Welcome to AUTH66!
You see your peers creating content. They’re getting noticed, being asked to speak at events, being invited to guest host on podcasts and live streams, fielding more inbound sales traffic, courted by companies across the industry, and securing their future.
They’re building a personal brand.
And you want to, too. But you’re “not creative” and you’re… stuck.
How do I ‘act’ on camera?
What should I talk about?
Do I pitch my company/product?
Why should anyone listen to me? I feel like an imposter!
Cameras, audio, lighting, set design, scripts, editing, thumbnails, keywords… it’s all so confusing.
Forget all of this, the future is about
mattering more, not marketing more.
I’ve worked with hundreds of people and companies to create modern, future-forward business strategies, and one thing holds true…
It’s not the gear, not the script, not the edit.
It’s about being authentic,
and building trust.
However, marketing has taught us to be performative and ‘sales gurus’ have taught us to always be pitching.
And that push for polish & pitch makes taking that first step, hard.
But the future is in delivering value through the real you, the you your friends, family, contemporaries, and customers trust and want to engage with.
So I created the Auth 66 Creator Challenge to do just that – push you to get started and form a new habit, a habit of becoming a (gasp)… creator.
It takes 66 days to build a new habit, so in this challenge you will create and publish simple, single-thought content for 66 days straight, and in the process (re)discover the authentic, creative you. No scripts, no fancy gear, no editing, no pitch slapping. Just the true, authentic you adding value by speaking from the soul about things you know, understand, and love.
And you’ll do it in less than 10 minutes per day.
(and the crowd goes wild!)
But I’m not the creative type
In a word, bullshit. Artist Hugh Macleod once wrote:
Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten. Then when you hit puberty they take the crayons away and replace them with dry, uninspiring books on algebra, history, etc. Being suddenly hit years later with the ‘creative bug’ is just a wee voice telling you, ‘I’d like my crayons back, please.’
If you’ve ever told a story, rearranged furniture, solved a unique customer problem, designed an infrastructure, solved a business problem… that requires creativity, but it takes forming a new habit to rewire those neural pathways society has spent decades making you believe are true.
Ready to unlock your authenticity
and build a brand that matters more?
AUTH 66 Creator Challenge
Why, What, How, When, Where
We are technical people explaining complex and sophisticated topics to an often non-technical audience. As such, we feel this misplaced need to be big-brain thought leaders and tend to speak in acronyms and fear inducing narratives that our audience doesn’t understand.
Simple can be harder than complex; you have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make sophisticated topics simple. By creating every day it will force you to not “hide behind the edit” and to pay attention – pay attention to your customer and what they need to become a better business, not just a better customer, and that is where your value is.
Create a new video every day about something in your professional life, something your customer would benefit from (your customer doesn’t benefit from a video about the people you hung with at Xchange.)
We all have hundreds of engagements every single day with customers, co-workers, friends, and online content, one of them will spark an idea.
Maybe it’s something you took for granted everyone knew but you’ve come to learn they don’t, or a post you saw on LinkedIn you have a unique perspective on, or a fresh perspective on explaining a sophisticated topic simply.
It doesn’t matter, the point here is to just create, add value, and don’t pitch slap.
Use your phone, webcam, or existing Zoom setup, nothing more.
We love shiny things, buttons & knobs, and think we need to come off as some polymath thought leader. This complexity creates perfection paralysis, so no scripts, no setting up fancy gear, no editing. Just Shoot & Share. Keep this to a single, specific topic, and keep it brief. Strive for under 2 minutes but don’t beat yourself up if you go over, let the value of the message dictate length – the challenge is to just do, and get better every day. Remember that you are discovering your true, authentic style, give it time and space to grow.
Consider getting a small sketch pad you keep with you to jot down ideas, doodle, explore creative ways to deliver your message, and more.
Whenever the idea strikes you or you have a brief break in the day fire up your webcam, grab your phone and jump into a conference room, go for a walk, record it from the car, or the bathroom. To be concerned with location is to focus on something other than the message. Location is irrelevant.
I’ve found it’s better to do it when the idea is fresh, but don’t make this another job, let it happen when it’s supposed to happen, this should be a happy, awakening experience for you. Think of it as documenting valuable insights authentically, not creating, not pitching.
LinkedIn, IG Reels, facebook Reels, Youtube, TikTok – It doesn’t matter, but you must publish daily. Content sitting on your camera roll doesn’t challenge you to put yourself out there. You want to be able to look back in 66 days and see how you’ve grown.
Tag each post with #Auth66 so other Challengers can connect and engage with you.
Are there rules? No. Rules kill creativity. There are accountability guidelines.
Remember there are no rules in creativity. These guidelines will keep you accountable and pave the path forward.
Yes. Every day for 66 days. This is about wiring new pathways in your brain and crushing that subconscious monster that says you can’t, or you’re not creative, or you’ve nothing of value to share.
No. Recording 7 pieces of content on a Sunday and publishing them throughout the week doesn’t form a new habit. You must create daily and publish daily.
Then you start over at day 1. Will anyone know if you miss a day? Yes, you will. This isn’t a challenge amongst you and others, it’s a challenge against you and your thoughts that you can’t. Much like sneaking half a bag of Fudge Rounds at 11 PM when you’re on a diet, the only person you’re cheating is yourself.
You sure can! The more you create the faster you’ll get to comfort, and the faster you will tie together how to create content around an idea when it strikes you. You will also find, as you get further away from day 1 and closer to day 66, you will start publishing more than once a day whether you planned to or not because you are starting to rewire the part of your brain that feels comfortable creating.
You can (and should) say “this is Jane from ABC tech,” but pitching your product is a hard no. Talking about how great your product or service is doesn’t add value to your audience and it isn’t authentically you, it’s authentically a thing – it’s advertising. Think about the conversations you have each day, think about your audience, think about what makes them a better person or business, not just a better customer. Talk about that. If you’d rather, you can talk about a hobby or personal passion until you warm up to creating content your customers will see. Just create.
Absolutely! Have a conversation with a co-worker, customer, or friend about something interesting? Grab them, whip out your phone, say “let’s make a quick video about that!” and start recording.
Hellz yes! This is about forming a new habit, unlocking your creative mind, and building a modern, future-forward brand. If a little friendly accountability and group creativity inspires you to make that happen, go for it, just don’t get caught up in others content – your message, your journey, is unique and this isn’t a challenge against others, it’s a challenge against your own age-old falsely wired thinking that you can’t do it.
Your business brand is nothing more than the personal brands of the people that work there. People do business with people. Not the logo. Not the product. Not the ads you run that you call marketing.
The (R)Evolution of Business is circular, not linear. Think back to the 50’s and 60’s when bakers gave you an extra bagel for free, the gas station attendant cleaned your windshield, and service wasn’t an afterthought.
On the tail end of advertising burnout, we want to know we’re buying from a human and treated like a human, not a number on a spreadsheet. Moving forward people are the brand, and to your customer… it‘s personal.
They will, anyways. And if create a hurdle for them between your company’s social media policy and their personal brand, they are one step closer to leaving for a company that celebrates and leverages their personal brand.
Oh, and I’m not a lawyer, much less your lawyer, but there is plenty of case law that says you do not, nor can you, own your employees personal brand.
Starting is like jumping off the high dive – the longer you stare at it the harder it gets to jump. You should start when you’re ready, but the sooner you start, the sooner you’ll build a personal brand.
To paraphrase ski legend Warren Miller, If you don’t create your personal brand this year, you’ll be one year older when you do.
Nobody can force you to do this, you have to want to do it. However, if you want daily inspiration to keep going, and the occasional tip on how to get better and take your creativity to the next level, I’ve made a Youtube playlist for all 66 days you are welcome to subscribe to.
Okay, enough jibber jabber, go create, err… document!
Have thoughts, questions, or feedback? Connect with me on LinkedIn.