I had a moment of weakness yesterday.
Tomorrow I’m meeting up with some copywriter friends of mine. So I invited them over to my house for a pre-dinner cocktail before we all go scour the city for fancy schmancy charcuterie boards. (It’s not fancy. I just love cheese.)
The moment after I invited them, I had this low-level panic that my house wasn’t clean enough, big enough, or fancy enough for them.
My “smart brain” knows this is irrational and ridiculous.
They have been to my house before.
I have been to THEIR houses before.
Also, they’re just not like that. They’re my friends!
But my “niggling-evil-thoughts-at-the-base-of-my-skull-with-the-sole-purpose-of-giving-you-irrational-anxiety” brain said…
“Are you kidding me?! You’re supposed to be this uber-successful entrepreneur, and now everyone’s gonna know that you live in a shoe-box of an apartment with NO closet space…
And you don’t even have a dryer so you have to hang your laundry on various door frames and all over the bed like some broke-ass college student who doesn’t have enough quarters for the machine, and now EVERYONE WILL KNOW YOU’RE A FRAUD!”
There’s so much posturing and “lifestyle crafting” on social media that it’s easy to think that everyone is doing better than you are.
Maybe you see that bro-preneur you met at a conference brag about how he hit $50k /month in passive income while surfing 4 hours a day…
Your favorite foodie looks freakin’ gorgeous during her post-brunch beach session after SOMEHOW enjoying her 3rd bout of Chicken ‘N Waffles this month (No one needs that much fried chicken Jessica!)
And “that couple” is flooding your feed with photos of them giggling into their croissants as they nonchalantly ignore the rolling vineyards of Bourgogne behind them. (hashtag blessed!)
All the while, you’re doing your best in your tiny home office, working your ass off in the same jammie pants you’ve been wearing all week, with a sink full of dirty dishes and a bunch o’ bill to pay.
I don’t need to tell you that those people on the other side of the screen are only showing you their best moments. You already know that their lives aren’t perfect, and that they deal with a lot of the same stresses and challenges that you do.
But that doesn’t stop your brain from telling you that they’re just SO much richer, happier, healthier, and more successful than you are.
But you know what?
When you see those dudes “crushing it” with their cold traffic funnels…
MOST of that money probably went to ad spend and business expenses. (Notice how everyone talks about “revenue” and not “profit”? Hint: The bottom line ‘aint that sexy.)
When you see those people hopping from city to city all over the globe…
They could be begging for some stability. Just wishing they could figure out how to stop “hustling”, get a steady paycheck, settle down, and actually hang up their clothes so they’re not living out of a suitcase 24/7.” (I should know. That WAS me.)
And when you see someone out for their 3rd Michelin-star meal of the month…
For all you know they could be sticking those fancy dim-sum dumplings on a credit card every time.
And I bet if you went to their houses, you wouldn’t find giant mansions, private chefs, or a state-of-the-art recording studio.
You’d find them working their butts off in their home offices – doing their best to balance the books so they can live a fulfilling life and spend time with people they love, just like you do.
I’ve been to the houses of many people I see as my inspiration for “success.”
And you know what? Their places were nice, and they usually have one or two fun toys that they bought to celebrate their success. But they don’t live that differently than most middle-class families do.
So you look around and think, “Huh. So THIS is how you really live.”
And then you sit down and have a drink and a chat like normal folk.
Look, jokes aside – I’m not here to be cynical or jaded.
But as they say, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”
So be careful you’re not spending other people’s money.
Because usually the “money” you see splattered across Facebook and Instagram is a whole lot smaller when you get to the other side of the screen.
And those people spending it all worry about the same things, and have the same challenges that you do. They just take better pictures. 🙂
If you want to connect with some REAL people setting big goals, working hard to achieve their dreams, and helping each other along the way – jump in to the Business of Writing Podcast Mastermind Group.
Tag me when you get in there and let me know what you’re working towards. I’d love to know how I can support you.
See ya there,
I had a moment of weakness yesterday.