October 14, 2016
Jesus, do you feel that?
*Not a direct quote from Donald Trump
I was scrolling through my Twitter feed, as one does on a Thursday night when they’ve just made themselves a pot of coffee in a feeble attempt to NOT keep the sleep schedule of an eighty year old choir member, and there it was, all over the place:
The sense that everybody is entirely bullshitting you.
And, you know, I’m not entirely sure who I’d like to blame for this, particularly because there are old ladies like me who remember how platforms like Twitter were back in the golden years of 2008-2009, when there were these things called humans who were publishing ideas, instead of generic nothingness.
Today it feels different. Plastic. Contrived. Everybody's selling something for a quick buck, and everyone’s doing it in the same way: Robotically, with zero originality and even less conviction. And it’s starting to feel cold and passionless like you want to avert your eyes; almost as if no one actually believes in their message—they’re just putting together 5 Tips because some asshole like me told them to.
I think about this kind of stuff all the time, since it’s my job. How can we continue to use the Internet to create fresh and unique opportunities for ourselves, with our careers and our businesses and our lives? And one of the things I worry about is that people are getting tired. The market’s getting more and more saturated every day with more and more bullshit artists, and they’re taking up the bandwidth, and the good guys are getting drowned out. And that bothers me. It bothers me because the good guys are the only hope we have; they’re the ones who deserve to be front and center, doing good in the world, and profiting kindly from that good, and leading this world with their hearts and their ideas and their bravery.
As you might expect, this makes me more determined to help than ever. And you know where it starts? The one place where no one is getting any training:
Confidence to be your fucking self.
And believe in your own ideas.
And to willingly lead an army of people in support of your ideas.
That takes a new kind of courage, you know. And it’s critical, in an online space—particularly if you’re doing business, or asking someone for their attention. We desperately need you to stand for your truest sliver of truth. It doesn’t need to be of groundbreaking proportions; it just needs to be the truest thing you know, as it relates to the context of what you do, and what you believe. And then we need you to lovingly shape that truth, and frame that truth, and hand sew that truth into a package of words that feels fresh and thrilling and new, so we can be sure to see it loud and clear, like a beacon in the dead of winter’s night. It’s cold out here, as we walk along the lonely roads of the Internet—and dare I say it, our heads and hearts.
Do you believe in something yet? Truly? Has the world touched you enough, and poked you enough, and ripped open the seams of your soul enough for you to flinch? To push back? To create a chasm between the big, glossy bullshit and your truth? Find the chasm. Find the depth. Find your own meaning buried under the rock. And then tell it to us. Tell us your truth with the conviction of a mother standing up for her babies. Tell us what you know, and tell us in a way that is so raw, and so honest, and so real, that we cannot possibly ignore you.
We respect those who have done the work of knowing themselves so intimately that their self-assuredness becomes infectious. We can’t help but want to know your truth, too. Because we’re human. Because we’re all searching. And because that’s where decent, real business starts.
With the truest thing you know.
Make no mistake: This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Not a lot of people will have the courage, nor the patience, to do the work that has to be done—not in building an everyday business, but in creating one that matters.
If you can be the exception, the Internet will reward you in droves.
Because the preacher and the parrot aren’t the same.