Last night, while taking my first sip of beer on the top floor of a fancy hotel here in Branson, MO (I’m on a road trip with family), my phone buzzed. It does that each time I get a comment on this site. I usually get real excited when comments roll in from newly published posts, but when I haven’t posted in a few days, or even a week, and a comment comes in, I get a bit anxious. That feeling comes from experience in dealing with a certain group of people I like to call The Negative Nancies. They are a select few people who are better than the rest of us, who get incredibly pissed off by every thing I do that’s not perfect.
Here’s the thing, I make stupid decisions all the time. My decision to quit my job may have been incredibly idiotic. My decision to not get another one may had been even stupider. The choice to write about the whole experience may come back to bite me in the ass. My recent email to my blogging buddies, resulting in a post that essentially bragged about myself (which wasn’t my goal, I promise) was probably a huge waste of an incredible opportunity and something that rubbed people the wrong way. I am stupid quite often and I make mistakes. For that I apologize to all of you.
Lately, I’ve been working personally with many of you to help you get your own platform started. It’s really exciting for both those of you starting something brand new and me. One thing I have to warn you about is that building an online platform of your own almost always results in attracting negative nancies that want to bring you down.
If You Aren’t Pissing People Off, You Aren’t Reaching People
It’s a measure of success really. If you aren’t pissing people off, you probably aren’t reaching people. If you don’t receive comments that penetrate deep down into your core and make you want to throw in the towel and shut down your website, you aren’t making an impact. I’m saying this to both warn all of you newbies and to tell you that good can come from it all.
So, how exactly do you make people you don’t even know really angry? You create an online platform, organize your thoughts into words and publish them. That alone will piss people off. Take it from me. I left my job. That pissed people off. I wrote about my views on debt. That invited some very serious comment harassment. I shared my pathetic income. That generated mockery of my “dumb choices”. Who am I really to even think I could make it in this world without a conventional job?
I Consider Shutting Down My Website Almost Weekly
I’ve thought about shutting this site down about 150 times since this past July. Those thoughts all came after hearing from the negative nancies out there. I would be lying if I said that these comments didn’t have an impact on me. They hurt, very bad. They make me question myself to the very core. Can I make it? Am I an idiot? Do I have what it takes to overcome all of these challenges? Will I figure it out? Will I end up homeless and on the street, begging for money for booz?
I’ve asked myself all of these questions. I’ve sunk deep enough to strongly consider shutting the doors on this whole project, platform, initiative, way of thinking even. But then I trust in myself again and I overcome it all. I’m a person of faith and I give all the credit for my perseverance to that. I can lose all my money, be beaten down to nothing and be mocked from every person I know, but none of it will do me in.
If You’re Just Getting Started, Prepare for Hardships
Today, I want to send a message to all of you either just getting started in building your own online platform or considering it. You will have hardships. You will get angry people telling you about how stupid you are. You will get hurt by it. But you can overcome it all. If you’re pissing people off, you’re making a difference. If you’re not hearing from angry people, you must not have anyone reading, listening or paying attention to what you’re saying.
I’m in the middle of reading a book called “Choose Yourself” by James Ultucher. I am awstruck (anyone else thinking T-Swift right about now?.. No wait, that’s Wonderstruck, the perfume I bought for my girlfriend last Christmas, sorry.) at how honest James is about his second guessing of himself. He just lays it all out there on how sometimes he just wants to disappear. He is honest with how many things he has screwed up. It’s reassuring really. I can connect with him on that. It made me rethink my last post. Here I am trying to make a point on how creating an online platform can lead to building awesome relationships, but then I ended up screwing it up. I bragged about myself instead of helping people. I got yelled at for it and felt bad. And now, I’m writing some more, and may even be screwing up again. The point is, I screw up daily. It’s not on purpose, but it happens anyway.
Tonight, after I hit publish on this post, I plan to finish “Choose Yourself” before going out on the town here in Branson. I’ll keep you posted on the outcome of the book. I think it’s going to end up making a big difference in my future direction. It’s unlike any book I have ever read and I love that about it.
You and I Can Still Do Great Things, Regardless of These People
All in all, putting yourself out there can come back to bite you in the ass. If you’re dealing with this stuff, just know that others out there like me are dealing with it too. I support you in doing great things. Sure, some things piss me off too, but I try not to hurt people like I’ve been hurt. I’m working hard to be better at that every day. I want to empower people to do great things, not shoot them down because they screwed up. We all screw up. But that’s okay. We can learn from it and channel the energy into doing even better things.
One last thing: Wow, Branson is a tourist trap! On to Nashville next and then South Carolina! Getting by without spending a pile of money is going to be a challenge.
Category: Learning New Things