Here we go again.
For the low cost of 27.99, I’ll give you the keys to success so that you too can make a six-figure income from the comfort of your living room. Or you can create a multi-million dollar business just like I did.
Or, for the low cost of my sanity, I can join an email list that sends daily, if not hourly, updates about growth hacks that will surely change my life. And the frequency of these emails is just enough to annoy the shit out of me but not quite enough to count as spam.
As a web entrepreneur/writer/whatever you want to call me, I’m the key demographic for every schmuck online that wants to capitalize on their path to so-called success. I want a slice of the Internet pie so big I’ll need a second plate. I am desperate to make it, and I’ll do anything to get to the top. That includes, but is not limited to, listening to some guy who I’ve never heard of ramble through his exclusive webinar. And this is despite the fact that said webinar was originally only available for a limited time if I signed up immediately. But somehow, this webinar is offering a lot of second chances for all the losers who didn’t click the link in the last email. Or the one before that. Or the one before that.
I did it, and you can do it too. All you have to do is follow my exact steps.
It all sounds so appealing. All I have to do to be successful is follow this exact blueprint. That seems easy enough, right?
Wrong! So wrong. I can’t tell you how many awful YouTube tutorials I’ve sat through or how many 10,000 word how-to articles I’ve navigated looking for the easy way out. Hoping to find that missing link that will propel me to success. Dreaming of stumbling upon that shortcut that allows me to rake in the dough while I lay back and binge watch House Of Cards. But the sad truth is that I often make it all the way through these videos and articles with few takeaways that actually help me. And here’s why:
No two struggles are the same.
Sure, I can follow Mr. Random Dude’s exact blueprint to success. But we aren’t the same. We don’t have the same goals. We don’t have the same talents. We don’t have the same lives. Just because a particular set of steps worked for this guy doesn’t mean they’ll work for me. I could do everything he suggests and then some. And I could still fail.
Hard work is always part of the deal. Plain and simple.
There’s no 60-minute webinar, growth hack article, or paid tutorial membership that provides a shortcut around blood, sweat, and tears. There just isn’t. Sure, people can offer helpful tips and hints. They can alert me to problems I may face in the future. But they can’t excuse me from working my ass off. That’s part of the package deal when it comes to success.
There’s a difference between motivation and faux blueprints.
I’m super inspired by all these web entrepreneurs who’ve bucked the trend of traditional work and become part of the nouveau riche society. But I’m more motivated by their stories than their wealth. The fact that they’re always trying to sell me something or get me to sign up for something with a false promise of guiding me to success is annoying. I’m more motivated to get moving by articles in Fast Company-true profiles of innovative businesspeople. There’s no free roadmap there, but there’s loads of inspiration without incentive to buy or enroll.
So now you ask, what do you suggest? I suggest doing your research. I suggest taking away bits and pieces from each video you see or each article you read. Take those bits and pieces and use them to create your own plan. Because the beauty of being you is that no one else is like you. Your path to success is more complicated than following some 10-step guide you Googled.
And one day, when someone wants to know how you achieved your success, you’ll take the classy road and write a memoir. Yeah, you’ll still be making money from it, but the difference is you’re not promising anything to anyone except a good read. And if you don’t deliver on that, well then, I can’t help you.