March 30, 2016
“THAT’S GENIUS!” said a lot of
really sweet people really big brown nosers after the launch of Unf*ckwithable Girlfriends last week. Except they weren't giving me the compliment because of what it contained, but rather, because of what it didn’t.
“You mean you aren't inundating everyone with another Facebook group? No forums? No Google Hangouts? NO HEART-CENTERED NETWORKING?” (By the way, heart-centered has just made it onto the Word Shitlist, which, FYI, refreshes on page load at the bottom of this website.)
“Nope,” I replied. “It’s a traditional subscription. That's why the price point is so favorable.”
At which point, the brown nosers make a quizzical face reminiscent of the kind you make at 2AM when you can’t remember if you put the fucking noodles away. (Apparently, adulting requires more brain RAM than originally anticipated.)
Girlfriends was modeled in large part after The New York Times Insider, one of my favorite subscriptions that gives you a one-of-a-kind look inside The New York Times as a business, with articles written through the eyes of their journalists and staff on topics like what it’s like to shadow Obama, tour with Trump, or infiltrate ISIS-controlled territory to get the story. (By the way, did you know The New York Times even has an online store full of things like custom birthday books made with historical newspaper reprints and all sorts of creative memorabilia any writer would heart emoji all over?! Which sounds suspiciously dirty.)
In short, I’ve been obsessed with their top secret column for a while. Like, drippy, piping hot pizza on Sunday afternoon obsessed, or my favorite nude Chanel nail polish and ripped jeans obsessed. (PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: CHANEL DOES NOT CHIP NO MATTER HOW MANY TYPES I TYPE THE F-WORD.)
So in the fall, as I thoughtfully considered how to bring more mentorship to the table in a way that felt good, I decided that I would do it through my favorite medium of all: Snapchat.
Just kidding. That little yellow ghost and I are having relationship issues.
The medium is writing. And creating a product that mentors you & allows me to utilize my chosen medium leverages my skill set better than anything else I could be doing. (Like softball. Total shit at softball.)
But more than that, it’s a professional / personal / vaginal policy of mine to create things that feel like artwork, not grunt work. Why is everyone doing things they don’t want to be doing? My guess is because the internet is like a high school popularity contest, and the way you get admitted into the “clique” is by following all! the! trends!
But the tragedy in this is that the trends don't need any more followers; what they need are more leaders.
And that’s why I started Unf*ckwithable Girlfriends—a simple, straightforward, easy, breezy $25 subscription that, due to its beautiful simplicity, has almost become nontraditional. Almost mythical. Like Bigfoot or the Lochness Monster.
I talked about this in the Unf*ckwitahble Girlfriends salon last week, in fact: The offer being THE OFFER—the world can take it or leave it, but adding more to it doesn't make the offer better. It just makes it more bloated. Simple is good enough when you sell it correctly—the difficulty arises when you doubt you're good enough to keep it simple.
More and more, I find myself craving smart & simple. And in this crowded online space, I think we all are. This subscription is my way of bringing us together; of posting a flag in the sand beckoning us all to cut through the noise of every bonus webinar, every countdown timer, every overpriced PDF, every “value-driven,” entirely average, completely contrived, unremarkable blog post, every course containing regurgitated information, every marketing tactic you're rolling your eyes at.
The bar keeps getting set higher and higher for what constitutes a respectful exchange between reader and writer / learner and teacher / customer and business online, and we need to be paying attention. This online community is being shaped by what we vote for with our wallets, what we accept as acceptable, what we, ourselves, put out to the world.
Put yourself out there, but make sure that the you you're putting out there…is actually YOU. Your products, your services, the way you do business—it's all an extension of your reputation. Your personality. And in some cases maybe even your character.
Do not compromise on those things.
Choose to offer what you'd want to buy.
I urge you to create with respect—for your customers, for your readers, and most of all?
You do get to choose, after all.