If you're looking for real & raw input on doing your own damn thing.
In the most honest way, I can express this is it. Oh, and yeah - that photo of me was during an entrepreneurial high. Read more for the entrepreneurial lows.
You'll start by going over the top.
You decide this needs to be your full-time gig, so you quit your life and move to that city where creatives like you congregate - as in Bali, San Francisco, or New York.
You know, somewhere totally different.
Where you can figure out how to make your art and get some peace and quiet at a We Work shared desk.
You'll wonder if anyone will read it.
You'll think you're wasting time making stuff that only your eyes will ever skim.
Then, you’ll realize that at the end of the day, you're making it solely for you. Because it feels good to make.
And you’ll figure out that it’s alright if nobody reads it because to you, it's the best work of your life.
You’ll learn that it’s not really your work, but your art.
Whatever you are making, it will become your art.
You'll try to treat your art like a start-up.
You'll merge the MVP and customer validation model with doing your art.
And you'll discover, that it doesn't freakin' work.
And, if you are writing a book about you, then it's something you DON'T need feedback on since it's your story.
And you lived the whole damn thing anyway.
You'll understand that rejection is part of the game.
You'll get letters in the mail to inform you that you've been rejected (once again) by that lit agent or that publishing house you pitched.
And you'll wince.
And you'll sigh.
And you'll be bummed out.
Because Sterling Lord Literistic was the one you hoped would pull through, and they didn't.
You have to just remember that rejection isn't about you.
And, even if Lewis Howes doesn't want you on his show, you'll have to remind yourself that maybe it has nothing to do with you at all.
Even though, your inner narrative will be like this:
Oh, my story isn't good enough.
I'm not interesting enough.
I'm not Lewis-Howes-level material.
You'll figure out that it sucks.
Yes, the highs are high. The lows are insanely low.
You'll have product launches that totally fail. Perhaps even two in a row.
And after you've poured your heart and soul into a cookbook and it doesn't fly off the shelf, you feel like a total failure.
And, you'll probably cry.
And, it's the kind that doesn't come out right away.
It's the kind that comes out all at once when you're continually refreshing email to see if your first sale arrives, and it doesn't.
So, you well up in tears outside a hip Gastown restaurant, in a white dress (and pray oh dear lord, please do not get mascara on this thing), and you break down in the middle of the street.
Saying: "Why the hell did I choose this?"
You'll use sales as an indicator of your self-worth.
For too many months, you'll equate how many books you sell with how good you are. If your book sells like hot cakes, you'll feel validated. And accomplished. And like you finally got it right.
But when one product doesn't sell well, it's like: "Fuck. I suck."
You'll place your happiness on external validation. And, for a while, it's going to be rough.
You'll realize that nobody cares if you sell a lot of books.
And your friends just love you because you are YOU.
Even if you aren't on Liz Gilbert’s level, you're still impressive because you're actively choosing to do something different with your life.
Most people are just wowed by the fact that you had the courage to go for it and release your art into the world.
That's the real magic: it's the fact that you have the guts to show up fully expressed in a world where resume-ready company logos and ivy-league schools express validation.
You'll discover that when your work is personal, a lot of people will NOT understand.
Or get it.
Or tell you straight up that the whole book was "sour."
And you'll be like: what? Even the jokes? And the Jay-Z lyrics? And the really cheery chapter six?
So, you'll decide to not change it.
You'll leave it as is.
And you'll no longer ask for feedback on your art.
As Amber Ibarreche said:
And you'll discover that she was right.
You'll learn that the real change comes when you're NOT preaching to the choir.
Yeah, and it's hard. And emotional.
The choir will get it.
The non-choir will think you are a piece of shit. And a sham. And a quack.
And then you feel like putting up a sign like this on your website:
But, you'll replace "meatball sandwich" with the title of your art and "Yelp" as Twitter.
Then, you'll wonder if you actually are a total sham.
You're going to think that as a mindset coach, you're a fluke because you're losing it.
And, you'll think: "Oh crap, maybe they are right."
You'll ride the emotional roller coaster.
And you'll feel like you're stuck on some sort of shoddy, wooden, ride that should have been banned many, many decades ago.
And you'll go through this perhaps three times, and leave the game when you ask the high-school student who operates the coaster at the fair to make it come to a full-stop.
But, this time, on this ride, you'll stay because you're willing to take it.
'Cause, now you're stripped to your core.
Because, you've passed "through the eye of a needle, stripped, shed, pared down to the pure pith of your power," as Danielle LaPorte perfectly explains.
Because you have devotion.
Like, serious, true, immense devotion.
And, on the flip side, you'll experience pure freedom.
You'll do the work you're called to do.
You'll live in integrity with your deepest desires.
You'll know that this was meant just for you.
You'll cry every time your art touches someone deeply and says thank-you, with the most sincere gratitude. The kind you can feel through the walls of your heart.
You'll know, in your core, that even though it's hard, this is the right path. And, there's no denying it.
So, if you feel the call...
Whether that's starting a business, self-publishing your work, or taking that gap year off of school.
Answer the damn phone and say: "Hey, it's me. I am here. I think I can do this."