The business of being human

Image: Annie Spratt

Gary Vaynerchuk has lately been going off about the topic — ‘Document, don’t create.’ Essentially, what he’s pointing to is the value in showing your process — with all the ups and downs — along the way rather than just shelling out advice and expertise.

It would be really cool to have content right now about when Vera Wang started learning — like, literally learning — how to create a dress.
Gary Vaynerchuk

As much as I love this concept, hearing it made my palms sweat.

Don’t we need to establish authority from the starting line? Who’s going to hire me if they see that I’m just ‘learning’ something? Would I buy Vera Wang dresses if I knew she was just a… Beginner?

The advice I received long ago was to only share your flaws after the fact. Like, after you’ve succeeded. Then, and only then, can you touch on your failures.

I think it’s much smarter for you to talk to the world about your process of going through this than the advice you think you should be giving them.
Gary Vaynerchuk

After sitting with it for awhile, my fears subsided. My ego calmed down, and — as is usual with the mind — clearer thoughts started showing up. I actually got a boost from this message.

It made me think back to when I started Higher Thoughts and blogging daily. I had zero clue what my end goal was. I just wanted to share a higher thought from my human experience every single day. That was it. That’s what drove me.

The content just so happened to end up being generally about creativity, mindfulness, and living better.

But then the ego swoops in…

You gotta find your niche. Stay on-topic and (again) ‘build authority’.

Well, here’s the thing about ‘building authority’...

When everyone’s a self-proclaimed ‘authority’, no one is.

I know… Establishing expertise seems like the best business decision around. But I believe, at this point in time, the real business is the business of being human.

Gary Vee’s thoughts have sparked my insatiable urge to reconvene with and share my day-to-day truth, which was the fuel to this daily collection of thoughts to begin with.

I’d say this is universal among humans. We want to get the truth out. The ugly, dirty, and beautiful of it.

So here it is. My documentation, if you will.

In actuality, I don’t know who/what I am, exactly. I wouldn’t call myself an ‘authority’. I’m just a guy who loves to write and share. I’ve fought my share of dragons and have had some of the most incredible insights along the way and it’s really cool when my little essays end up helping others in their human experience and creative journeys.

I don’t know exactly what I’ll be doing professionally a month from now, a year, or a decade. But there’s one thing I know I’ll always be for the duration, and that is… a human. And as long as I’m a human, I’ll continue documenting my work, sharing my process, and asking myself the timeless question that Montaigne asked throughout his life:

“How to live?”

(Yes, this particularly snooty ending was intentional #highbrow #ftw)


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