You’ll never have the full story, but questions are like a flashlight in a dark room.
In response to Behind The Scenes, Meredith J. shared how she would move forward:
Unsubscribe from newsletters that offer platitudes and useless motivational advice like “studies show we’re not getting enough sleep”. No kidding. Did that really require a study? No more wasted moments staring at the screen to read emails from Captain Obvious.
Her prompt triggered the memory of a particular behavioral pattern:
It’s important to distinguish the feeling of progress from progress itself. I’ll occasionally unsubscribe from great mentors once I feel I’ve outgrown them, it’s important to recognize the need to advance, shift degrees, or graduate.
What’s interesting is how this same theme also appeared in a vastly different conversation.
Rich R. is quite likely the reader with the most life experience and is a constant source of perspective and inspiration. His responses to the conflicting opinions detailed in the past few emails—starting with Worst Sales Letter—have been rooted with a calming tone.
I’d like to respond to his most recent publicly PolitiFact style…
You seem determined to have only clients and correspondents very much like yourself (i.e. impulsive, risk-takers, unconventional). While this might be one’s proclivity in friendships, please consider that you might well be unnecessarily limiting when it comes to business/professional connections.
Partly true. PrimeMind recently published an article titled ‘The Genetics of Risk Takers‘ and detailed the classification of those wired to be bold, the Type-T personality:
Some Type T’s, people who Farley calls “T positive,” are highly creative innovators. They are daring, inventive, and at the forefront of progress in virtually every discipline. Lady Gaga is a Type T. So was Martin Luther King.
“T negatives,” are extreme thrill-seekers who seek risk in destructive ways. T negatives are often dangerous people who commit crime for sport.
To Rich’s point, yes. I curate those around me. It’s not a matter of finding those who will agree with me, quite the opposite. My archetype, and that of the Ghost Influence brand, is Maverick or “a rebel with a purpose.” The core weakness of the Maverick is “crossing over to the dark side, crime, and taking fun too far” and—unlike Trump who shares the same archetype—I surround myself with people who keep me in check, people like Rich.
I am attracted to T positives like PrimeMind’s CEO, David Carrico, and shield myself from T negatives like my former business partner, but those connections are the minority of my network. I talk about them more because life seems to move a little faster when I’m around them, but that doesn’t mean contrarian conversations are any less prevalent.
It’s important to recognize what’s not being discussed as much as what is.
People post the extremes, most of which are weighted to be positive. A study by Jonah Berger provides a theory, “Emotional arousal activates our nervous system, getting us all fired up. Sharing can provide a kind of closure that releases us from this state.”
While—in an attempt to be overwhelmingly authentic—I blend my emails with chronicles of the good, bad, and indifferent… I’m not going to be posting about my eating and grooming habits (unless they’re unexpectedly interesting). The feedback Rich offers is on point, but it’s weighted by information provided within these emails, a fragment of reality.
The difference between Rich and Jayme is blindly clear. Rich continues to take the time to piece these fragments together. He asks questions, prompts conversation, and gives feedback as much as he takes it. Rich feels like a friend. After nearly 100K words, Jayme first responded to Experience Their Orgasm with a flippant and poorly formed:
This is by far the worst sales letter I have ever read…wow
As I stated in the very first email, and have continually stated since, these aren’t marketing emails. This is first and foremost an experiment, but focused on conversation. It was clear by Jayme’s response declaration, that he wasn’t interested in talking… just being right.
Rich on the other hand has never once sent me anything less than a thought provoking catalyst to conversation. To compare himself to Jayme is unfair to both. He went on to say,
You are often, directly or indirectly, trying to push us—your readers—out of our comfort zones. I challenge you to broaden your sphere of connections. Some of us buttoned-down conservatives have a lot to offer, as well; so, don’t be too quick to blow-off those not totally on your wave length.
Completely true. As noted above, I don’t write about everything… these emails are long enough as it is. I suppose—feeling this out as I write—I see more people afraid to express themselves than I see people who express themselves too much (e.g. me). I’d imagine I have an unconscious tendency to shield you from conservative feedback that’s particularly relevant to me… the guy that’s often the extreme example of self-expression.
That’s not to say I don’t value and accept much of that feedback, I just write about it less.
Rich’s final statement was less identification of conflict and more need for clarification:
I suspect you really won’t get swamped with too much business to handle. Slow down just a bit. Try to enjoy the journey on the way to the destination.
Mostly false. I have too much business to handle right now. I love helping people, but I do not love consulting. I love being the catalyst to a solution, but I do not love implementing it. I love working in my business—or those with which I have a meaningful equity stake—but I do not love working within someone else’s. I would much rather someone tell me that a comment or conversation exchanged years prior has changed their life and business.
Presently—with PrimeMind and Ghost Influence occupying the majority of my time—I refer almost all inquiries to my contemporaries. What I do enjoy is the conversational uncovering of someone’s true need. For example, a multi-billion dollar company came to me asking for help “driving traffic with Reddit” but what they really needed—what was lower hanging fruit and more analogous to their immediate goals—was to improve engagement on Facebook. With this redirection, I referred them to a colleague with particularly relevant expertise.
Most of the people in my address book will pay me a residual commission for referring them a client so I have a vested interest in getting people to the contractor or agency with which they will stay for some time. That and I just love playing matchmaker.
I don’t plan to have capacity for future work in businesses in which I am not partner. The only people I work with directly are those who have become members of Ghost Influence.
That’s me and my thing… it’s not going to be you and your thing.
Just as Meredith reminded me of the moments chose to unsubscribe from mentors like Gary Vaynerchuck, Amy Porterfield, Jon Loomer, etc. so too should you consistently re-evaluate the relationships you have with those to which you listen. Sometimes you will outgrow their voice, other times they will evolve to have one that is different. Don’t allow yourself to get absorbed into someone else’s story unless it’s one you want to live.
You are not a static being, you grow and change dynamically.
Steal pieces and tidbits, but never adopt someone else’s personality in full.
When was the last time you had to break up with a mentor?