Let’s get — as my aunt would say — real real for a sec.
Entrepreneurship has an authenticity problem.
You know this. I know this. Everyone kinda knows this.
But we still have this pervasive mythology of “the successful entrepreneurs”.
You know, the big deal, that secret in-club of entrepreneurs that OMG OMG if you can just make it, if you can just become Rachel Allen or Heather Thorkelson or Jonathan Fields or whoever the fuck, you’re *someone*.
Here’s the honest-to-god truth: all those “someones”?
They’re Vox-chatting each other in panic mode because of something that’s happened in their personal life. They call each other up wondering what to do about this situation or that. They’ve done some things. But they haven’t done all the things. And life is fucking hard for everyone. Especially now.
Every single entrepreneur I’ve ever talked to has their Plan Z. You know, that thing they’re going to do when this whole online business thing goes tits up for them.
I want you to share yours.
I want to see what happens when we have a conversation that’s actually authentic.
Let me connect some dots.
Because as fun as it is to all sit around and bullshit about our deep dark fears of failure, there’s more to do here. And it has to do with my second-favorite soapbox: authenticity.
See, we have this concept of “authenticity” that goes around the internet world that makes me FROTH with rage. We’re perfect, and awesome, and hot shit, except for those carefully crafted moments in which we are not. But we only share those if we can reframe them as a before and after shot, of course, b/c #brandconsistency.
We can’t admit that we have the Plan Z.
That maybe, this whole thing might not work out. (Or at least, we fear it won’t.)
We have a cultural habit of fronting, of presenting ourselves and our businesses as part of a narrative of required success, one in which our fears and failures somehow have to be a part of a monetizable brand presence.
This is a problem.
It creates an atmosphere in which everyone is isolated, walled in by the secrets that are their unflattering bits.
What’s more, being surrounded by this type of bullshit means that you’re constantly struggling to create a narrative that can fit in with the “successes” you seem to be surrounded with. It makes it that much harder to get help when you need it, and that much easier to make uninformed, often bad decisions about your business. (Because if everyone else is doing well, and I’m the only one apparently struggling, then it totally makes sense to buy that 10K training program people talk about, right?)
And I’m not here for that. What I’m here for here person-centered businesses, run by real live humans.
So let’s talk about it. The good moments. The bad. The real story. The stuff we all whisper to each other in our little Vox silos, so very sure that we’re the only ones.
Here’s how it works:
I’m going to ask 20 of the most interesting humans I know — yourself included — to talk about their Plan Z, and authenticity in the online space more generally.
They’ll share their answers with me via video, and then I’ll share them with you via email and a pop-up, private Facebook group.
And then we’ll all talk. Human to human.
There will be no pitching. No upsells. There’s no funnel hanging on the end of this. It’s just a conversation.
Why am I doing it like this?
As individual humans we’re inherently limited.
I can only come up with so much on my own, because I’m only me. If we’re going to actually move this industry forward, it’s going to take more than what any one of us can do on our own. As one of my very good friends says, “All the easy problems have been solved.” We need all of us, working together, to figure out how to solve the hard ones.
Conversation creates a space for that to happen. It broadens our horizon of possibility. And that’s always the first step towards creating something different.
Want in? Hooray!
What’s going to happen on the interview?