You Are Going to Embarrass Yourself

So just relax.  

And embrace it.

I actually don’t buy in to the “if your product doesn’t embarrass your team, you’ve launched too late” idea.

I’m much more accustomed to the accidental, un-intentional embarrassment that inevitably arises EVEN when you’ve waited to work out the kinks – and double check the details.

It matters not.  In the fullness of time – and with the benefit of hindsight, the early version – is still going to suck.

Launch it anyway.

Life is short.

And if you’re perpetually aiming, thinking, planning, aiming, ruminating, planning, strategizing, ruminating, and endlessly aiming yet again – you’re simply pretending.

Play acting.

And lying to yourself – and everyone around you.

To be an entrepreneur – at any level, you’ve got to “ship” something.

Launch something.  Build something that actually sees the light of day.

Something that’s  subject to scorn – eye rolling – criticism or condemnation.

If you’re not doing that – right now – if you’re still talking about the project you conceptualized back in 2014 – but has never seen the light of day – my best advice is –  decide to embarrass yourself.

Or don’t.  But simply decide to do something.

Right now – in this very moment, commit.

And then – just launch something that matters.

To you – to your community – to your family – to your future.

And ultimately… or lose – transforms your sense of who you are in the world.

Don’t wait.

Because if you wait another week, you’ll wait another month.

And if you wait another month – you minus well not wait at all.

Because we both know you’re not going to follow through – yet again.

I say this not to be mean – but to keep it real.

I published a short book called “Flow” a few years ago.  It was very personal, and sort of captured my moods and meditations as I traveled around as a bit of a digital nomad….after a series of bad breakups.  (both personally and professionally)

I was nervous about publishing it – simply because, I didn’t want to embarrass myself.

The first 20 or 25 reviews were really, really good, but that’s mostly because they were subscribers and clients and even strangers who knew my “work”.

One day I got a random, bad review.  Which surprised me – and stung more than I expected.

And I felt myself retreating into that – “Am I going to embarrass myself?” mental space.

Is it ready?  Do I deserve the credit – the kudos – and the community I know this book will bring?

A few days later – some guy left a 1 star review that ended with “I think I need a shower after reading this” (and I’m paraphrasing, but it’s pretty close:)

Suddenly – I felt exposed.

It was a beautiful day.  And I was in a beautiful place doing work that I loved – with people that I loved.  And yet – when I saw that review on Amazon – under my name – under my work – I panicked.

I packed up my stuff, sprinted the 1/2 mile home – and removed the book from Amazon- where it remains, unpublished, as I write this in May of 2020.

After all – I had embarrassed myself – and the only remedy – is retreat and reconsider.  (which of course, as an artist or entrepreneur – is really, really the wrong response)

A few days ago, in that strange serendipitious way the universe conspires to confound us and gently nudge us in the direction of our dreams – I got a message on our mindful marketplace FB page – from a fairly well known yoga author & teacher – who said he was checking out our page, thought I looked familiar – and  remembered he had read “Flow” years ago.  He told me how much he liked it – and how meaningful he found it’s message.

We briefly chatted on the phone this morning.

And I decided.

I’m republishing that book this month.

Primarily – as a way to help sell author marketing services to the aspiring authors in our community.

But I’m also doing it as a reminder – to myself.

That life is short.

And if you want to do great things:

Perfection is never on offer.

And hiding ain’t an option.

So decide.  Commit.  And begin.  I promise, win or lose, the winds of courage and commitment will always be at your back.


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