Back when I started Puttylike, one of the biggest fears I had to overcome was the fear of becoming a “public person.” I remember thinking that there’s this distinction– some people are “public people,” and the rest of us are, well… everybody else.
Of course, this whole paradigm has shifted in recent years, with everyone posting their life all over Facebook. But while it’s become commonplace for everyone to post pictures of their Saturday night on Facebook, not everyone is opening up emotionally or starting movements around their beliefs.
Launching a blog or passion(s)-based business certainly feels different from what most people do online (especially if you’re doing it right and injecting your personality into your content and design). It feels like you’re standing up, raising your hand and opening yourself up to criticism.
And guess what, you are.
However, the truth is that you rarely get the kind of criticism you fear. And the love, friendship and sense of purpose that comes into your life is worth it, a million times over.
Putting Ego Aside for Your Cause
In Renaissance Business, I tell the story of how my first real sense of vulnerability came when I recorded that video on my sidebar. Making that video was very uncomfortable for me, but I knew that doing it and showcasing that personal side of myself was what was “best for business.”
It reminds me of something Zack Braff said in the commentary for Garden State. Remember the part in the film where his character shakes his head like a wet dog in the rain? For Zach Braff, the actor, that was really embarrassing. He didn’t want to do it. But he put his actor self aside for a minute and stepped into his director role. Shaking his head in the rain like a wet dog made sense for the character and made the scene stronger. It was what was best for the film.
When you’re faced with a choice between preserving your ego and doing what’s best for your cause, choose the latter. Don’t let fear be the thing that decides your actions. Put yourself out there, allow yourself to be momentarily embarrassed, and then move on.
Letting Your Guard Down so You Can Speak from the Heart
Although it’s now much easier for me to open up publicly than it was a year ago, I still struggle with this. When Renaissance Business came out a few days ago, I knew I’d have to shore up that precious ego, in order to “do what’s best for the book.”
What I found is that when you talk about something you know well and care deeply for, everything gets easier. It doesn’t feel like you’re selling yourself. It just feels right. The tricky part is learning to let your guard down, which comes with practice. Once you let your guard down, the rest is easy.
After putting yourself out there for a while, you also begin to realize that there isn’t some big distinction from “public people” and everyone else. We’re all accessible, we’re all human, and we all struggle with the same fears.
Renaissance Business Interviews
Here’s a roundup of interviews, features, and reviews of Renaissance Business that came out in the last few days. Thanks to everyone who helped spread the word and gave me another platform on which to share my passion for this project!
- All Hail the Renaissance Business
- Running a Renaissance Business While Living on Purpose
- Make Your Passion Your Day Job, Interview with Emilie Wapnick
- The Only Book You’ll Ever Need to start a Passionately Curious and Successful Business
- I am a multipotentialite, and proud of it
- Specialization is Overrated: Why You’ll Benefit from Being Kinda Good at Many Things
- Renaissance Business | Recommended Books
- Fuck You, Niches!
(Let me know if I missed you, and I’ll add you to the list.)
And thank you everyone for making my first launch an absolute joy!
Have you struggled with this issue of standing up and becoming a “public person”?