Why Authenticity is the Key to Success in Business (and Life)

Mark Ford

From Mark Ford, founder, Palm Beach Research Group: Sometime during the early months of working with Tom Dyson on our first newsletter, The Palm Beach Letter, I introduced a word…

It’s since become a bit of a buzzword in our industry: authenticity.

The idea I had was the Internet had raised the bar for publishers like us. It was no longer sufficient to provide quality ideas. A new standard had been set by the marketplace. That standard was authenticity.

In the old days of publishing, you could have great success, for example, by imagining and creating a private investment club modeled on English gentlemen’s clubs… and making promises suggested by that.

But today, because of the transparency and feedback of the Internet, that sort of thing is no longer possible. “You have to be authentic,” I told Tom.

I used Howard Stern, the famous radio and television personality, as an example.

It took Stern several years to develop his shtick. He finally realized he had the most success when he stopped trying to be someone he wasn’t. As soon as he let the authentic Howard Stern take the lead, his brand exploded, attracting more than 20 million listeners.

The idea I expressed to Tom was we had to establish a franchise that was true to itself. And, of course, Tom agreed.

In the case of The Palm Beach Letter, that meant true to its original conception: an investment franchise based on my particular, idiosyncratic, very conservative approach to wealth building.


It seems to have worked all these years. I know many other newsletter franchises are doing the same thing, but some aren’t. Some are still allowing copywriters to sell abhorrent ideas to the editors who write the newsletters. They sell the idea and deliver it as a premium, then the reader never hears about it again. Those franchises will ultimately fail.

The trend in creating a brand or franchise around your business is toward authenticity. Keep this in mind as you’re building out projects, whether it’s monetizing a hobby website or forming a cleaning service business.

For more on this idea, I want to direct you to an excellent TED Talk below: Joseph Pine on “What Consumers Want.” Happily (for me), Joseph is making this very point. It may inspire you and give you ideas on how to incorporate this important mechanism into your business.

  Did you try to contact us…?

Amanda Carden

From Amanda Carden, quality assurance manager, Palm Beach Research Group: Monday through Tuesday afternoon, we had problems with our “Contact Us” form on our website, www.palmbeachgroup.com. During this time, we could not receive any messages.

We have a list of all people who attempted to email us during this time. We’ve reached out to all of them via email to assist with their inquiries.

But if you wrote us an email on Monday or Tuesday and didn’t receive a response, please contact us directly at [email protected]. We’ll be back in touch with you right away… and we apologize for the inconvenience!

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Posted in Palm Beach Daily