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Updated: Jun 29

stadium seating

Ever heard the saying "Never take criticism from someone you wouldn't ask for advice."

This is my version of that.

I've spent the majority of my adult life in business. I'm what I'd consider a serial entrepreneur. It was never the plan to be my own boss, in fact I wanted to do anything else but that. My parents were in business, I saw how much time and energy it took, and I never wanted the headache. That is until I learned I was going to work hard either way so whatever I was going to be working on might as well be mine. I've been throwing my hat in the ring ever since.

Leveling up is hard. It's the thing that only now is really being talked about. I'm not talking about simply the work itself. I'm talking about everything else that goes on around you as a result of that work. The couple months or so this could not be more true. I've become a hermit! Cancelled dates, missed phone calls, returned text messages 3 days later. My nights and weekends are spent in pajamas and heavily caffeinated. I have tunnel vision right now. I want that next level.

I have this thing on one of my walls in my office. I call it my manifest list. It's all the goals I want to accomplish this year. Above my desk is a monthly and weekly break down. Some of it's mundane every day life stuff but some is main character shit. Big moves that will hopefully propel me forward.

I had a meeting with my friend/business partner where we were discussing the remaining 5 months of the year. We each have a number of things (some similar) that we want to knock out by year end. Inevitably though that meant trying to foresee future fuck ups and having a conversation around fears as well as old patterns and conditioning. I'll use myself as an example.

Pattern: I fear what I can not control

Fear: What if people hate my work?

Conditioning: Failure

Pattern: Self sabotage

Fear: Success

Conditioning: I'm not good enough, I don't belong.

Pattern: Self doubt when investing in myself

Fear: What if I don't make money?

Conditioning: The only way to be successful is financial

The thing all these have in common is it's messaging received primarily through strangers. So if you're like me, my advice is divide and conquer! I call it stadium seating.

You have your front row. The people who have invested the most in you. The ride or die's. Your biggest fans.

The middle section: The ones who are close enough to you to still be a part of the action, you engage with here and there, but they are at arms length.

The nose bleeds: Those furthest away. You don't see them and have no interaction with them, but they always seem to have the most to say.

Here's the thing. Anyone that's out there trying the hard thing you're working on, or doing the thing you're nervous about isn't going to be judging you because they get it (and quite honestly, they're too focused on their own stuff.) It's always going to be the one that's too scared to make moves of their own. The one that always talks about what they're going to do and how great they're going to be, but has done nothing about it. The one with all the best advice but no experience in what they're talking about. We all know one of these people.

Learn your circle. Then place people appropriately, or alternatively, see people for exactly who they are. Not everyone belongs in your front row, and that's ok. In fact, you should welcome that. It helps to keep things in perspective.

This was the lesson in the moment while I was sitting at the table with my friend, running over our manifest lists, scared of what people would think of the end result. While I was busy being terrified I wasn't "qualified" to be trying something so "out of my league" I had to remember my "why" and also consider who the "critics" are. I'd rather do something worth criticizing than do nothing at all, so it's time for me to tackle the fear on this one.

We're over half way through the year. What's on your list? Are you doing it scared or listening to those in the nose bleeds? It's hard to rewire the brain and it takes awareness. It's also going to be hard in a year, or 5 years when you're sitting with regret because you let some stranger talk you out of it.

You are worth it. You can do this. Start slayin...




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