(TBT Post) This post was one of the first posts I ever wrote for TCM, and was originally published in March 2016. For those that don't know, TCM was a total project born from a rough exchange I had with someone, an exchange I am forever grateful for because it pushed me onto the right path… but needless to say this post was written in an emotional flurry.
“Never meet your heroes” – We've all heard it before… we've watched it play out in movies like Adult World, on TV, and maybe even in real life. It's so easy to believe and buy into someone's public persona, and hope they really are that great… But after a recent interaction with a professional “hero” of mine, I realized a very real lesson: Most public figures are full of crap.
“What do you mean? That's a little extreme…” You may be thinking to yourself… but think about this next time you are comparing yourself:
The public personality is often a very carefully crafted persona to meet some sort of sales or marketing goal. Read or watch an interview with any super celebrity and they will tell you how alone, scared, or insecure they feel.
Most public figures are not really “secure” or “philanthropic”; they don't really feel confident in what they are doing.
Seriously… let me break this down for you:
1. They are afraid. That's right, they are quivering with fear that someone (maybe you!) will come in and become a direct competitor to their brand because they realize that all of their content is out there for free and they are struggling with finding their “brands voice” just as much as you are. They didn't learn what they learned in school, instead, they learned it on-line and from personal experiences. They will preach an “abundant” mindset but they don't practice it 24/7. They may hold it together for a while, but trust me, start to impede on their territory and they will tremble with fear. They only want to “help” as long as it keeps you under their thumb… indebted to them as their b*tch if you will.
So how can you be different? I am not really sure TBH, I am trying to figure that out myself. What I am trying to do right now is to shine a light on the BS they are spreading, all the things that I struggled to filter through. All the things that led to comparison paralysis for me.
Starting a business is terrifying. Growing a business is terrifying. I do believe there are enough consumers in the world for everyone, but hell I have no idea who they will buy from… I have no idea if my clients will hire or fire me. I have trust and faith the universe will support me, but that's only because I am willing to work (and that includes waitressing or cashiering if need be to support myself).
I recently listened to As Told by Nomads podcast (What up Tayo Rockson!) with Tucker Max (remember him? He had that awesome no BS book that got some backlash “I hope they serve beer in hell” which was later made into a movie), and during the podcast Max says, “Most best seller lists are bullshit… They're basically just a bunch of people trying to prove to other people they are important”. That's what most of these coaches and “public figures” are doing too.
2. They don't really care or have altruistic intentions. Obviously, this isn't true for everybody, but most people I have come across who promise to give you their time or something for “free” – it's not really for free. I can't tell you how many time I've been bait and switched with “sign up for a free discovery call!” only to be told they are “booked for a year” and then introduce me to some one else (who is either an affiliate or they are getting a kickback referral fee from); BUT I JUST WANTED TO TALK TO YOU FOR A FEW MINUTES! I didn't want to sign up for anything, I don't want to talk to this random person, and before I can respond they have already passed my information along! Even on my website, I have “Free guides” at the end of each blog post, but why am I offering you this? So I can get your e-mail address, so I can start sending you fluffy e-mails that inspire you to hire me or buy my stuff (<– Okay that's not totally true, my weekly email is basically just a quick update on life and a recap of the blogs this week, BUT that's what my emails used to be like).
Furthermore, look closely into some of them and their charity work actually has no legs, it's the same pictures from years ago. Most brilliant marketers or sales people realize that millennials buy into products and companies that focus on social good. So a lot of them have started including pictures of some charity trip, but the pictures never change; or they highlight other people they know doing charity work, so psychologically you associate the other persons' charity work with them. It's all a marketing scheme.
How can you be different? Actually do what you say you're going to do! Don't false advertise, if you say someone can schedule a consult call with you, make sure you actually have the time and can actually schedule it. If you boast about social good, make sure you are actually apart of the movement!
3. They have no clue what they are doing either. Seriously, if the person you look up to considers his or herself an expert, RUN. Nothing worse than an ego maniac power tripping. Most of the people I looked up to, feel like they have no idea what they are doing either. It's called “imposter syndrome” and I love that because it means they are never going to stop learning or improving their work. They are teaching as they go and “faking it until they make it” in their minds. This is why I love Derek Halpern so much, go into any of his webinars or sales pages and he straight up tells you to sell things that you are teaching yourself as you go. He is fully transparent in his sales tactics, which I have mad respect for. He isn't manipulatively hiding behind his sales tactics where they “get vulnerable” about a weakness or blunder that isn't really a big deal (like that interview question about your greatest weakness, and then you just share a positive thing about yourself while trying to frame it as a weakness) with things like “I'm getting vulnerable here and going to share my major mistake as an early business owner, about when I stubbed my toe while meeting a client for the first time and how I realized it was a blessing because it made me human too”… BARF.
How can you be different? Any good career coach will tell you interviewers don't want to hear about your strength that you are trying to pass off as a weakness… it's fake. Instead, people want to hear about TRUE weakness, TRUELY vulnerable situations and what ACTIONS you took to change. The idea is to always be honest that you are always learning, always growing, and do not consider yourself an expert. You are a work in progress, and whether I've worked with 1 client 100 clients or 10,000 clients, I will still not be an expert; and more importantly, I don't want to be.
That's not to say I haven't spread my share of BS and fallen into the above traps myself. I 100% have, but that's why I decided to start TCM, because I don't want to be like everyone else. I want you to really know me and exactly where I am at. I can probably give you some really good advice, but do I feel like I know what I am doing? No. Do I know this stuff has worked for me? Yes. Do I know if it will work for you? I have no idea.
I will leave you with this truth bomb from DJ Khaled…
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