I’ve been thinking lately about how online business and social media seems to be growing ever faster.
Where one piece of content a week used to be great, now it’s 10+ a day.
And I don’t know how I feel about that.
Well, I do know how I feel.
I feel bewildered and overwhelmed and like I don’t want to create anything at all.
Because if I create, I want it to be honest. And heartfelt. And filled with soul.
I want it to do good in the world, not just good enough.
I want it to have MEANING, not just be air space to fill up a quota.
I read something yesterday which stuck with me.
I’m a Patreon of Humans of New York, and he wrote in an update called Space to Create:
“Content has become more bite-sized, more consumable, and less nuanced. In a world of decreasing attention spans, brevity is seen as the only way to compete. Importance is placed on the quantity of output rather than quality. Many ‘social media gurus’ teach that success is frequency of contact. Publish or perish. Either you constantly remind the world that you exist, or you will be forgotten.
I’ve spoken with a lot of artists on the Internet who feel burned out by this dynamic. They feel stifled by the treadmill of daily content. It can be impossible to reconcile the demands of social media with the demands of art.
Social media tells you to go quickly. Art tells you to go deep. Social media tells you to replicate what works. Art tells you to experiment. Social media tells you to always be visible. Art tells you to disappear, figure something out, and come back with a discovery worth sharing.
It’s not an easy puzzle for artists to solve.”
This morning I woke up at the butt crack of dawn in my daughter’s bed after a night of musical beds.
It was stifling hot already. I was tired, and I grabbed my phone to have some “me time” in bed.
My daughter came in for a cuddle. I’ve noticed lately I’ve been spending more time on the phone. It has not made me happier, more content or a better mother. So I put the phone down, and I leaned into her, and I leaned into the moment.
And then the dog appeared, wanting breakfast. I fed her, and noticed how much my body wanted to be outside. So I just sat on the verandah, watching ants on the wood, letting the salty, humid air wash over me. My daughter came to sit on my lap, and we watched the ants together. She noticed she had my full attention, and spent long moments telling me everything on her mind.
There’s nowhere else I need to be. Just right here, right now. Here is where life is.
And those few moments filled my heart more than hours on a fucking phone.
I want to create. Deeply and truly.
I want to do it on my own terms.
I want it to be good. Not the equivalent of fast food creativity. I want it to be slow and luxurious, like sex on a Sunday afternoon. Decadent.
And fuck me, I want it to be honest. Searing and human and bountiful.
Quality not quantity.
I just want to share with you the honest and the true.
The moment with the ants. The HONY words.
Other things: this song. This workshop.
The acts of creation that birth awareness, that startle you with their presence.
That’s what I want to see. That’s what I want to be.
I took the photo of the wood this afternoon.
The ants were gone, but that moment remained.
I can’t remember what I looked at on my phone last.
It took hours but it gave me nothing.
I want to create something good with this life of my own.
I don’t know what that looks like yet.
I’ll keep exploring. I’ll keep sharing.
I’ve been ensconced in the creative cave over the last six weeks… writing and illustrating new sections for the 2020 workbooks.
And I keep wanting to write to you all, but brain is currently going:
BREEEP BOOOOP WEEEEEB.
It’s not in writing shape at the moment.
It mostly just wants to lay down and have a look at a wall.
And part of me wants to fret and freak out that I’ve lost the creative spark.
And then the rational, gentle part of me gently reminds the other parts of me:
Mate, you just did six intense weeks of rewriting the workbooks. You can calm down, oh ye of little faith!
Do you ever experience that?
When you’re tired, or exhausted, or out of steam, or out of inspiration…
begin panicking about that and wondering if it will ever be different…
and then realising:
Oh, there’s actually a really valid reason you’re feeling that way. And it’s not always going to be that way. Right now, the best thing might be just to look at a wall, refill that cup.
The 2019 workbooks are already released, and doing beautifully.
And I really need to start actually promoting them and getting them into the world.
But I’ve been swamped with thinking about the 2020 rewrite, and I find it hard to balance two priorities at the same time. I like to do deep dives into things.
Anyways, I’m really happy with how these workbooks have turned out. And it’s a joy to have them at a publishing house. Go buy them, PLEASE!! That way the publishers will take on more of my books… including the Shining Year diary/planners!
I say it every year, but I don’t know how I’d pull off this yearly workbook project without Mr Dawsy.
HOT AF AND HANDY TO BOOT!
It’s been 5 months since we moved (!)
It feels like a lifetime and last week. It’s still a joy to be here.
The tropical beach life is something I don’t think I can ever part with again. The greens and the blues just make my eyes light up.
We will probably end up buying an acreage here soon enough… still in this area, just with some more land around us. We love acreage living too much to give the dream up!
My kids are happy, delicious souls.
It’s been 18 months since we started homeschooling, and it’s been chock full of beautiful moments. I am so glad we took the leap!
AND I am also totally happy if we decide to do a return to school as well. I don’t want to prescribe to a cult of thought that there is only one right way to do anything.
It’s been a funny thing – I’ve shared so much about my kids online in the early years. But over the last couple of years, I’ve really felt the need to shift and be much more private.
I remember Dooce wrote a blog post yearrrrrrrs ago about this feeling. She talked about how openly she wanted to talk in the early years of parenting, because we’re basically just talking about universal baby and toddler features of tantrums and poop that everyone goes through. But as her eldest daughter grew up, and developed her own personality quirks, Heather didn’t feel like she could share about her as openly without impinging on her daughter’s privacy.
It’s stuck in my head, and has been the same for me. My kids are 4 and 8 now. It’s less about developmental stages and more about individuality now. And they get to keep that and share that with the ones they love.
Just because their Mama signed up to be a somewhat public figure, doesn’t mean they did.
I’d like to clarify by saying: If you have a different view of sharing your kids online, that’s rad. I’m tired enough by parenting to worry about how anybody else wants to parent. Ha!
How do I feel about closing down my Academy?
Groovy! Gentle and luxurious.
I’m still producing courses and doing coaching calls for it right up until September next year.
But it feels good to have created the space for something new to come through.
I read this piece by Cheryl Strayed in the latest Dumbo Feather magazine and it totally resonated.
She talks about her decision to close down the Dear Sugars podcast even though it was so popular so she could create new things. It’s why I closed my Academy down… saying goodbye to a good love. It was a hard decision to make because it was so good… but as a creator I needed to make space for what was next. Even though I’m not sure what that is next.
Things I’ve been reading/watching:
That’s about all my bleep blooping brain has in it.
Once I’ve got these books off to the publishers next week I should have some more brain space for more regular love letters and the like!
In the meantime… I’m sending you all so much love and gladness!
Firstly, this is NOT the post I wish I was writing today.
I do not make a career out of being bitchy or critical.
It does not delight me.
Instead, I was hoping to share with you my illustrated notes of wisdom learned from a business conference I was excited to go to.
Beautiful, rainbow artsy notes like when I went to the Growth Summit. Or Ausmumpreneur. Or Women’s Collective.
But I don’t have ones like that for you.
Why is that?
Because yesterday, I went to the worst business conference I’ve ever attended.
It was the stuff of nightmares, of horror convention folklore.
I’d heard about such events before, but couldn’t comprehend it until I was actually there.
Fuck all content or wisdom to speak of, much less illustrate. Just hardcore sales pitches.
But first, if you don’t know who I am:
I am a self-made multi-millionaire. Not in theory. In cash.
I’m a #1 best-selling author. Over the weekend my latest books were #1 and #3 in Australia.
I am a serial entrepreneur of 7 figure companies.
And I want to shout from the top of my fucking lungs:
“These conventions are a waste of your time and money and energy. This is NOT how you get rich. This is BULLSHIT.”
I feel seriously enraged at the shitshow of sleazy hardcore sales techniques. It was marketing at its absolute shittiest.
And I feel protective over all the people who were there, the thousands of people who thought they were paying for a useful business conference and instead got trapped in a 9 hour infomercial.
So I’m writing this to hopefully stop other people from wasting their precious time and money on these piss poor excuses for a business conference. Not to mention getting sucked in by those sleazy sales people and ending up tens of thousands of dollars in debt on shoddy get rich quick programs.
So, why the fuck I was there?
I saw an ad for a Gary Vaynerchuk conference.
I read one of his books a few years ago. It was mostly fluff, but some interesting points.
From his videos he seemed like an engaging speaker. He appears to have a lot of business success.
So I thought it might be interesting to learn from him.
Here’s the kind of marketing material I saw:
There was a mention of a guest speaker, but it was far down the page and said yet to be announced.
There is now more information on their sales page, but as of a couple of weeks ago, that was not the case.
They sold most tickets before announcing guest speaker(s).
Call me a naive motherfucker, but guess who I thought would be actually teaching for a decent chunk of the event?
The dude that they had on all their promo material and ads.
Investing a day in something isn’t a choice I make lightly.
I homeschool my kids. Everyday is full and delicious and important.
I have two books to write and illustrate in six weeks to deliver to my publishers.
But I figure someone like Gary V would respect the sanctity of my time and make it worth my while.
So I front up the day of the conference. It’s a 2 hour drive, so I left the house before my kids were awake.
It starts, and the American emcee is completely off key.
He starts pulling out the most tired NLP bullshit out of the bag.
He wants everyone standing up, high fiving each other, repeating words he says, yelling affirmations about how ready we are.
It does not feel good, or exciting, or authentic.
It feels like I’ve suddenly fallen into a Tony Robbins commercial and I can’t get out.
The first speaker comes out. And I’m disappointed it’s not Gary, but I figure he needs a warm up act.
The dude is Tony Nash, founder of Booktopia, and he is excellent.
Humble, thoughtful, good pieces of wisdom from his business journal.
Tony is a good sort, and I’m impressed.
I think: well, if I just get to hear from great, seasoned entrepreneurs like this, this will be a good use of time.
Spoiler alert: I won’t, and it isn’t.
The next speaker comes out. It’s not Gary. This will continue being the theme for the rest of the day.
This time however, it’s a different kind of speaker.
It’s not lovely, thoughtful Tony sharing his gold ingots of hard earned wisdom without wanting anything back.
This guy is a smooth talking “_____ expert”.
First you think he’s a funny, good bloke here to help you with good information.. But then as the moments progress it slowly dawns on you that he still hasn’t told you anything useful, and in fact, he’s actually just doing a sales pitch with long testimonials and screenshots of how much YOU TOO COULD EARN SELLING ON ______… if only you sign up for his program today for the low, low, low price of $3500.
This goes on for over an hour.
The overly produced videos. Getting all his apparent clients in the room to stand up. Trying to incite a stampede of orders to the tables at the sides.
It feels increasingly uncomfortable. Increasingly hard core sales techniques. The worst of the worst in action. Exactly the kind of people and tactics that give marketing and business a terrible name.
The worst part is, I hear from people who’ve fallen for the slick sales pitch.
How the $3500 isn’t enough to learn what you need to know.
How you then have to pay $30,000 for private coaching.
How there is always another inner circle you need to pay more to get access to the information you need to succeed.
It does not improve from there.
After that guy there is the stocks guy. Then the property guy.
All with their hour+ long sales pitch.
I hear more stories from people who’ve invested in them. And the horrific, underhanded dealings and behaviour that happen from them.
Oh and all those people rushing to the orders table to buy now? Half of them are paid employees. Gotta get that social proof in somehow, right?
Want to know how these (shithouse) business models work?
These “experts” have usually PAID to be on stage. That, or they have a joint venture where the conference organisers take a cut of their day’s sales.
You’ve paid to be there. But it’s not enough.
Not enough to give you actual content.
Not enough to teach you anything useful.
Not enough to respect your time or money.
I feel trapped in a room full of hungry people with lies being sold to them.
I storm out often, fuming and shaking at just how much I’ve been duped. But I feel like I can’t leave completely. Always on tenterhooks waiting for when the rare GaryV will finally arrive.
Gary Vaynerchuk is the worm, the bait.
We are all here to see him. We took the bait, and now we are hooked on a day-long infomercial of the worst kind of bullshit conpreneurs on the planet.
The event starts at 8:30am.
It is after 4 fucking o’clock in the afternoon that the bait makes his way onto the stage.
He speaks for barely 40 minutes.
Meandering, nonsensical. Completely opposing statements said one after the other.
Here’s some treats for you:
“You aren’t sharing on social media because you’re afraid of being judged. You need to go home right now and have a hard conversation with someone in your life. Your mother or father. Or your siblings or friends. So then you can start using your voice.”
“The only reason any of you have problems with any of your families is your own ego, pure and simple. If you didn’t have an ego, you wouldn’t have a problem. That’s why I don’t have a problem. I would never have a problem.”
“I am 100% about empathy. That’s what I am really teaching everyone here.”
and then his parting words?
“Just remember, everyone go home and PUNCH YOUR MOTHER IN THE MOUTH.”
Sidenote: in a country gripped in a epidemic of violence against women… where 10 women have been murdered in the last 22 days (many from family violence)… what on EARTH would cause a man to tell over 3000 people (mostly men) to commit physical violence against a woman. Even as a “joke” that’s not.fucking.funny.
Why on earth would I ever illustrate this shitstream?
Here’s another treat for you:
“You need to be creating 100 pieces of quality content on social media every day. I am trying to create 1000 pieces of content on social media every day. I judge myself that I’m being a slack fuck if I’m not doing that. So if you’re not even creating 100 pieces of content every single day, imagine what I think of you!”
I think to myself:
- I have built million dollar companies that are more than enough to sustain me and my family and I do NOT need to create 100 pieces of content a day.
- If I created 100 pieces of content a day, my children would not see my face without a motherfucking phone in front of it. That is NOT a life worthy of replicating.
- 1000 pieces of content a day. Does this guy understand fucking MATH or how time works? If you sleep for 7 hours a day, that means you need to release more than 1 piece of “quality content” per minute every minute for every hour of the rest of the day from the moment you wake up to the moment you fall asleep again.
- This is not a burnout-proof way of living. This is not a heartful way to live, or thrive.
I think to myself:
Does he know this is the kind of event he signed up for? Surely not! Why would he EVER put his name and personal brand behind something so horrific, so dehumanising, so obviously rotten!
He says during his veering randomfest:
“I will outsell anyone here on this stage. Without the shitty sales techniques.”
And the whole crowd, mad with 8 hours of being NLPed and pressured and sales, bursts into wild applause.
But here’s the fucking kicker:
He KNOWS that he is the tempting worm that got us all here.
That held us all captive in a room through 8 hours of horrific infomercials wanting tens of thousands of dollars from us.
He’s been paid handsomely for it.
He knows. And he is profiting HUGELY from it.
He is gaslighting us.
He sold our day’s attention to the highest bidder.
And we are the ones paying for it.
I hear from others, who have been to GaryV events around Australia, in the US and UK.
EXACTLY THE SAME EXPERIENCE.
He is not the only one.
Tony Robbins. Robert Kiyosaki.
The worst of the worst high-pressure, manipulative marketing techniques.
This industry SUCKS.
Feel free to email me if you’ve been roped into these other horror pitchfests.
Out of a full day’s lineup, there was only ONE woman.
And no racial diversity, no BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour).
It’s 2018, motherfuckers.
The least you could do is let someone other than a white man try to sell me a horrifically overpriced bullshit fest. EQUAL OPPORTUNITY FOR SPAMMERS!
I would like to say that this is NOT the usual experience for business conferences.
Gary V, Success Resources Australia and Success Squared should be fucking ashamed of themselves for even pretending to be one.
Business conferences are where you go to be uplifted, inspired, taught. Given a bag full of practical tools to take home and start using. Inspiring, thoughtful talks from entrepreneurs who are humble, share their insights freely to raise everybody up.
It’s what I expected (+ got) when I saw Jim Collins, Verne Harnish + Liz Wiseman at the Growth Faculty. They were exceptional speakers that we got to learn from all day instead of 40 fucking minutes (gasp!) with actual useful content (OMG!) not just fake sales bullshit.
Ausmumpreneur Conference is just the same. Authentic, heart-centred. Real. Actual wisdom.
Not a fucking infuriating, belittling, daylong infomercial that degrades and takes and takes and takes.
Throughout the day, the
speakers scammers kept asking everyone:
“WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE? YELL OUT YES I DO IF YOU DO!”
And so many people would. Seekers, wanting, open hearts.
And these people would go on to tell us the course we need to buy for $5,000 today ONLY to make that happen.
Now here’s the thing. I’m a multi-millionaire. And this kind of shit is not the way to get rich.
Yes, invest in your education.
But do your slow, thoughtful research on who is a good teacher. Who doesn’t put you tens of thousands of bucks in debt to learn from them. Who turns up and serves YOU first so you know who they really are. Who delivers on what they promise. Who don’t make you make you pay more and more to get closer to their inner circles of wisdom. Who respects your time and energy and sovereignty.
Not some shiny, pushy salesman who you’ve known for less than an hour while caged in a pitchfest room.
So skip these bullshit conferences. Find your own path. You can create your own abundance in YOUR own way and time. With teachers who are worthy of your time, and who treat yours as precious too.
I got home late last night, bleary eyed and exhausted and enraged.
And my children had already gone to bed.
And I missed seeing their eyes open today. I missed a precious day with my beautiful kids, one I won’t ever get back.
Had it been a day that filled up my well, that gave me tools to walk the path with, that inspired and uplifted me, that helped continue tend to and nurture my family and our finances, it would have been worth it.
Instead, Gary and Success Resources Australia lied to me, and to all of us.
They stole a day from 3,000 people.
They took our day, our joy, time with our families, one whole day of our glorious, fucking beautiful lives.
They filled it with indignity, shame, pressure, pain, lies.
For many, they took even more: credit card details.
And it’s not good enough.
It wasn’t ever good enough in the past either.
But it’s time for these pisspoor pitchfests to go get extinct.
To Gary and Success Resources:
So VERY much better.
This world needs it, desperately.
And you do too.
This life is too grand, and too tender, and too precious for anything but.