“Could it possibly be any more about you?”
I had to stop and give it some thought before I answered.
There are always critics and always people who will balk when you tell them you’re going to try something new. The trick is knowing which critics to listen to and which critics to ignore.
Critics you should listen to have your best interests in mind, and their interests are aligned with yours. You do well when they do well, and visa versa.
Critics you should ignore have no shared interests with you, and don’t have your best interests in mind.
Not long after I bought this domain (Daniel T Stephens dot com) and set up the email to go with it, my wife overheard me give my new email address to somebody. Her immediate response was to ask that question, “could it possibly be any more about you?”
That gave me pause. Skylar is a critic that I need to listen to, because what is good for one of us is usually good for both of us. Our interests are aligned, and she has my best interests at heart.
Was I being narcissistic? Was I being arrogant?
Pride goes before the fall, so we need to be careful not to be prideful when we start something new (Proverbs 16:18).
Setting up a blog or website under your own name is prideful, isn’t it? No, it isn’t. Not if you’re doing it for the right reasons. So here are my reasons for setting up this site under my own name instead of some other name or title.
Facing Poser Syndrome
Sometimes I feel like a poser, a fraud, a fake. Usually when that happens it is because I am helping someone in a process where I am only one or two steps ahead of them in my personal or professional life. Other times it happens when I am one or two steps behind the person I’m helping.
When I was in the Marine Corps, we practically worshiped guys like Dan Daily, Smedley Butler, Bradley Kasal. They were war heroes. They were the guys who had gone and done it. They were the ones we wanted to be like. The distance between them and us seemed massive. I was just some reservist poser, right?
No. The title of Bradley Kasal’s biography is “My Men are My Heroes.” I haven’t read it, but what that title says to me is that Sergeant Major Kasal is incredibly humble. When new Marine recruits and SGTMAJ Kasal look at the “heroic gap” between them, the recruits see an impassable chasm, but he sees a small valley.
If I am here publicly processing, or just being vulnerable, transparent, and authentic about what I am learning right now, then I don’t have to worry about poser syndrome. This way, I don’t feel like a fake, and you don’t get a fake.
To borrow SGTMAJ Kasal’s biography title, “my clients are my heroes.” Additionally, I am sure that SGTMAJ Kasal deeply appreciated the junior marines that carried him out of that house in Fallujah.
Building Relationships Instead of a Resume
Getting a job or securing customers in today’s economy is not about having a great resume. Resumes can be faked, relationships can’t be. Granted, blogs and most of social media are primarily one-way relationships and relationship surrogates. Even so, if you leverage them in the right way, you can get face to face relationships out of them.
Here are a couple of book titles from my wish list about this very topic:
When you leverage modern technology to grow your network (start new relationships), and facilitate follow up (maintain old relationships), you will have a higher level of financial security and freedom. You’ll receive job offers instead of sending resumes.
It’s not about money for money’s sake, the love of money is the root of all evil (1 Timothy 6:10). We all have bills to pay, mouths to feed, and unique ways to help others with our resources.
It’s also not about using people for positioning. It’s a tool to build relationships, and being honest about what some relationships might bring.
Shortening Others’ Learning Curve
If I can share my thoughts and the lessons that I am learning right now, and help other people to learn what I know faster than I learned it, then this project has been successful. That goal isn’t selfish, it’s generous. It’s not about my successes or failures, but your success and chances to avoid my failures.
Tying Everything Together
What do I want to do when I grow up? My answer is different every day. I could be a pastor, a counselor, a coach, a consultant, a web designer, content marketer, project manager, or nonprofit program developer and make a great living at any one of those things.
But something deep down tells me that I am not being a faithful steward of that eclectic skill set if I don’t find a way to tie them together, or find the vocation and service that is at the intersection of each those practices.
This website is not about me. Its about you, and how I can help you feel better, function better, and live with intentionality and intensity, so that you can make a deeper impact on more lives. Or how I can help your company or nonprofit to simplify, streamline, and scale your products or services to make a deeper impact on more lives. I hope this blog is your impact multiplier.
Add Your Voice (comment below)
- What are your reasons for starting something new?
- Who are you helping?