I fully admit that I am turning into one of those curmudgeon-y old people that revolts at change. (Now that I’m over 40, that’s allowed and expected though, right?) Pete and I both can be slow to adopt new technology – we rejected the idea of joining Instagram long after all the cool kids did, and I even have a hard time taking on a new TV series to watch because really, will anything ever be as good as The Office? I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve watched that series. Steve Carell’s voice is like a lullaby to me now.
But I have now dived into the world of Snapchat – not as a user but solely as a stalker. I haven’t posted a thing because I still can’t believe that anyone at all would be interested in the minutiae of my daily life, but more importantly, I am just too shy to share it. I do get the value of the platform though – I understand the appeal to both bloggers and brands, and I appreciate those that are being very creative and doing it well. And I will even admit to following Paris Hilton as her account is as predictably loathsome as you would expect. It is full of her prancing in front of mirrors and lamenting over what clothes to pack for a trip from her wardrobe that is bigger than the size of the apartment that I am currently sitting in. But her dogs and cats are super cute, and I am hopelessly addicted to seeing what she does next. It’s terrible. But awesome.
And then there are podcasts – a typically more in-depth and informative medium right up my alley – which I am embarrassed to admit that I am still just getting into. It’s time, for one thing, that I rarely have to spare to indulge in a typical twenty-minute episode. When we were at The Box near Oaxaca I forced it into my routine and I think I was much better for it. To the hammock I would retreat and emerge nearly an hour later having devoured several episodes of the first season of the Startup podcast. As an entrepreneur, not only did it inspire some forward-thinking for my own business, but it also gave me solid aspirations of what I wanted to do here, in this behind-the-scenes space. Exhilarated by the rawness that the host displayed in the first season that included his embarrassing attempts at securing investors and other missteps along the way, I wanted to do that too. I wanted to show all the highs and lows of ramping up a business.
A couple of months later, after having done absolutely none of that, I realize how brave that show really is. I like to think that I am a fairly open book, but I haven’t been able to do that like I wanted to. And I find myself questioning why – am I really that shy? Or is it the pressure in our socially-driven world to only show the positives? Is it because I want to retain a RAH RAH RAH image for our team, so that we stay optimistic about our future?
Yesses. To all of it. I don’t think I am as bold as I originally thought. And yes, I want to only share our positives because (a) umm, it’s human nature and (b) because I am aware of the extremely privileged life I lead and whining about the downs seems trite and pales in comparison to real problems in the world.
And, yes, I want to be that cheerleader too. Since we really began ramping up business earlier this year, we have had a few struggles, a few tough days when we wonder if we will get ahead. And days when we wonder why we even bother – when we see brands who claim to be forward-thinking but completely miss the mark on working with bloggers et al, or when we learn of influencers who exhibit such diva behaviour that we know it will set us all back a step. This is such a relatively new industry and we are all still just figuring out our way here, but it also means that every success and failure is borne by everyone. Sometimes it’s great, and other times it really sucks the will out of wanting to be a part of it at all.
But, we’re on an upswing. (See? Funny how I only felt compelled to write this post when I can attach something positive to it.) None of it is announce-able at this point, but we’re getting close. Our clients page is soon going to include some household names that we are extremely proud to be working with. We’re even adding another member to our team. Those tough days are quickly about to be overshadowed (until the next at least, as I am sure there will be more).
I don’t know that there is a learnable lesson I can even share from all of this except to say: some days as an entrepreneur are going to be terrible, so deal with it. Keep working at it. Listen to those you trust and change what you need to. Disregard those who bring the industry down and embrace those who elevate it. Be the cheerleader to whoever needs it, because at some point you’ll need them to do the same for you.
And for me personally, a lesson I’ve had to learn over and over again, is to stay focused. Not everyone needs to (or should) share everything – there are experts like those on Startup who have far more wisdom to share then I ever could, and PLENTY of Paris Hilton’s to fill the I-can’t-believe-suckers-like-me-watch-this-shizz niche. If it doesn’t feel right, then it just doesn’t. And that’s ok.
P.S. You can now access our behind-the-scenes posts from our home page, or by clicking here.