I’m sitting in my bathrobe. I’m on my third cup of coffee. Most of it has made it to my mouth, but the first sip of the second cup found its way to my bathrobe. The dog is asleep on the couch and I have a load of wash going. There are no sunbeams washing across the kitchen floor, but there is an ice cream bowl in the sink that I was too lazy to wash last night.
I’m sitting here doing what I don’t normally do, namely, watching video of people trying really hard to convince other people that they have the answers to all the problems, from relationships to business to sales to marketing. I watched a total of about 20 minutes before I felt brain cells dying and turned it all off.
And after watching for a short time, I feel itchy. Kind of like I want to jump out of my skin. This sort of thing gives me the same side effects as washing down a couple pseudoephedrine and then drinking half a pot of coffee. It’s a horrible feeling. If I was a spy, all you would need to do to get me to talk is to force me to watch this sort of stuff. I’d be giving up all my secrets within the hour.
These experts both amuse and baffle me. If you combined their ages, I doubt they’d make it to 70. I have underwear older than their “businesses.” But they are pretty. Oh yes, they are. (The experts, that is. Not my underwear. Unless you think cotton Fruit of the Looms are pretty. I don’t think they are, but they get the job done. They don’t scratch and they don’t ride up into places they aren’t supposed to be. Yeah, you can keep your Victoria’s Secret piece of 3” lace disguised as underwear; I’m holding fast to my Fruit of the Looms.)
And as I watch these folks, attaching their names to recycled quotes and promising success without hard work, I wonder if it’s too early for vodka. I wonder that a lot in today’s world, actually.
One guy wants to be in the movies really bad, when he’s not teaching you how to be successful in business. He has a video of himself with his movie script in his hand. He has a one-man show. (Insert obvious joke here)
One gal, in spite of being a “visibility strategist, coach and consultant,” helping “hundreds of small businesses” become profitable has only ever worked out of her home. She’s excited about her new rented office space, you know, ‘cause she’s never had one, despite “working with hundreds of women internationally to help them build their businesses.” She gave viewers a behind the scenes look at her desk and her chair. She wants women to stop crying in their car.
Two other gals started the FAQ question of their professional marketing website with an “LOL.”
And after watching these, I wish I could take the people who buy into this and sit them down on the couch with a piece of pie and a cup of coffee and have a heart to heart-a come to Jesus moment. (Of course, I would change out of my coffee-stained bathrobe and into a clean bathrobe. Please. I am nothing if not a professional.)
See, folks, like many of you, I have been in business for a long time—all my adult life. I haven’t hopped from business to business like a bee in a field of flowers. Nope, one business to this day. And I know this stuff sounds good as you sit at home in a dirty bathrobe with dishes in your sink. It sounds wonderful when you are frustrated and just had a no good, awful day.
The thought that you can have it all and be successful with minimal work and not miss out on anything in life is such an attractive thought, isn’t it. (True story: I watched a photographer who is no longer really working as a photographer give a presentation saying she worked, like, 3 days a week from 11am to 1pm and was wildly successful doing so. Yeah…and I’ve got monkeys flying out of my butt.)
People, the truth is what the truth has always been: you have to work hard at whatever it is you do to be successful. And dadgummit…you WILL cry. You will sit in your car or at your desk or hidden away in the bathroom so the kids don’t see and you will cry. Men and women alike. A penis does not make you immune to tears of frustration.
THIS IS NORMAL.
And really, it won’t go away. Not if you care. I have a successful business and still cry when I encounter days when everything has gone so spectacularly wrong you could sell tickets.
Folks, I have come to the conclusion that 89.3% of those trying to teach you how to be successful haven’t really attained it themselves. They know a couple things about a couple things and are now an “expert.” They read some books and regurgitated some info, and slapped a logo on it and have it all on sale for a limited time only. (Note: “The sale has been extended” is code for “We haven’t sold enough, yet. Just fyi.)
THAT’S NOT HOW ANY OF THIS WORKS, KAREN!
So while I would never presume to tell someone what to do with their life, might I make a suggestion? When you see these videos and sponsored ads make their way into your life, just shut ‘em down. Go for a walk. Watch a kitten video. Find someone you KNOW has a successful business (of any kind) and study them, instead.
Close your wallet and open your mind.
And remember that “likes” and “followers” can be purchased.
Remember that no one is vetted anymore.
Remember that anyone can be “successful” on that thing called social media.
Remember that success does not come without hard work.
And if it feels like hard work, then, good….you’re doing it right.