I’m going to let you in on something interesting and kind of terrifying that happens when you run an email list like mine.
Every time I send a message out to my list, people unsubscribe.
Not a huge amount of people. But a handful. If I peek into my list about 24 hours after I’ve sent something to you guys, there will be a list of people in there who punched that unsubscribe button.
Rejecting what I have to say.
Choosing to never have to read another word I write.
I used to take it very personally.
I could obsess over the possible reasons. Did I send too many emails? Maybe they didn’t find them valuable. Maybe something I wrote offended them. Maybe they disagree with my methods, or my worldview. Maybe the things I’m asking them to do and think about feel too hard. Too scary. Maybe I make them uncomfortable.
But whatever the details, I can boil it down to one simple reason:
They’re just not that into you.
It can hurt and feel personal if you let it. And if you dig into your memory, you’ve probably had it happen to you a million times, too.
- You quit going out so much or drinking or start exercising and your “friends” give you a hard time. Or worse, they abandon you completely.
- You decide to clean up your diet and it seems like everyone is pushing cookies and cake into your hands.
- You decide to start a business and your family won’t quit asking if you’re “still unemployed” as though you do nothing all day.
- You’re put in charge of something important at work and your coworkers talk a bunch of shit behind your back, even though you know you’re doing a great job.
Your message? It challenges people. It makes them consider their own choices. Maybe they think whatever you’re doing is dumb as hell. Maybe they even think you’re silently judging them for not making the same decisions.
There’s nothing wrong with you. Some people just aren’t a good fit.
This is a gift. It shows you where to focus – and just as importantly – where to stop wasting your energy.
I’m not saying you should write off your friends or your family or be a jerk to those coworkers. I’m just saying stop trying to convince them that what you’re doing is OK.
What if you could quit spinning your wheels with those people? Quit worrying about why they don’t get it, or blunting your message to make it more acceptable to them, or worrying about where those subscribers have gone and what you can do to get them back?
If whatever you’re doing is good for you and it makes you feel excited to start your day or proud or hopeful for the future or happier in your own skin, you know that it’s OK.
You just haven’t found the right people to support you yet.
Keep looking. They’re out there.
“When you talk to everyone you talk to no one.”
This saying comes up a lot in marketing. No, this is not actually a post about marketing. But it’s a GEM and it applies to your whole life.
It means narrow your focus.
Everyone won’t get you, or even want to know you. Everyone won’t want to read the words you write, or listen to the music you make, or buy your gorgeous artwork, or want to get to know you even a little bit.
Focus only on the people who do.
Talk to them, create with them in mind, value those opinions. And only those.
You could cast a wide net an aim to be liked by everyone. People do it all the time. (You probably know some of them.) And that might get you a wide range of casual, lukewarm acquaintances. But you’d have very few real friends. Few true believers. Few people who really get you and believe in what you’re all about.
Or you could find your people. Set your sights narrowly. Realize that when you shout your message from the rooftops, only one person might turn their head.
Go hug that person. Or just wink and make some *pew-pew* finger guns in their direction, if that’s more your style.
It stings. I won’t lie to you. It will probably always hurt a little bit when someone takes a look at what you’re up to and goes, “Nope!”
But it doesn’t have to wreck you if you recognize it as a gift. There’s one place you don’t have to spend any more energy. There’s energy you can point in a different direction.
What’s your Big Thing? Have you found your people? Are you still looking?
As always, I’m rooting for you.