I have a confession to make: I don’t want to be rich and famous.
Well, that’s not quite accurate. I do want to be rich, and a little bit of fame never hurt anyone. I just don’t want to become either according to today’s cool kids standards.
By cool kids, I mean the online gurus out there telling you what to do if you want to succeed. Their list of advice goes something like this:
If you want to succeed, you need to own an online business. It doesn’t really matter what kind or whether a smart entrepreneur would think it’s even remotely viable – just pick your poison and away you go!
(Of course, if you fail miserably a few months down the road and end up $10,000 poorer, you can only blame yourself.)
If you want to succeed, you need to become a technological expert in less than 3 months. 3 weeks is even better. Oh, and you have to know it all – video, podcasts, webinars, websites, copywriting, HTML, YouTube, iTunes and even membership course software with all its complex joys.
(And if you can’t quite get it or don’t really understand what you’re doing or have trouble figuring it out, you’re a dinosaur. Get with the times.)
If you want to succeed, you need to wrap yourself in a false veil. You’re in business because you care. So tell everyone that all you want is warm fuzzies and world peace – don’t even mention you need to pay the bills.
(But when the bill collectors call, do be sure to offer them a fresh daisy and a blessing of the season. They’ll appreciate it, I’m sure.)
If you want to succeed, you need to be a master of one and a jack of all trades. Wait, forget that. Be a master of all trades and a complete overlord of empiric domination at whatever it is you do best. Then figure out how to be even better because the competition will toast you alive.
(While offering you fresh daisies and blessings. After all, they care.)
If you want to succeed, you need to come out of your shell and show yourself off. Yes, even if you’re an introverted hermit. Host seminars and speaking engagements and get on stage for presentations, even if it’s trial by fire. Everyone does it – don’t you?
(Well, no, probably not. After all, you just got set afire by the competition.)
If you want to succeed, you need a following. A big one. Huge. A hoard of little girls, all a-squee as they line up to catch a glimpse of your face. 40,000 Twitter followers. 1 million Facebook fans. And don’t forget every other social media platform that just launched.
(Yes, that’s right. Do everything you can to be a superstar on every single one that whips by at the speed of light. Don’t leave a single one out.)
If you want to succeed, you need to live THE LIFESTYLE. Become a minimalist. Be location independent. Free yourself of all earthly possessions. Shun your employer’s faithful weekly paycheque and embrace the uncertainty of freelancing from anywhere in the world. You can do it. Anyone can.
(Which is why it’s quite likely that if you stick with your day job, you’ll soon get a nice promotion. Everyone else is moving to Thailand to work off a laptop.)
If you want to succeed, you need not one damned great project – you need at least 10 on the go. At all times. Anything less and you’re not keeping up. Slacker.
(Anything more and you’re making everyone else look bad. Except Red Bull – they’d probably love you.)
If you want to succeed, you need to jet-set the world and fly to all sorts of cities at the drop of the hat, just because you can, for no particular reason. Speaking of cities, you’d best have a pied-à-terre in one of the most expensive major cities out there, by the way. Anything else and they’ll just laugh at you for being a pauper.
(Sorry. Living in a small, unknown town and enjoying a low-cost lifestyle is completely out of the question. Except if it’s somewhere in Thailand, that is.)
If you want to succeed, you must never, ever admit any mistake, screw-up, weakness, fault or flaw in your personal character. Unless, of course, you can play it up and use it to your advantage.
So they say.
I say differently.
No one makes your rules. No one gets to tell you what your version of success should look like. No one is allowed to push you faster than you feel comfortable with. No one gets to belittle what’s important to you, no matter how humble or modest a dream it might be.
Sure, listen to what the cool kids say. There’s some great advice out there, but take it with a grain of salt. Think about what people are saying rather than just going along with them because of who they are, or who they want you to think they are.
At the end of the day? Your success is your success.
You get full power to define it, shape it and work towards it in the way you feel is best for you. You get to decide what you’re going to do and what you’re not going to do.
And if that’s completely different than what the cool kids say is best for you?
Screw ’em. Your life, your rules.
Now go enjoy your day.