I’ve been waiting a long time for the “cool kids” of entrepreneurship to choose me.
To point to me and say:
THIS PERSON RIGHT HERE!
SHE HAS IDEAS WORTH LISTENING TO!
It even started happening, too.
Folks I watched from afar, “celebrities” (to me) of the online business world, started becoming my “friends” and now we’re voxing every other day and I realize they’re just a person like me and PHEW, am I right?
Why don’t I feel like I’m “there” yet????
“Important” people know my name?
THEY LIKE ME, THEY REALLY LIKE ME.
And I STILL feel like both a pitiful n00b AND an underappreciated rock star at the same time?
Until I realized that Beyoncé herself could tell the world I am the greatest thing to ever happen to her Instagram feed and I would STILL FEEL THIS WAY.
The “cool kids” of entrepreneurship didn’t hold a meeting on the playground and agree on each other as leaders.
IT’S NOT THAT DEEP, RKA.
They just walked into the biz party like they were walking onto a yacht.
No one sent them an invitation.
They simply showed up and said, “I belong here.”
Now there are a WHOLE LOTTA FACTORS as to what makes a person the kind of entrepreneur who can just show up on the Internet like they own the joint:
In some cases, it’s privilege.
In some cases, it’s entitlement.
But in other cases, it’s talent.
And in other cases, it’s charisma.
And, yeah, sure in some cases, it’s connections.
And more often than not, in many cases, it’s all an act.
It’s a healthy-ish person who has gone through some shit and come out the other side and is channeling everything they learned into their brand and their business.
They’re not “cool” because they’re hanging with the crowd.
They’re LITERALLY “cool” — the calm and collected kind.
They know who they are.
They don’t need to be chosen.
They already chose themselves.
I wonder what I would have created my entire life if I hadn’t waited for someone else to tell me I was worthy of creating to begin with.
So, the Monday after the coup, I woke up in a world where we casually say “the Monday after a coup” now.
And I decided to stop waiting for that fateful day to arrive when the “cool kids” would choose me.
Waiting around thinking:
“If only someone else would take a chance on me…”
Suddenly it hit me that waiting to be chosen by the “cool kids” of business is another version of waiting on Prince Charming to rescue me and, uh, BEEN THERE DONE THAT. (I refer to that period of my life as “my twenties.”)
I’ve been building up to a point in my business where I could stop taking 1:1 clients at RKA ink and focus on speaking, workshops, courses, and a ton of wild, experimental ideas I’ve been sitting on for years to do “when I’m not so busy.”
And in the 12 years since I hung my digital shingle, I’ve never NOT been “so busy.”
In fact, I’ve never NOT been overbooked.
Chasing every single dollar down with the breathless, desperate energy of someone who believes that rest is only for the rich.
Or worse, the lazy.
Don’t want anyone mistaking me for the kind of person who enjoys her life.
So I’ve been waiting to do the projects I want to do and sell the things I want to sell.
When my friends asked me why I was languishing in client hell, I told them (and myself) I was “playing the long game” and that one day I’d finally be able to replace my agency revenue with the new stuff and “retire” from 1:1 work like I’d seen my peers doing.
I hid behind the excuse that I was the sole breadwinner.
I couldn’t choose myself.
I had no safety net.
Screw “retiring my husband,” I wanted my husband to retire ME from agency life so I could focus on the stuff I felt I was truly meant to do. But that wasn’t our reality.
So I became extremely resentful of any entrepreneurs I knew in a two-income household.
I let myself believe that it was THAT, above all else, that gave them the freedom to pursue their passion projects.
And, sure, in many cases, privilege and wealth is a big part of the story.
But it’s not the whole story.
REALITY CHECK, RKA: what is my resentment over other peoples’ financial security going to do to change it, anyway?
I’ve got my focus all wrong.
The successful people I resented had something else in common OTHER than two incomes:
They chose themselves and, more importantly, their own big ideas a long time ago.
So, the Monday after the coup, I woke up to yet another week of being “so busy” and it happened.
There was no fanfare or planning.
I didn’t circle the date on the calendar and count down to it.
I didn’t prepare a meticulous business plan.
I looked at myself in the mirror, er, in the reflection of my third cup of coffee and I said: “Babe, you ARE the cool kids. Let’s fucking go.”
And I decided to hit pause on taking any new clients.
I chose myself.
Twelve years of PULLING TEETH in my business.
It has been HARD, HARD, HARD work.
And it could have been this EASY all along.
That’s why I’m having a love fest on Instagram this weekend.
Because it’s time that we all realize the new class of entrepreneurs we have been waiting for is here.
You don’t have to wait for someone else to choose you.
It can be — and is! — as easy as choosing yourself.
Babe, you ARE the cool kids.
Welcome to the club.