THAT’S A FANTASTIC IDEA.
So, what are you going to do with it?
What? Just the idea?
Yeah, I’m the idea guy. Let someone else run with it. I want to get paid for the ideas. That’s my zone of genius.
OH. Ok, genius.
That the most difficult part of writing, designing, inventing a service, a community, a business is coming up with brilliant concepts.
The writer Ann Patchett is constantly approached by people with an irresistible offer for her. They have, they tell her, a life changing, world altering book inside of them. It will be a blockbuster, a best-selling American classic. Unfortunately, their busy schedule keeps them from writing it themselves. And that’s where she comes in.
All I have to do is agree, and he or she will tell me the (Compelling! Unforgettable!) story, and I will type it up in his or her own voice, a task that is presumed to be barely above the level of transcription. Like those random Internet letters that begin Dear Sir or Madam and tell of the countless millions that will be left to me, This is my lucky day.
Of course, the reality is that “[t]he journey from the head to hand is perilous and lined with bodies. It is the road on which nearly everyone who wants to write— and many of the people who do write— get lost.” This is the Story of a Happy Marriage, Ann Patchett.
I have yet to meet a creative entrepreneur, or, for that matter, any creative person who did not have a verifiable metric ton of ideas. In fact, we are bombarded with so many ideas that we cannot possibly capture them all, let alone carry them out.
Getting those brilliant ideas out of your head and into the real world-that’s where the saga is. It is an epic hero’s odyssey. And, despite popular belief, we’re not all heroes.
It starts with the siren song of so many alluring ideas that it is impossible to know which one to follow. Many people lose their way here, wandering for years, adrift in hesitation and indecision, unable to find their true course.
Assuming you make it past this peril, you are confronted with your own internal resistance. All your worst sneaking suspicions about your lackadaisical ways and general inadequateness come flooding forward in a tidal wave of fear and self-doubt that threatens to drag you under.
And there is perpetual danger of being dashed on the treacherous, rocky shores of real world obstacles. That idea that is legendary in your head may be doomed by serious flaws that simply cannot be overcome. Like when Steve Jobs’ infatuation with a sleek aluminum casing on the original Iphone foundered on the cruel reality that radio waves will not pass through metal.
IF ONLY THERE WERE SOMEONE TO HELP GUIDE YOUR JOURNEY AND PREVENT YOU FROM PERISHING (OR BEING TURNED INTO A PIG).
Someone to be by your side, navigating your voyage, so you wouldn’t struggle all alone. A coach or a teacher to accompany you on your quest and keep you safe from harm.
A friend recently went back to school to complete his degree. At age forty. So that’s already tricky. And he’s taking statistics. Yes, really. He expected it to be difficult.
What he didn’t anticipate was just being handed a gargantuan textbook and left on his own. No personalized attention, no feedback on his work, no answers to the questions that emerge as he fights his way through the muck. Just him, a massive, stultifying tome, and all the anguish in the world.
He is never, EVER going to have that a-ha moment that reveals the charm and elegance of statistics. (Don’t look at me, I was a poli sci major).
HERE IS WHAT I KNOW: THAT IS NOT A CLASS. THAT IS NOT A TEACHER.
Answers to your questions, support for your struggle, and feedback on your work are an inherent part of any coaching or teaching process.
Without those, you don’t have a coach or a teacher.
Without those, all you have is a salesperson, a marketer.
Not the same thing. At all.
And this is working out wonderfully for them. But it is destroying many talented, creative people in the process.
Because when the rubber hits the road, when you start becoming bogged down by doing the hard work, they are nowhere to be found. They are not there to help you when you start to get overwhelmed and real world facts interfere with your gorgeous idea.
There are methods and means to take you from idea to iteration. Support and accountability for when you have trouble wrapping your mind around a concept or carrying it out. Specific tools and tricks to overcome your resistance and to keep you going when reality messes with your lovely vision.
But you don’t have any of this. You are all alone with your issues, your obstacles, and all the anguish in the world.
And so you flounder. And you fail.
AND WORSE, YOU BLAME YOURSELF. YOU WEREN’T A GOOD ENOUGH STUDENT. YOU DIDN’T JUST FAIL. YOU ARE THE FAILURE.
And that is bullshit.
I cannot stand to see one more talented, creative person crushed by this.
BECAUSE YOU WERE SET UP.
You bought a class, but were sold a book.
You signed up for targeted advice, insights, and assistance, but got a canned response.
You paid for a coaching experience with a mentor at your side, but were left all alone to DIY.
It’s bad enough you didn’t get what you needed, don’t let them take your self-confidence as well.
IT’S TIME TO PUT THE BLAME WHERE IT IS DUE.
On anyone who gives a speech and calls it a workshop.
On anyone who sells a bunch of pdfs and labels it a school.
On anyone who claims to be a coach or a teacher, with no regard for who they devastate by their deception.
They lied and you paid the price.
I KNOW THAT YOU CAN CONQUER THE PEAKS AHEAD OF YOU WITH THE RIGHT PERSON BY YOUR SIDE.
To meet you where you are, work with what you have, and get you where you want to go.
To really, truly see you (yes, like Avatar) with your unique strengths and struggles.
To cut through your confusion and illuminate the issues with individualized guidance.
To decipher exactly which steps to take next, troubleshoot threats that appear on the horizon, and keep you focused so you achieve your goals.
And above all, to be your partner and accomplice in your great adventure.
BECAUSE THIS IS WHAT I DO.
I help smart, talented, driven entrepreneurs bring their brilliant ideas into phenomenal fruition in the real world.
So, if you are tired of floundering alone, spinning your wheels in frustration, confusion, and self-doubt.
If you are ready to finally get what you want, what you deserve out of your life and business.
I say to you: you don’t have to do it alone. There’s two of us now.
And I will not let you fail.
YOU CAN DO THIS. WE WILL DO THIS. TOGETHER.
Photo by John Morgan
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