On Asking for Advice & The Rub

I just received a long note from an earnest fizzler trying to make their thing and getting really down about the results. I wrote her this response:

Wow, thanks for sharing so candidly.

I don’t have specific, mind blowing advice for you, not only because I don’t have experience in the your specific industry, but also because it sounds like you’re getting to a REALLY great point.

What you’re experiencing is what I call THE RUB. It’s when the pain of the thing, the compromises, heaviness, resultlessness and harshness of the current situation are such that we either double down to make the thing succeed or quit.

THIS is where you’ll find what you’re made of and what really matters to you about this project (and others).

And for that reason I recommend you stop looking for advice. You DO need a little encouragement: you’re not far off now. You’re on the right track. This rub is what it’s like to be an entrepreneur and an artist. It’s what makes the best in you come out. If everything went well all the time we’d still be making the mediocre stuff we started with.

Might feel like I’m sluffing you off here. I’m not. The rules are all changing. The advice someone gives you will be based on stuff that happened in the past. You’ll come up with better, more honest, more YOU, more NOW methods and directions than anyone else will give you.

As long as you’re taking the basics in Fizzle (choosing topic, defining audience, differentiation, productivity, intro to traffic) and understanding the seeds of this stuff, you’ve got the tools you need.

If there’s a specific question you run into, shoot me an email. I’ll probably try to get you to go with your gut, fail fast+loud and learn. But I also know there are particular bits of unknowledge or misunderstanding we all get sold at one time or another.

Also, remember: no one’s guaranteed anything in this. Our chances are bad on our first venture/idea, but they get better with each venture. Take that on the chin, gird your loins, see this thing happening over the next 4-5 years NOT the next 4-5 months. The work you’re doing, setting your own deadlines, building your own thing, is the hardest core bootcamp available to you.

I gotta run. Hope this feels empowering (and not deflating). Break a leg!