I have been active on the internet for the past 14 years. I got my first computer when I was 10 and instantly hopped online, curious to see what all the hype was about.
Over these 14 years I have seen giant companies, websites, and "gurus" come and go.
The current fad is, of course, the technology industry and lifestyle design.
Everywhere you look online, people are talking about the new apps coming out, or how to start a business from your laptop so you can spend your days drinking margaritas on the beach.
Believe me, I bought into the lifestyle design fad more than anyone. I wanted to be that person sipping margaritas while I work for an hour or two then go back to playing and exploring for unlimited hours. And you know what? I accomplished that. And you know what else? It is not all it is cracked up to be.
99% of your friends and family won't have the schedule you do, so you'll be hanging out by yourself most of the time. Alcohol can make you fat. Also, having a goal of sitting around and barely working is selfish, isn't it? The whole point of life is to help other people, like really help them, and if you have some time on your hands go volunteer at an organization.
Most of the guru's don't want you to know that the end result they taunt you with can suck. They appeal to our lazy nature just like the fitness industry appeals to these "get fit quick" scams.
There are some harsh truths about life that the Internet "gurus" of today don't want to talk about:
1. Buying another damn course will not be the answer to all of your problems. How many people do you know that are now incredibly successful because they took a single course by one internet "guru"? They are tools to success, not the answers to success. Look at your website. If you don't have blogs, service/product offerings, and are active in your social media profiles, you are skipping the fundamentals and looking for a "get rich quick" product. Stop that.
2. Want to be an entrepreneur? Get ready to work your fucking face off. Business is not child's play. Business is not for the indecisive. Business is not for the light-hearted. To build a successful business you have to be ready to make sacrifices.
3. If they started their business more than five years ago, of course simple things like "just have a blog" worked for them. The internet wasn't as crowded as it is now, and for them to pretend like you can take the exact same strategies they used 5+ years ago and apply them today and still see the same results is pretty scammy. Unless one of those strategies is "work your face off". That will always apply.
4. The world judges you by what you do. Have you ever seen Shark Tank? If not, basically it is a show where businesses pitch to incredibly successful investors for a chance to grow their business. Each of the investors are always impeccably dressed and they have built businesses in the technology, real estate, sports, clothing, etc., industries. You know me, and you know I tell the truth: Being a "blogger" or a "lifestyle designer" is a fun thing, but calm your ego down. I see so many bloggers who only hang out with other bloggers, and you know what? They all have huge egos because they only hang out with people in this industry, so of course they all think they're super cool. Whenever I feel my ego getting far too inflated I go talk to people who feed the homeless, build houses, and teach children. It is incredibly humbling and reminds me that there is a huge world outside of this internet circle-jerk going on.
5. The world also judges you by how you look. Do you know why the older generation judges my generation? Sure, we are attached to our smart phones, we don't like to work 12 hour days, and most of us quit things as soon as they get hard. But I think it goes deeper than that. I am fully aware that my generation looks like a bunch of unshaven, lazy hippies, and I wouldn't fight that argument. Is it really that hard to address people as "sir" or "ma'am" and put on a decent pair of pants instead of sweatpants at a meeting? If you want to climb the ranks and go play with the big boys, get it together.
6. The stereotype that writers don't make a lot of money is true. You want to be a writer? Either write a book that becomes a best seller, become a technical writer, or become a copywriter. There isn't much money in writing, but it feels great for the ego to have something published with your name on it. Never quit your job to become a writer. Write until you have editors coming to seek you out, then you'll know you're finally gaining traction... OR do it when your writing checks cover all of your bills for a solid three months. Until then, keep your day job. Oh, and study as much marketing and psychology as you possibly can.
7. Their strategy worked for them but it doesn't mean it will work for you. The only way you can find out if certain strategies work for your business is to simply try them. Most people spend so much time researching they get stuck in decision paralysis. Pick one, try it, then keep it or try something else. This is what I do with my clients who hire me for social media strategy. We go all out on a few options then tailor the program as we go. The BIGGEST problem for most people when it comes to social media is not keeping up with posting, but that's another post for another time.
8. You're going to have to learn about business. Marketing, advertising, pitches, sales copy, accounting, networking... the list goes on and on. On top of that, you'll also have to study psychology because you can't sell to people until you understand what makes them buy things, or else you'll hear crickets on your first launch. These aren't the most exciting things to learn, believe me, but it will pay off over time.
9. You better have a damn good plan for making money before you up and quit your job, especially if you have a family. If you fuck this up and lose the roof over your head because your job made you sad, you fail. If you complain about not having the time to start your business on the side of your full-time job, then you don't have the time to be an entrepreneur. If you don't have kids, have at it, but don't you dare move back in with your parents to make it happen. Live out of your car if you have to. Quitting your job is a reality, but I'm not going to sit here and lie to you about how easy it is. Even when you do quit, you have to stay on top of your game. Some months will be awesome, and some months will suck. Do you have a plan to pay the bills during those shitty months?
10. Having a nine to five job isn't the devil. There are tons of people out there who would kill for even a part-time job. There are some corporations out there who actually treat their employees well. A 401K plan is pretty awesome. Health care is even more awesome. Don't look at your friends with a job like you are some holier-than-thou smug asshole. Believe me, I have made this mistake. Remind yourself we are all searching for happiness and going about it in the ways we know how. Also, when you need stitches and have to pay for that out of pocket... yeah that sucks.
What drives you nuts about the internet "guru's" today?