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Hard Truth 214: Is This Good Enough?

Every day, I look in the mirror and there’s something about me that’s not good enough.

My hips. My stomach. My hakuna matata early morning hair. These lines around my eyes that have cropped up from somewhere in the past two years. My ass. My short legs. The fact that with every passing year, my belly button looks more like a cyclops squinting than a place that once connected me to life.

Today’s hard truth is that the above is never going to stop.

I’m never going to stop wondering if I’m good enough. And that’s okay.

Because I’ve fallen in love with a question: Is this good enough?

The bottom line of it all is that everything I see in the mirror each day is good enough, but it might not be good enough for me. I know I can do better.

I know I can eat one less cookie. I can shovel one less Panettone cake into my mouth (and curse the woman who introduced me to this divine confection — curse her). I can have 3 pieces less candy and can do 30 more minutes of cardio.

Those are things that I can do. But the most important thing — for me — is that I want to do them.

I want to do those things because they are worth it to me.

And asking the question, “Is this good enough?” keeps me from getting lazy.

That question turns my 140-pound ass into a 125-pound ass.

That question turns this website and brand from where it is today into the next better version of itself.

That question always helps me do right by the man I love, asking whether I can be better for him and to him.

That question makes me look at the country I live in and get my ass out to vote.

That question makes me sit down and write what needs writing.

That question makes me re-evaluate biases I didn’t even know that I had and helps me see the world in a different way.

That question…well, it is THE question.

is this good enough

I don’t know about you, but I have one helluva to-do list and it only keeps getting longer. The only way something makes it OFF my to-do list is when the situation becomes NO LONGER ACCEPTABLE.

Asking, “Is this enough?” gives me the chance to say NO. And I only say NO when something is NO LONGER ACCEPTABLE.

And when something is NO LONGER ACCEPTABLE, we get shit done because we can’t not do it anymore.

But yeah, there’s a trap. I fall into it when I look at everything and think for some dumb fucking reason that nothing is enough. Nothing is acceptable. Everything needs changing, from the size of my ass to the size of my bank account to the time I spend working to…

everything.

And when that happens, I know I’M the problem. That there’s something in my life telling me I’m not good enough and that shit needs to calm the hell down.

Maybe it’s a toxic friend (they creep in at the most unexpected times).

Maybe it’s a client who’s driving me up the wall.

Maybe it’s a partner who’s become more of an adversary.

Whatever it is, it’s completely fixable.

But asking whether what lies before you is enough — hell, we’ve all heard it.

YOU ARE ENOUGH.

But at certain times, what we’re doing might not be enough.

And it’s okay to ask. To challenge yourself. To confront what you believe head-on and see if you could be doing better — and not just more.

And what I’ll say is that it’s worked for 11 pounds off my ass so far.

It’s worked for the redesign of my website — which will be launching in March (and I can hardly wait).

It’s worked for keeping my relationship with Clark Kent moving forward — because god knows I’m supremely talented at fucking things in the heart department up.

It’s worked for getting me off my ass and making me dive into writing my one-woman show.

It’s worked for my clients — who realized they were doing what they SHOULD be doing instead of what they WANT to be doing.

It’s just…well, it’s worked.

So today, ask yourself, “Is this enough?”

And if the answer is no, then ask why.

And then ask whether you’re willing to do something about it.

Because the god’s honest truth is that we’re all ready and able.

Willing is usually where we shit the bed.

or

or for the SFW crowd:

If you’re enjoying these posts, you can read the entire 42 years in 30 days archive here. And you thought there was nothing to do while you wait on hold for customer service to pick up your call while there are 17 people in front of you in the call queue…tsk-tsk.

Hard Truth 213: The Illusion of Success

Here’s the god-honest truth: anything I type in a status update box on Facebook is automatically true.

Only 10 spots remain!

Almost sold out — the last 4 tickets are waiting!

I just booked an amazing speaking gig in Europe!

My book just hit the bestseller list!

I AM SO HAPPY.

If I type it, it’s true. Mostly because you don’t know any different.

Social media is THE place to fake it until you make it. If others perceive you as happy or successful, then they’ll be more likely to trust what you say and more likely to buy from you. They’ll envy your life. They’ll think you have something that they want.

It’s Trust 101 — if someone else thinks you’re awesome and other people have already bought from you, then it’s much more likely that I’ll buy from you. I’ll do what you say you did to get to where you are.

Because it’s easier to trust you because you say you’re happy and successful.

But today’s hard truth is one I deal with nearly every day — not only with my clients but for my brand and business as well.

And that truth is that success is often an illusion — and a slippery little fucker to boot.

And maybe right now you’re ready to unsubscribe or close this post because I said “fucker.” Hang tight — because if you’re read this far, I will tell you something else that is 100% true. And not just because I wrote it.

We spend way too much time measuring our own success by measuring it against the perceived successes of others.

And social media helps — because all we have to go on is what the successful people tell us is true.

This course has limited enrollment and there are only 3 slots left!

**You haven’t sold a single fucking course and you need to sell at least 2 to make your rent this month.

My book made the bestseller list!

**Pretty much any book — including mine — has been on Amazon’s bestseller list. And the day I learned you can buy your spot on the New York Times Bestseller list, I stopped giving a shit about being on a bestseller list.

I just booked a speaking engagement in Europe!

**You sure did. And you have to pay your own airfare and hotel to get there, you’re not getting paid for the gig, and you’re doing it because someone promised you it would be great “exposure.” Exposure to your damned bank account is about the extent of it.

I had 8 auditions this week and 5 callbacks! WOW! I’m so blessed!

**Yes, you did. For second-rate theatres in the suburbs that will never get reviewed and do nothing to advance your career. Not only that — you do musical theatre and I do not, will not, and never will so why am I clicking LIKE on this status update?!

My husband just got me this gorgeous Michael Kors handbag for my birthday!

**And you’re 2 payments late on your mortgage, it was bought on a credit card that is now maxed out, and you’re living paycheck to paycheck even though you both lease a Lexus.

Success and happiness without qualifiers are slippery slopes to get roped into climbing.

And it’s hard. It’s so fucking hard to see someone humble-brag and not want what they have — the successful business, the amazing boyfriend, the gorgeous wedding, the spiffy car, the trip to Europe.

We’re human. We WANT things and experiences that validate all the effort we’ve poured into the pursuit of what we love.

And here’s what I can tell you having run my own ship for over 8 years now:

When I have 3 slots left in my Mastermind, I say there are 3 spots left. Usually because I only take 1 to 3 new clients at a time because I operate one-on-one and not one-to-many with recordings and some shit like that. It’s okay for some folks. It’s just now how I roll.

When shit goes wrong, I share it. I don’t hide it.

When everyone else was (is) building an online course to do the whole passive income thing, I tried. Holy shit, I tried to build a course. Corbett Barr over at Fizzle.co was even mentoring me through the process. I emailed him one day and said, “I can’t do this because I don’t want to do this. Fuck this.” He said, cool — don’t do it unless it’s something you totally want to do.

Every day, I’m confronted with other performers who are on stages that are a dream for me to be on one day — and what got them there, I’ll never know. This industry is a curious combination of talent, timing, who looks good standing next to whom, reputation, personal bias, and perhaps a phase of the moon and whether or not you happen to look like the director’s psycho ex-wife. Every day, I struggle with doing MY best and bringing ME to my work — and one day, I’ll be on those stages and people will wonder how I got there. I’ll be honest and say, “A shitload of hard work, a little luck and timing, and some unicorn’s blood.”

And the people who tell you that they’re nothing BUT happy and successful…well, they’re editing. Censoring.

Leaving out the juicy bits like the lost yoga mats, foibles, fuck-ups, and days where your thong rides up your ass more than it hovers.

Because the truth is life and business aren’t pretty things.

They’re not.

They’re beautiful, but they aren’t at all pretty.

And I’d be much more inclined to ask for help and want to be friends with someone who embraces the messiest parts of whatever endeavor they’re pursuing.

Some people aren’t comfortable sharing those things, either. And that’s cool. There’s a metric ass ton of bullshit we each have to go through — woven into our life fabric since childhood — to decide to be open and vulnerable.

So, the next time you’re wooed by the prettiness of someone else’s success and amazing life — just ask:

IS this something I want?

Am I jealous about this because I think it’s something I CAN’T HAVE?

IS this REAL?

DO I CARE?

If you care — that’s the big one — then make a list of everything you’ve accomplished this year. Read it back to yourself.

Pat yourself on the back because you showed up and got shit done.

And then ask the next most useful question — what can I learn from this person’s accomplishments?

Because happiness and success in this highly digital world we live in…they’re oftentimes illusions and both slippery little fuckers.

My life got immeasurably better when I took the time to sort out what I truly wanted…

because most of the time, it had nothing to do with what the person I was envious of had.

Social media is a dangerous place to measure our success — because everything we write is categorically true even though it might be the world’s biggest lie.

And success to me…might not be success to you.

Fuck yeah, rhyming.

OR

Hard Truth 209: Why Thinking Big is Fucking You Big Time

Think big.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told this in my life.

Thing big. You’re not thinking big enough.

Like my big thinking is getting even bigger and it’s still inadequate, making it pretty much on par with my previous level of mediocre thinking.

Way to go thinking — FAIL.

It took me a long time to realize it, but thinking big is the thing that’s fucked me the most in my life.

So today’s hard truth is about thinking big and why it’s fucking you big time.

The Good Intentions

There are plenty of good intentions behind encouraging someone to think big. First off, there’s the power of shattering limits. Taking “no” out of one’s vocabulary and replacing it with “what if.” Both awesome things.

Then there’s the fostering and nurturing of dreams — you know, those things we all had before we became too busy being adults. Dreams are where we escape to when adult shit gets hard (read: ALL THE DAYS). Encouraging someone — and ourselves — to think big gives dreams a place to grow because another hard truth is that the shit we can dream up is generally way more amazing than the adult shit we have to deal with every day.

The Problem with those Good Intentions

But the flat-out problem with those good intentions behind thinking big is that they’re designed to fuck us.

No lube. And not even a quick wham-bam and you’re back to making sugar cookies in the kitchen before the kids come home from Robby’s house kind of fucking.

No. It’s a slow fucking. Still no lube. Because the shit we can dream up while thinking big and the shit we’re able to accomplish each day are two vastly different things.

See, I can dream up being an in-demand, award-winning actor who makes her home in New York.

I can dream up having a personal brand followed, loved, and shared by millions.

I can dream up creating a course that’s a bestseller and gives me the kind of passive income I’ve always wanted so I can travel the world.

But the bitch of it is that I have no idea how to accomplish those BIG THINGS.

Each day I wake up and look at the result of my big thinking and think, “Well, shit. I’m still not there. I’ve been at this for days/weeks/months/years and I’m still not there. This shit is never going to happen.”

And that right there is thinking big fucking your big time.

And I can tell you that every client I speak to in a Buy Me Coffee session is currently pants down/skirt up, bent over their big thinking.

The KNOW what they want.

They just don’t know how to get there.

Dear lord in heaven don’t I know how this feels. Because thinking big isn’t going to get us anywhere.

We have to think smaller.

thinking big

Think Small

I’m not telling you to stop dreaming. But here’s a good place to tell you how I feel about the word “dreams.”

I think it’s bullshit and needs to be dropped from your vocabulary. Stat.

Why? Because we’re taught that dreams are something that happen in our noggins. They’re imaginary. Unattainable.

So I replace the word “dreams” with “wants.” What are my wants?

Suddenly, they’re within reach, thanks to a little game of semantics. Undoing the head fuckery does wonders for getting shit done.

Now that you wants instead of dreams, you can ask a better question:

What can I do to get one step closer to my wants today?

The big goal is out there, but now you’re thinking small.

It’s like when a basket of sweet potato fries arrives at your table as an appetizer. First, let’s talk about how dumb it was to order a basket of sweet potato fries as an appetizer, knowing full well you were going to inhale the entire thing like a coked-up frat guy in a double popped collar in 1986 (this douche).

The bottom line is that you annihilated that basket of fries, fry by little fry.

That’s what your wants NEED — your annihilation of an associated to-do list, fry by little fucking fry.

Now, instead of going to bed each night depressed because those dreams are never going to happen and you’re no closer to achieving them than you were however long ago…

You’re 38 fries into your basket of Wants and you can finally see the bottom of that motherfucker, grease stains and all.

The Results

The results? Well, I see them every day.

I manage my life — and my client’s projects — fry by fry.

And each time we assess where we are, we’re closer. Shit gets done.

Your dreams have become wants.

The wants became baskets of delicious sweet potato fries.

And each day, we eat a fry or seven out of the basket until we get to the bottom.

Your pants are back up, your skirt is back down. Your Big Thinking got reeled in and broken down into steps you can actually manage.

Because the truth is — dreams aren’t manageable. They’re ethereal.

Big Think isn’t manageable, either. It’s waiting to fuck you because we can see it — we just can’t reach it. We get frustrated when we’re working so hard…

But we’re not working with purpose. With focus.

And that’s because thinking small is your Wants’ best friend.

Because when we can measure incremental successes, the world (our businesses, our lives) is a much easier place to be happy in.

or

4 (or 15) Ways to Unfuck Your Business

Are you wallowing in your business? Is it swallowing you whole? Is the to-do list and the shit-I-should-have-done-but-haven’t list growing longer by the day?

Are you finding that you’re spending more time dealing with shit than doing shit?

It’s top of June and the ass end of Q2, which means it’s a fine time to get that business of yours unfucked. As I’ve spent the past five months working part-time and am now at the point of re-entry into being in my business full-time again, I know just how you feel. My inbox has been neglected, I have clients I’m excited to move from where they are to “hell yeah,” and the bottom line is:

I need room to move.

Let’s uncrowd your business and get you that room. And as you know I loathe the listicle, this is more than a list. It’s a how-to on unfucking what fucks you.

Your Inbox is an Asshole

There’s no reason for something to dwindle in your inbox. When you look at your phone or you desktop inbox and you see a metric shit ton of unread messages and flags, that’s a YOU problem. Every lingering message, flag, and unread message is a problem that’s keeping you from doing the kind of business you’re capable of doing.

How to unfuck this:

  • 10 minutes every morning: It’s as simple as taking 10 minutes a day to deal with your inbox. First thing in the morning, before you start clicking the “reply” button or end of day before you close the laptop, go on a filing and delete spree. As a 42-year-old woman, there is little in life that excites me more than deleting emails and clearing out my inboxes (plural). You just might find that by doing this 10 minutes a day, you’re deleting and filing as you go. As a result, that 10 minutes turns into five and all of a sudden — whammo. Your inbox is under control in seconds instead of hours.
  • Hire a VA for a project: My using remote login tools like LogMeIn or GoToMyPC, you can have a virtual assistant file that Inbox 10,000 for you. While you’re sleeping or out to dinner, they can simply log into your computer and start sorting and filing away. You’ll return to a tidy inbox. Pro tip: Set up an agreed upon filing system before you unleash your VA, such as my sender last name, company name, or sending website.
  • Set up a subscription-only email address: Stop sending all those blogs to your inbox. Whatever your domain is, create a “subscriptions@XXXXXX.com” email address and use this to get all those blogs and daily news.
  • Unroll yourself: if you use Outlook.com (including Hotmail, MSN, & Windows Live), Gmail, Google Apps, Yahoo! Mail, AOL Mail, or iCloud to get your work email, you should check out Unroll.me. It combines all of your subscription-based emails into a simple daily digest that you get once a day. It’s free. It has singlehandedly made the biggest improvement in my Gmail experience, even beyond using Inbox (which I hate).

You’re Not Treating Yourself Like a Client

No matter now many times I write about this, it’s news to someone. If you say that you don’t have time to blog (GUILTY!), your pipeline is down to a trickle, or you just can’t get shit done, it’s all because you’re not treating yourself like a client. Every day, the first hour of my day is spent ON my business and not IN it. This has been hard for the past 5 months when I’ve been time crunched, but that’s when I should have been doing it most.

You are your first client every day. If you don’t spend time on you, who’s going to? This is the time to talk about the redesign or updating of your website. The graphics you need created. The eBook you need formatted. The drip campaign you want to create. The call with your personal ass kicker. This is NOT when you pick up your dry cleaning, troll Facebook, catch up on Twitter, or any of that shit. It’s about doing work that will build your business. Here are some ideas for how to spend that hour before you ever hop on a client call or hit a “reply” button to a client email. YOU are client #1.

How to unfuck this:

  • Map out blog posts you want to write: Make a list of topics that are burning for you today. Stuff thate xcites you, not shit you feel obligated to write about. Keep it in a place where you can look at it daily. It’s your treasure chest for blogging.
  • Write a blog post: If it takes you more than 30 minutes to write a blog, I can’t help you. Have a VA create a rough draft for you, do the research, and then send you the draft for editing, you-i-fying, and making your own. Get it up. Use Canva to create a custom post image without having to use lame stock imagery.
  • Make a plan: What do you need to get done in your business to keep the mortgage paid, the kids in school clothes, the dogs fed, and you out of the crazy house? Make a list, for all that’s holy. Every morning, cross at least ONE THING off that list. And here’s a tip: make all of the things on your list bite-sized. “Create autoresponder campaign” is too big. “Write one autoreponder email” is bit-sized, my dear. Snack, snack, snack and you’ll fill up your business.

You Have a Team Problem

Maybe your bookkeeper and CPA missed something and cost you a ton of money (cough – not that I would know anything about this). Your “assistant” isn’t assisting. Your writers aren’t writing anything compelling. And maybe your clients aren’t participating, redefining daily the term “out of scope.”

That’s a team problem. If you’re spending more time dealing with your team than doing the things that make you happy and earn you money, you need a better team. Your team is supposed to make business a pleasure, not take the pleasure out of your business.

How to unfuck this:

  • Ask for referrals: Reach out to your colleagues and ask who they use for what. See what names come up.
  • Interview: Whatever your state of distress, you are never so desperate to trust someone with your business without vetting. Schedule a 20-minute call at the bare minimum. Do a test project — small, manageable — and see how the candidate performs. See what their email skills are like when NOT in “applying to get a new client” mode.
  • Be honest: When my business money got fucked by the two people I trusted most to keep me unfucked, I was on the floor of my condo crying on October 13 of last year. I was gun shy about hiring someone to unfuck this unholy mess. I took my time. The person I finally decided to hire took his time. Explained things to me in English. Didn’t make promises and aid how things were and what I could expect. I was 100% honest with him. In return, I got someone who was 100% honest with me and frankly, it’s about damn time.
  • Need financial help? Bench.co offers online bookkeeping for a scant $100-ish a month.
  • Fire clients: Srsly. Here’s the litmus test: when you cringe to see someone’s email in your inbox, that’s the firing time. Life’s too short and business is too damn hard to work with clients you don’t love. Your shitty clients are your fault, Jimbobarino. No one elses’s.

You’re Stuck Battling a SHOULD

Shoulds are assholes. They look like this:

  • So-and-so has a product. I should have a product, too.
  • So-and-so has a podcast. I should have a podcast, too.
  • So-and-so has a webinar. I should have a webinar, too.
  • So-and-so just redesigned his/her website. I should redesign mine, too.

Catch my drift?

Quit trying to do what everyone else is doing. Instead, do YOU. Me? I’ve tried to build a product multiple times. I’ve never finished. I have yet to find THE product that would make me proud and not feel like a smarmy doucheweasel for putting it on sale.

DO YOU. Do what sets you on fire. You know your brand and audience better than anyone ever will. If you need help sorting that out, talk to me. I can help (and for less than it’ll cost you to waste time on something you hate, won’t use, or won’t fucking work). For me, I’M my product. For you, you might have that eBook inside you yearning to bust out and be read. Stop playing a game of keeping up and try leading instead.

How to unfuck this:

  • Ask yourself what you hate doing right now. Make the list. Write down what’s HARD in your business that you just can’t seem to finish.
  • Look at the list. Grab coffee and really look at that beast of a list in front of you.
  • Make a choice. There are only 2 choices to be made about anything on this list — Fuck It or Fucking Do It.
    • Fuck It: You have no interest in doing it or paying someone to do it for you. It won’t serve your brand and sure, maybe it’ll make you a bit of money, but it’ll eat your soul in the process of getting it done.
    • Fucking Do It: Put this task into bite-sized nuggets and deal with it during your hour every morning or hire someone to do it for you. Get it done already. And when you do it, it damn well better be YOU and not a rip off of someone else’s THEM.

or, for the SFW folks:

Hard Truths: A Little Bit of a Dick

By the way, I wrote this crazy series in December called 41 Years in 30 Days. 5000 new subscribers later, I realized people liked it. What can I say? Sometimes I’m dense. You can read that whole series here if you’re stuck in a blizzard.

Last week, I’d met someone who had never seen The Breakfast Club. Which meant she hadn’t seen Pretty in Pink. Which blows my mind and honestly, I don’t need to be around that kind of negativity in my life. Which means she couldn’t possibly know about the horrific glory that is Steff, the James Spader Pretty in Pink character a-la-1980s with his popped collar and will-never-want-for-anything (except possibly a soul) self.

He was a complete dick. A dick you loved to watch because he would say the one thing that you never thought that another human being could possibly say and you could hate him for it because it was okay to hate a character in a movie. He treated humans he didn’t perceive as his socioeconomic equal as fuel, discarding their carcasses after he’d gotten what he’s wanted from them. That is, if he’d wanted anything other than to lay waste to them out of sheer sport.

A complete dick.

So today, I’m telling you a Hard Truth: sometimes I’m a little bit of a dick.

But I’m not a Steff-style dick. Who the fuck names their male child Steff anywhoo? How can I blame that character for turning out to be a serious dick with a name like that?

But I digress.

I’m not a Steff-style dick.

When you’re looking for someone to hire, however, you want to hire someone who’s at least a little bit of a dick.

Dicks operate with a level of honesty that’s rare in business. And maybe these people don’t go around calling themselves dicks (which is okay, I guess. Weird, but okay.). But they are standing at the ready to say what they think and you’ll never have to wonder where you stand with them.

I’m okay with saying that I’m a little bit of a dick sometimes.

I’m a dick because I say what I think and feel and sometimes, those aren’t the words you want to hear.

And here’s what made me a dick: I spent a lot of years NOT being a dick and watching the people I cared for most fuck around, fuck off, fuck up, and have no one in their lives to call them on their bullshit and hold them accountable.

Not that it’s my job to hold anyone accountable.

But if you’re paying me, I certainly hope you’re not paying me to be nice to you.

Nice. What a shitty word. NICE.

Say it out loud right now in front of a mirror and watch what your mouth does. The corners of your mouth pull back towards your ears. Your nose inadvertently wrinkles up. It is impossible to say this word and actually have your face twist into a shape that another human being would find to be soothing, comforting, pleasant or otherwise genuine.

Impossible.

Hard Truths- Nice vs Kind

So take that fucking word out of your vocabulary when it comes to behavior. Go enjoy a nice cup of tea but fuck you if you think I’m going to be nice to you.

I can be a dick and still be kind. I’d much rather be kind than NICE.

If you’re paying me to help you to close the distance between where you are and “fuck yeah,” (and if you’re paying someone for anything and that person isn’t helping you close that distance, why the fuck are you paying them?) I have no interest in being nice to you.

I do, however, have an interest in being these things:

Honest. I won’t sugarcoat something to save your feelings. Feelings are resilient. You’re resilient. If you get gut punched, progress comes from what you do after you catch your breath.

Direct. There are many ways to offer insight. Fucking around wastes time and you’re not paying me to waste your time. Are you? Jesus. Are you?

Kind. I want to hear your thoughts and feelings and offer you insight that takes those wants and needs into account.

A Partner. If you hire me, you’re asking for help. It’s fucking hard to ask for help. When you ask me for help, that means I’m in it with you. I’m not going to walk into the grocery store with you, fill up a cart full of things we need, and then when we get to the checkout, hand you the 20lb. turkey and the Costco-size tub of Vaseline and leave you standing in one checkout line while I roll the cart and everything else to another. I’ll pay for the turkey and the Vaseline and give you one helluva acart ride across the parking lot once it’s all bagged up.

As with anything in life, dicks come in various sizes. And yes, you can insert your juvenile penis joke here.

Which is why I say – when you’re hiring someone to help make your business seventeen different kinds of FUCK YEAH – you want to hire someone who’s a little bit of a dick.

I have no problem standing my ground and backing up why I’m making a recommendation.

I have no problem telling you that I think something is a bad idea and explaining why.

I have no problem telling you I’m not the right person to help you.

I have no problem telling you that you’re difficult to work with and why so you can stop that shit and get out of your own way.

I have no problem for not having a filter and telling you that things are either fucking awesome or a total shit show that demands your immediate attention.

When I look at people who have helped me bring about the most change in my business (and my life), those people were all a little bit of a dick. At the ready with a hard truth when I most needed one. Standing firm in their perspectives, helping me see things I couldn’t or maybe even didn’t want to. Not afraid to ask me tough questions even though they knew I’d be scared by the answers.

They were people I would tell “no.”

But they wouldn’t take “no” for an answer because they know that all I was doing by saying no was not wanting to really answer the question.

So – in a world filled with people who somehow make a living powered by mediocrity and copycatting people who are vastly more talented – who do you want on your side?

The person who will do the job and, in turn, help you achieve some mediocre, incremental result…

Or

The person who’s a little bit of a dick. The person who made you think. The one who challenged you and took the time to understand the consequences of this thing you’re trying to accomplish not getting done. The person who dared ask you what you really wanted and whether it was the same as what you say you want. The person who has no problem telling you that your website isn’t doing you any favors or your web copy is something they use in clandestine black ops POW camps to torture enemy soldiers. The person who shouts “WOOOOO!” when you finally unleash and say what it is you think and feel and what you hate and want more of because no one’s ever given you the permission to say it before (even though you never needed permission from anyone except yourself).

And finally, that person who was WITH YOU through this thing that sometimes sucked and was hard yet got you through to the other side and made you say:

Holy shit, I didn’t know this kind of awesome was possible. This is fucking amazing. Thank you.

I want the latter. Always. Which is why I have no problem being a little bit of a dick.

It beats the hell out of being an asshole for doing nothing except expanding the all-encompassing sphere of mediocrity.

or, if you can’t bring yourself to say “dick”:

PS: Occasional typos let you know that I’m human. The truth is that I care less about a misplaced letter than I do with being honest. If you find a typo, you’re my best editors. Drop me a line — and I’ll be grateful.

Hard Truths, Day 29: Are You Being Interesting?

Hard Truths 29

This post is 29th in a series of 30 posts I’m writing called 41 Years in 30 Days to celebrate my 42nd birthday (which was December 10th). First, tell me I don’t look my age and then read the entire post series here.

Last night, I dreamt that I was walking down the sidewalk in some nondescript suburban neighborhood (the giveaway? YARDS). I saw a giant, poofy red heart with white legs (natch) walking down a neighbor’s front walk. It was carrying a notebook.

When I woke, I thought two things:

  1. Maybe the past 28 days of these posts have been one of the first things I’ve done to truly honor my heart.
  2. Maybe I shouldn’t have taken two weed gummy bears before bed.

Maybe both. Who the fuck knows. Point being, I woke up today knowing exactly what I wanted to write about — and it wasn’t even my idea.

When you subscribe to this blog, you get a final welcome email. At the bottom, there’s a PS inviting you to email me about a business challenge you’re having.

Yesterday, someone did. And my immediate response was, “Brilliant idea.”

This person asked about staying interested in things because interest was fleeting and seemed to bounce from one thing to the next.

So the final two hard truths are about interest and being interesting.

Today — let’s talk about being interesting.

The hard truth is this: if you’re trying to be interesting, you’re not.

You’re just not.

Trying to be interesting is the struggle of those who lack confidence. In themselves. In what they’ve created. In what they find important. In whom they like or even dare to love.

And what I’ve figured out in the past 41 years is this: all the times I’ve tried to be interesting were the times where I feared I wasn’t enough so I had to make up some shit to layer on top of my ME because the ME underneath couldn’t possibly be of any import to any living soul so BRING ON THE STUNT MONKEYS because that shit gets clicks.

And then someone sees what you’re doing. Calls you out on it. And then you hurt more than you did before when you just felt like you weren’t enough. So now, not only did you get caught with the STUNT MONKEYS, you still feel like you’re not enough.

Double fucking ego whammy.

In the past month, writing these posts has done a few things for my ever-so-fragile-ego and I-can’t-possibly-be-enough self:

  • I’ve stopped thinking so hard. Christ, if you knew what I went through when I stared at my blog, thinking I hadn’t written anything in awhile and people are waiting and christfuck, why can’t I conjure up something interesting to say?
  • There’s a reason I can’t write. When I spend my time thinking, “Christfuck, why can’t I think of anything interesting to say?” — whatever I ultimately say isn’t going to be interesting at all.
  • I’ve realized that my ridiculous, messy, unpretty life…is enough. There’s been nothing I’ve posted since December 1st that’s been hard to write. Difficult to admit? Yes. Hard to write? No. Because I can’t be anyone except exactly who I am. And I’m a mess. Just like you’re a mess. You’re one big ass, fucking glorious and vastly unpretty mess. Which makes you gorgeous.

In a world filled with celebrity and shiny and whose marriage is going to last more than 72 days and who wore what to which awards and what’s the latest scandal…we idolize “shiny.” We’ve been duped into believing that there are those who live prettier, better lives than we live.

But they don’t.

Maybe they live life with more money. In a bigger house. With kids we thought we’d have and lovers that didn’t die. Running businesses that make more money than ours does or goign to parties that we can only dream of being invited to.

But those people…the ones with the seemingly more interesting lives…aren’t any more interesting than you. Their lives aren’t better.

The difference? We’ve only been invited in to see the shiny parts.

Which is why we try to be interesting. We forget that we have shiny parts and that “those people” have shitty parts.

So, my friends…that’s why I share my shitty parts.

I want you to know that I have an ever-so-fragile-ego and live with an I-can’t-possibly-be-enough self.

I want you to know it’s a struggle — a daily one — to feel as if I’m enough.

I want you to know that for every amazing month my business has financially that there are plenty that make me shit my pants, wondering how everything and every one is going to get paid.

I want you to know that to be 42 and looking for love and being open to love yet swinging and missing repeatedly while seeing friends finding love and geting married and raising families SUCKS but I refuse to give up and devolve into a festering spinster with a prediliction for daytime soap operas and Hot Pockets. Which gives me hope that he’s out there because I refuse to let the Hot Pockets take hold.

I want you to know that it hurts when some hateful asshat takes a dump in the comments on my blog or through my contact form or leaves a shitty comment on my TEDx talk on YouTube. Because it’s personal. And I do care what people think, if only for a moment until I realize that those people hate themselves more than they hate me.

I want you to know that I laugh a lot. And I cry a lot. And if it weren’t for the laughter and my friends and all of the goodness I’ve found in this world, I’d have dropped a live toaster into a full bathtub long ago. Which would probably make someone laugh.

But most of all, I want you to know that what you perceive as your shitty parts are really the loveliest parts of all.

They’re the human parts — the parts that break hearts and bring on smiles. They’re the feelings behind every great photo you’ve ever taken and the moments you’ll remember always even when there’s no photo to remind you.

Those parts…are interesting.

And you can’t make them up. You can’t manufacture them in some meticulously detailed business plan.

They just are. Because the shitty parts and the shiny parts come together to make your YOU.

And darlin’ — YOU are interesting. 

The shiny parts fade, which is why tabloids have to come out weekly to manufacture new shiny parts.

You, my dear, are the lead character in a novel — written by the only hand that could possibly write it and with no editor.

And lemme tell ya — it’s one helluva interesting story.