at a dinner with my friend tucker i confided with him i was overwhelmed working on okdork.
when you start out in your business and do crazy things or experiment and it works or doesn’t, who cares. there’s no one to watch you fall. you’re just playing around without expectations.
one of my favorite quotes recently relates to this expression. it’s from steve jobs.
“the heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again.”
this speaks it so eloquently.
the more we add expectations the more others expect of us.
letting all that go releases us back to freedom and the enjoyment for when we started our ventures.
my good buddy adam says it well about that process:
“many successful people stop doing the things that made them successful.”
that’s very true for marketing.
you did guest posts, interviews and such to get your site to where it is. yet you stopped doing them and now you wonder why your traffic is down.
i think that applies to almost 100% of you. i know it does for me.
it’s challenging when you create for yourself and your own goals versus the expectations of others.
let me be real with you.
i need you.
okay, i want you. i can live without you.
same for you with your customers.
when you create or service someone (don’t be perverted) and they genuinely thank you for your work there may not be anything greater in life.
but then you get more praise and more recognition.
you think you are great. you may eventually be called an expert by some people.
tucker said this amazingly well, “the moment you become an expert you stop learning.”
you take your expert ways and fit the world to look through those lenses.
the expectations of others pushes me to create better articles and stress out to make sure each post gets more shares, comments, opens, email subscribers than the past.
and when it doesn’t, then it was a flop. a waste of time. my ego is deflated.
all along okdork has been my expression for learning and sharing things related to marketing and starting a business.
so where is the balance from outputting 400 word articles relating to my depression or this post that’s not exactly about marketing vs 3000+ word marketing posts that take 40+ hours with editing and hoping to get the amount of new subscribers to make it worth it.
for me…at this point and at points with appsumo and now with sumome.com (our latest flagship product) i go back to one simple way of looking at it.
you could say this is the why.
am i having fun with the work i’m doing?? ask yourself that…
- is it keeping me up at 11pm to edit the article or bug someone profusely cause i can’t wait to share what they are writing?
- is it a challenge to experiment successfully or not new ways that may get new subscribers because I’m curious?
- is it exciting to see that even 1 person appreciated something even though open rates don’t reflect that all the okdorkians loved it?
- is it enough that I’m happy with what I’m doing?
lately i keep thinking about the output we do during the week and how it’s reflected when we die.
all of our generation wants to feel meaning.
unfortunately there is no scorecard regardless of how much money you have when we die.
you just die and its over.
so 3 more blog posts or 100 new subscribers unfortunately won’t get you a plot that much closer to heaven.
all that matters is that you feel fulfilled with what you are creating.
loving the work you do.
having fun with what you are doing.
being true to yourself.
so what does that mean in terms of real action, for me:
- it’s occasionally posting shorter articles i am proud of and believe will benefit your lives. like this one
- experimenting with newer marketing activities so i can find the things that work and don’t, then share them with you.
- continued playfulness.
- spelling errors and doing an entire email without 1 capitalization. yea, like that