The straight talk on parenting:
- Some days, you will really, really dislike your children.
- Some days, your children will really, really dislike you. There may even be days when they yell that dislike in your face.
- Children are sucking vortexes of need. Get used to it.
- Almost every day, you will wonder if you are doing everything wrong and totally screwing your kids up.
- In between those hard days and moments of doubt, there will be moments of pure delight, and you’ll wonder how you could possibly live without these amazing people in your life.
The straight talk on starting a new business:
- It’s hard. Really hard.
- There will be lots of days when you wake up in a panic wondering how you’re going to survive financially.
- On your days of greatest weakness, you will compare yourself to other people and find yourself seriously lacking.
- Just when you think you have it figured out, one of your favourite ideas will flop, and you’ll feel like a failure all over again.
- If you can work through the discouragement, you’ll have moments when you’re happier than you’ve ever been, doing the things that make your heart sing.
The straight talk on marriage:
- There are no fairy tales. No knights in shining armor. No happy endings. You might as well give up the quest.
- You’ll have days when you think “what the hell have I done?” or “where did this all go wrong?” or “why does it feel like we are communicating at completely different frequencies?”
- There’s a pretty good chance that some day, maybe even 18 years in, the whole thing will fall apart and you’ll be left trying to pick up the pieces.
- You’re going to have to work really, really hard if you value what you’ve built and want to stay together. You might even need outside help and you’ll definitely need some prayer.
- Once you’ve done the hard work, and given up the fairy tale, you might just find yourself growing (not falling) into real, blinders-off, sometimes-it-hurts-sometimes-it’s-exquisite kind of love. And it will feel like home.
The straight talk on leadership:
- Just like parenting, there will be days when you really, really dislike some of the people you lead.
- There will be days when they really, really dislike you. They might even file a complaint or take you to court if the dislike runs deeply enough. This may not have anything to do with your actions, but you’ll still be tempted to take it personally.
- It may very well be one of the most stressful roles you’ll undertake.
- You’ll often feel lonely because lots of people assume the leader is confident enough that they don’t need any moral support or friendship.
- If you find the right support and the right people to lead, though, it could possibly be the most rewarding thing you’ll ever do. If you’re living your calling, then it will have meaning.
The straight talk on marketing:
- There are people who will want to offer you a formula for success. Don’t believe them. There are no formulas.
- Sometimes you’ll do everything by the book, and still very few people will show up or buy your product.
- Some people will say “just put out good content and people will show up”. Not true. (At least not all the time.) Lots of people create amazing products that nobody buys.
- A lot of times, it’s just a crap shoot – if the right (ie. influential) people show up and buy your product and then share it with their friends, it may go viral.
- At the end of the day, the most important thing is building relationships. Be kind to people, support them, offer them your best work, and slowly but surely the right people will show up. (Or they may not, and you’ll have to start over again, but that doesn’t mean you’ve failed, only that the timing wasn’t right for your product, or it needs some tweaking.)
The straight talk on failure:
- You will fail. Get used to it. Sometimes even your biggest, boldest dreams will fail.
- You’ll have to work hard to not believe that failing defines you as a failure.
- Even the most successful people in the world have faced failure at some point in their lives. They may even be failing right now and you just don’t know it because they’re good at hiding it.
- Failure may be your greatest teacher if you’re open to it.
- Sometimes failure opens doors to you that you wouldn’t have seen if you’d never tried. Go ahead and fail.
The straight talk on life:
- There will be many moments when you feel completely lost and unsure of what path you should be on.
- People will tell you to “follow these 10 easy steps to success/self-improvement/spirituality”. Don’t believe them. There are no easy steps.
- Nobody’s path will look just like yours. You’ll never find the perfect book, teacher, or life coach who will give you complete clarity, because nobody else knows your life. (But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t learn from other people’s wisdom. You should. Just don’t expect it to be the only answer.)
- Living a life of integrity, authenticity, and compassion takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears. It’s still worth it.
- If you are true to yourself, true to the people that you love, and true to your God, and if you pursue your passions and share your gifts, your life will have meaning.