

Listening to WTF with Marc Maron has given me so many insights about authenticity including:

  • Listening is key. Mr. Maron was not where he wanted to be in life when his podcast started out. His wife had recently left and the now iconic garage where the POTUS and many others have now sat was actually where he considered ending it all early. But by listening to his guests, he gleaned little bits of information, was able to put pieces of the puzzle together and really relate to his guests. By listening well and being willing to show up as the imperfect being that he so perfectly is, his guests are willing to be vulnerable and magic happens that is not ignored by the masses.
  • Sharing your hardships helps other people. I think that Mr. Maron is 17 years sober from cocaine and alcohol. He's not been shy about this.  He shares his emails and it would not be illogical to conclude that others who might be in the grips of an addiction feel like they have someone they can talk to, ask advice from and not be judged the way parents, colleagues or spouses might. Mr. Maron shows that displaying your demons doesn't make you a contemptible character; it actually opens up the space of healing for those who share them. 
  • Over time, authenticity is your ticket to freedom. When Mr. Maron first began his podcast, he felt a little behind his peers who were making huge specials and enjoying successful television shows. But the thing is: thank god. Mr. Maron showed the world who he was on a self-made platform that started as a last resort and has evolved into a phenomenon that allows him to write his own ticket to whatever creative projects he wants to do. And he doesn't have to show up as someone other than who he is because he's already showed us. Beautifully.

If you haven't listened to his podcast yet, I highly recommend it. It's a perfect example of the power of authenticity and how flaws are actually your ticket to the ultimate creative, personal and professional freedom.