9.21 This has got to stop.

Business and marketing individuals are following me around the internet. Jesus, people, just cause I mistakenly click on your 6 Ways to Hack Facebook Ads, this does not mean my Facebook and Instagram feeds have to be 9% friends and 91% ads for every Take Your Business To the Next Level workshop/ebook/webinar/etc. I won’t name names, but I made the mistake of signing up for a book marketing webinar. This guy won’t leave me alone. He swore this wasn’t about selling anything to me. He swore! I know content marketing is all the rage, dude, I don’t need to see you driving in your car talking about god knows what.

I’ve also been reading a lot of business and marketing books lately and the one consistent lesson in all of them is: no one knows what the fuck they’re doing. Don’t get me wrong, these are a lot of successful people, much more so than I am, and many others have used these methods to find great end results. It’s just that everyone seems to have a secret hack that has worked for them and therefore should work exactly the same way for you. That’s just simply not the case.

The reason I am reading all these books is to get some insight into how to pull all of the things that I do together into some kind of business. I don’t mean to sound so damn arrogant, but when it comes to the actual thing, the actual content of what these books are saying, I’ve got it. Also, if you read on, you’ll see that one of my goals is to build my confidence. So, fuck it - I do got the stuff.

Again, these books all have important tips and strategies, some of them I am employing myself. And some of them are working. What I am looking for is a fundamental psychological shift in regards to how I approach work. What am I trying to do? What am I trying to create? What do I want to put out in the world? How do I want that work, and by extension myself, to be perceived? And so on.

My biggest problem is to monetize the skills and talents at my fingertips. This really gets down to my fundamental identity and insecurities when it comes to promoting the value I have to offer others. What the hell is with that? From the outside, it looks like I’ve been leading a creative and potentially lucrative life. Yes and no. I’ve done alright for myself, with the help of many advantages and privileges. I’m not even talking about just building confidence here, I’m talking about a lack of confidence that permeates everything I do.

That has got to stop.

I don’t suffer fools lightly. This isn’t necessarily bad but has developed into a problem. I’ve tended to fall into bubbles and complain about all sorts of things. I’m just not into this anymore. I’m no better than anyone else, but I do have a place. I really like my clients, they trust me to do a job and know I will do my absolute best for them. I’ve gone from various bubbles where the victim card has been played all the time and I must admit that this rubbed off on me quite a bit. I’m a victim because I’ve allowed myself to be one.

That has got to stop.

A few weeks ago, I went to an event at Freshbooks, the cloud accounting software company. It was about people who run their own one-person businesses. I can see a shift in my mentality already. This was the second event I went to at Freshbooks. The previous one a few months ago just kind of annoyed the shit out of me. But, I look back now and know that I was still inside my bubble and just envious. Between then and now I got out of that bubble and see things differently.

This second event was fascinating and inspired me to really think that my professional dreams could be made into some kind of reality. Usually, these events have incredibly successful people that are so out of reach. This panel had very successful people, but I saw step-by-step how they had built their businesses and it made sense to me. Something clicked in my brain.

One of the speakers on the panel was Jayson Gaignard, the founder of Mastermind Talks, which is an invitation-only, 3-day live experience that brings together some of the world’s most fascinating people. Humble and honest, Jayson was the standout for me. He’s all about building communities through his events, dinners, workshops, and podcasts where he focuses on the importance of establishing deep relationships.

What made the difference here was the way Jayson and the other panelists explained their journeys. There was no ‘follow your passion’ or ‘work 90 hours a week’ or whatever. They made mistakes, they tried many different things, and in Jayson’s case, he tore down one successful business in a search for more meaningful prospects.

The other big thing was Jayson’s intention to share information and build a community around it. He’s not saying he’s a guru, his information is based on lived experiences and making mistakes. He’s trying to save you time from making the same mistakes. The information is adaptable to your personality and you can take it or leave it. I like this idea of building intentional communities that have a focus on a smaller group of people, but the result being more engaged interactions.

I’m writing all this because I can see a path forward. I can see how everything could be pulled together. There really is nothing holding me back except me. I’m a very hard worker, but get to the end and pull the chute. I frequently win gold medals at self-sabotage. So, does this mean I don’t want to be successful?

That has got to stop.

Talking with a close friend of mine last week, we reflected over our careers. We have known each other for a long time and witnessed our respective trials and tribulations. Someone who knows me well summing up all my ups and downs made me appreciate just how fortunate I am in all this. As my mindset changes, other things start changing. They are changing already. Big things are on the way.

Paul Dore