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Episode 41: How to be Authentic with Erin Hatzikostas

Former corporate CEO turned Professional Pot Stirrer, Erin Hatzikostas shares what it means to be authentic and how to use it purposefully. She is on a mission to help people have the big career they deserve without compromising everything else.

About Erin

Former Corporate CEO turned Professional Pot Stirrer, Erin Hatzikostas is on a mission to help people have the big career they deserve, without compromising everything else.

Defining Authenticity

The greek origin authentikos means to be genuine, but it also means to be original and authoritative. Erin knew it was more than to just be yourself.

Courage Up Moment

There were two for her. The first one was when she was going to opt down. It was 2015, and her boss, the COO called to tell her he was leaving the company and he wanted to recommend her for his position. Erin initially told him no thank you. She realized it was because she didn’t like the way it was done before so she didn’t want the position. Since then she’s been telling herself ‘don’t not do something because you don’t like the way it was done before.” She went for it and later on became the CEO of the company.

The second Courage Up moment was when she decided to leave her job as CEO. She was doing really well and had a great reputation, but a woman on the airplane said to her ‘who said that has to be the top?’ She knew there was more for her out there. After she retired as CEO, she let her mind be open to the possibilities. The advice Erin tells us, “Give yourself permission to have a little bit of breathing room.”

Authenticity in Action

In the TEDx one of the pot stirring she does is calling out the gender inequality we have in the workplace. Erin believes we’ve been solving it the wrong way for way too long. The reality is the biggest reason we have an issue is actually not because women are being held down, they are opting down.

How does she have the courage? Part of it is being over 40. It goes back to she's more fearful of not making progress in the workplace. Seeing colleagues and family members burnt out not just physically but also mentally burnout fuels her to keep doing the work.

Erin feels like she’s also found her ikigai. The center of what she loves to do, what you’re good at, what the world needs, and how you can make money.

Trying on Authenticity in a Place where it doesn’t Exist Yet

People are trying to break free, but nobody is brave enough to break free. Authenticity doesn’t change people, just change people’s addictions. Authenticity is like a yawn, it spreads to someone else. Erin encourages to start changing little things. For example, one way is to start changing your out of office email. The other place is low hanging fruit is starting to rid yourself of the business buzzword bingo.

Authenticity is not a top down strategy, you can inspire people above you too. The simplest trick is to think about what you would want and do that.

It’s never too late to be authentic, but it has to be sincere and it has to be you. You can’t fake it. How can you expose yourself just a little bit when people least expect it.


The authenticity movement begins with you. If we collectively make little changes, little movements, it will be life changing for all of us.


The concept of manifestation and what you want to be. Write a diary entry as if you just lived the day.

Courage Song:

This is Me Greatest Showman


You are a Badass by Jen Sincero


Connect With Erin

Order Erin’s Book! You Do You(ish):

Facebook: b Authentic Inc

Connect With Ming:

Instagram: @mingshelby

Facebook: Ming Shelby

Listen to songs on the Courage Up Playlist!

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