Let’s be real: If you’ve ever worked up the moxie to start a business (or any solo long-term creative pursuit) you were probably, in some way, seduced into doing so.
Seduced perhaps by the idea you were going to change lives — and the world — by doing fun stuff that didn’t feel like work; all while sleeping in, sippin’ green juice, and living your best, most instagram-able life.
Or seduced by that well-traveled, killer-wardrobe-having, bazillion-dollar-guru with a rags to riches story that tugged your heart strings as she assured you: “If I can do it? You can too. All you have to do is purchase ___.”
Or seduced by the concept that freedom, success, and wealth is waiting for you juuuust out of reach, if you’d only have the courage to step boldly forward to claim it and *~*~*do you work you love*~*~*!
Yep, been there. It worked on me too.
So: What makes these seductions so damn effective? Because there’s a kernel of truth to each of them.
Can you change the world? Definitely. But you’ve gotta be ready to work hard.
Can you become a guru someday? Sure. But the road is, like, pretty challenging.
Is all that money and success really waiting for you around the corner? Well. not necessarily — but if you don’t try, you’ll definitely never see either.
… Unfortunately, the truth doesn’t always make for a great sales hook. So these realities are gilded with a smattering of shiny hyperbole and stories, and packaged for consumption.
To make this web even more tangled: Not only are these seductions understandably hard to resist — they’re also everywhere.
They’re beamed out to you across multiple platforms all day every day; on fast-paced webinars, woven into clever emails, preached about on Facebook Lives and in the captions of Instagram #motivationmondays, plastered all over websites and sales pages, and basically spread anywhere eyeballs and screens meet credit cards.
They all make success sound so simple, sexy, and step-by-step if you’ll just join their mailing list/invest in their coaching/formula/program/course/event…
And you know what? In some ways, thank god for that.
While I have my frustrations with the razzle dazzle of digital marketing, it can be pretty helpful for a short time… before it starts to have the opposite effect.
(Helloooo constant self-comparison, impostor syndrome, and the host of other brain gremlins fond of entrepreneurs.)
Seriously, think about it. Without seduction of some kind, how many of us would have chosen to become entrepreneurs in the first place?
Very, very few people are masochistic enough to start a business purely because it’s difficult, or because some days your mental health and self esteem become impossible to distinguish from your client feedback or bank account.
Without some kind of shininess to attract us… we may never dare to leap at all.
However, while that seductive shine can help you get started? It always wears off eventually.
There’s a reason why “Don’t meet your heroes” is a common quip — especially in the online business world.
Because as time goes on, and you learn more, see more, and do more in your industry?
You start to notice things. Some good, some bad.
Eventually, you realize those powerhouse entrepreneurs you felt could do no wrong are actually flawed human beings with bad ideas (along with the good ones) and mortgages to pay.
… And those “bulletproof” offers and formulas that promise 6 figures — or at least some sales and clients— don’t always work for your business model, work patterns, or goals.
… And that some industry “A-listers” earned their clout by investing $20k in another “A-lister’s” mastermind, and those screenshots they’re sharing of contract totals and raving clients are hiding the fact they’re caught up in the feast and famine cycle too.
Don’t despair, though!
Because when the shine starts to fade? It means your real adventure is just beginning.
One day, you awaken from your guruspiration-induced, idealistic, lead-magnet fueled, “# steps to # figures” poppy field sleep and you (finally) ask yourself:
Oh shit… Why am I really here?
What do I really want to do, sell, and create?
Who can I really help, and how?
While it’s easy to feel jaded, angry, and jipped once the shine wears off, trust me: The lowering of the veil is a beautiful thing.
Because it makes you smart, self-aware, discerning, and — most importantly — hype-resistant.
When you start to see how the cogs in the machine work behind the shiny facade, it’s much easier to stop comparing yourself to people working within the same machine — and it gives you the chance to decide if you even want to be a part of it.
Suddenly it hits you that you don’t necessarily have to make 7-figures, or run a course, or hand the hottest guru your money (or become a guru yourself) in order to have the kind of business you want — even if you don’t know what that looks like yet.
You begin to feel grateful that you get to learn from the mistakes of the people who’ve come before you; to decide what turns you on and off and what you genuinely want to pursue — notwithstanding someone else’s sales pitch.
And you recognize, finally, that you have more choices than you ever realized, and your potential is much, much vaster than you previously imagined.
In short: Your disillusionment is your key to liberation.
At last, unshackled by the chains of seduction, you are finally free to create whatever it is you want, and follow your own north star about what works for you, your goals, and the people you most want to serve. You get to really chew over what “success on your own terms” means, and bring that definition to life.
While you might feel angry at first, with time, you’ll realize the chip it leaves on your shoulder is actually a map of what you don’t want to do, and who you don’t want to be — which might be one of the most useful tools on the planet.
Because sure, the sparkle might have faded… but it left a door wide open in its place.
And with no more seduction to worry about? All that remains is you, and the path you choose to tread.
So really: Why not start walking?
Like… right now?