For as long as I can remember I wanted to be smarter than you. I wanted to know it all and have it all. In fact, if you’ve spent much time on this blog at all you know that I’ve waged a constant battle against myself.
No, not good vs. evil. There are plenty of us who have a saint’s hearts in sinner’s skin.
The battle is this constant effort to be perfect/better/more knowledgeable.
I started writing this post on the plane on the way back from my honeymoon.
I was thinking back to one point, during our wedding, when my new wife and I were standing above looking down on our wedding party. We were surrounded by our friends and family. To say that I was overwhelmed with love would be an understatement. It was truly the best day of my life.
The days following, sitting on a beach in Jamaica, climbing a waterfall, eating delicious food, teaching my wife to play chess in a bar next to the beach were almost as amazing.
I guess the point is: In those moments, it was easy to see what was most important. I liked not feeling suffocated by the blog posts I felt like I had to read, the metrics report that had to be finished, the consulting clients I couldn’t let down and the workouts I had cram into what little time was left.
- To be smarter/know more than you
- To be a better employee than you
- To make more money than you
- To be more in shape than you
And for what?
There’s always going to be people who are better at business/marketing than me, who make more money than I do and who are more fit than I am.
Here I am, over a year later, still plodding along on life’s treadmill.
So… what’s the solution?
It’s time to start testing some assumptions.
Assumption #1: I have to consume hundreds of blog posts a week and watch YouTube videos from smart people every chance I get so that I can keep up with industry trends, stay ahead of the curve, and yes… be smarter than you.
This isn’t 2009 and I don’t live in Charlotte. I’m not single and all my (local) friends aren’t married. (See: I used to have A LOT of free time on my hands). The days of 8-12 posts a month here and top 10 lists are likely gone forever, but the truth is that I enjoy writing here and I’d like to do it a bit more often.
My first test is to use the time I would ordinarily spend reading way too many blog articles to write more often.
Derek Halpern and I talked briefly a few weeks back and he told me that I’d never have a “big” blog because I didn’t write for my readers.
And he’s 100% right.
I’ve tried to write a few posts for you on this blog. Aside from being for the wrong reasons, they were garbage. I think it’s arrogant to say to you, “here’s what you should do…” as I can’t possibly put myself in your shoes and understand what you’re experiencing.
Instead, I’m going to return to my roots and write to learn – from conversations with you—but mostly from conversations with myself.
I’m over writing for the validation of vanity metrics like page views, comments and re-tweets.
And I don’t want to be one of those people who try to depict the perfect life on Facebook. I want to be brave and vulnerable. I want to lay my shit out there with the hope that it helps you solve your problems, or, at the very least, reassure you that you’re not alone.
By you, I mean…
- Those of you who can’t find a job.
- Those of you stuck in a job you hate.
- Those of you who can’t find the balance between pursuing your true passion (and potentially being broke) and those of you going through the motions so you can keep up with the Joneses.
- Those of you who think keeping up with the Joneses actually matters.
- Those of you who insist you’re having a quarter life crises.
- Anyone who wants to join me on this journey.
As I shared, I’m done writing for vanity metrics. The metric that matters most to me (now) is how many people have I helped.
Leave a comment or send me an e-mail at ryanstephensmarketing(at)gmail(dot)com and share a confession about your business or personal life. Let me know how I can help.
And if you know someone who’s fighting these battles, pass this post along to them. I’d love to help!