This morning, I randomly came across a tweet from someone I don’t follow. Twitter has a way of doing that, but I appreciate it because once in a while I find something that I just need to see.
I have written about this before in the context of one of my favorite movies of all time, Dead Poets Society:
Truth. Stand on your desk, be who you are, and let out a barbaric “Yawp!” #deadpoets
“You don’t need to hide who you are to accommodate the opinions of others!”
I also want to point out that she tweeted this nearly two months ago.
Why does this matter?
Because words matter. My words matter. Your words matter. And Carrie’s words matter. (At least something she wrote two months ago mattered to me this morning.)
Jeff Goins says something I think we all resonate with:
“Most writers struggle with the same thing, one thought that threatens to destroy their message before it ever leaves their fingertips: what I say doesn’t matter.”
I can drop quotes all day long about this stuff. Here’s one from Kurt Cobain:
“I’d rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I am not.”
And another from Sally Hogshead:
“Different is better than better. Being the best isn’t enough if nobody notices or cares.”
You may have come across these quotes before, and it’s possible you’ve seen them at Authentik. I use them often, mainly as a reminder to myself just how right (and important) they are.
I have spent many years (too many, in fact) following the crowd. Being a sheep. Copycatting my way to—well—a place that wasn’t fulfilling and didn’t bring me a sense of joy.
I get it, though. It’s easy to be inspired by someone else and to emulate them. Sometimes pixel for pixel, or word for word.
I have been there, and I can assure you that at some point I’ll be there again. But my desire to live a life—and to do business—in a way that is unique is something I will not deny.
I love originality and doing things in a way that makes people question them. After all, the things that pique interest usually aren’t the things we’ve all seen a hundred times before.
Be Yourself, Everyone Else Is Taken
A few weeks ago, I confessed my admiration for Lady Gaga. I’m pretty sure the reason I shunned her for so long had something to do with the fact that she was different—a little too different, or so I thought.
While watching an hour-long interview she did at Yale University, the walls of preconceived notions and unwarranted assumptions I had made about her were knocked down brick by brick.
On October 5, 2018, A Star Is Born was theatrically released in the United States. When asked why she chose to play the role of Ally, Lady Gaga said:
“I am a fan of Bradley (Cooper)’s work, and I like the film’s portrayal of addiction and depression.”
The film has grossed over $354 million worldwide and received critical acclaim, with praise for Cooper and Gaga’s performances, as well as the screenplay, cinematography, and music. (The soundtrack is sublime.)
It is a work of art—all of it.
Everything about Lady Gaga is different—and that’s one thing I love about her. What I didn’t expect in the movie was the way she looked.
Normal. An everyday person. Ally. Just like you and I, actually.
At the top of her game, she showed up sans glamorous costumes and
Burlesque makeup. Without lights. Without noise. Without loud music.
It almost felt acoustic, like the Unplugged performances Alanis Morissette used to give. So when I hear words like this, I want to scream them from the mountaintops:
“Don’t you ever let a soul in the world tell you that you can’t be exactly who you are.” — Lady Gaga
The World Needs Our Art
We live in a world filled with stuff. Our lives are overfilled with that stuff. The problem isn’t that we have too many options, the problem is that we simply have too few good options.
I don’t want Authentik to be YADAMB (yet another design and marketing blog).
I want Authentik to be a movement and source of inspiration to any creative entrepreneur who wants to follow their passion and build an online business. It is for designers, writers, developers, photographers, musicians, podcasters.
I want the Authentik Community to feel like the Goonies—a group of kids from all walks of life who are just trying to figure out who they are—and more importantly, discover the power of coming together.
I want to help you get to the next level and help you make huge strides towards the big vision you’re really after in your business.
When we build businesses the way we want to build them—in a way that helps our customers and clients, and feels true to who we are as creatives, entrepreneurs, and human beings—how can we not feel good about it?
We have the power to disrupt, and transform everything in our respective industries. And yes: We can even change the world.
But it starts with a decision—a big decision.
Do you have what it takes? Do you have the courage to risk it all?
Are you willing to swim upstream, to take the road less traveled by, or as George Costanza puts it—to do “the opposite”?
I want to leave you with words that changed everything for me. They are words that define who I am, and define what I want Authentik to be:
“All of us are longing for connection and authenticity, and what we believe will repel people does the exact opposite.” — Ruthie Lindsey
Stand out. Stand tall. Stand by who you are. I believe that’s what people want from you anyway—plus it’s way more fulfilling.
Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.
. . .