“You matter,” he said to me. I confessed, close to his ear, so no one else nearby in the bar could hear me, “You don’t know how many times this year I wanted to die.”
He said, “I’ve read every post you made from Brazil, followed your ups and downs – you changed my life… you matter.”
These were the words from an Internet entrepreneur I hadn’t seen for 1 year, who created a product I’ve used, when the Internet – my lifeline – failed, whose creativity and entrepreneurial spirit I admired and never could imagine replicating… and others more accomplished than I raved about .
His words cracked me open, caused tears to flow from my eyes, which, at this Internet business networking event, was in one sense, entirely unbecoming & unprofessional. Because in business, you are not allowed to be vulnerable, you are not allowed to cry.
And made everything I did, every word I shared about my world online, even to resounding echoes of silence, or worse – to the censure of my community – matter.
This was the power of my truth, even when I thought there was no one there to hear. And this is the power of your truth.
What is Truth?
Truth is what is real to you.
Truth has grace when it expresses wisdom and compassion.
Truth has power when it has the capacity to connect people with what is good in the world, what is good in themselves, so that the end result is a change for the better, in a way that is infectious, that inspires others be that change.
There is no need for armor, no need to pretend, no need for you to be someone you are not, or compare yourself with others.
There is no need to validate what you do, or to find validation to justify why you do it – in all the ways the we are conditioned as humans, by our family, our peers, our society, to find value in ourselves.
How To Matter
To matter, to make a difference, you only need to do 2 things.
- You love. That means you care. You care when you see injustice in the world and this moves you, sometimes to the point when it brings tears to your eyes.
- You take action. You do SOMETHING that expresses your caring. And you don’t judge. You don’t judge or blame someone who expresses caring in a different way. You take an action that expresses your truth.
False Gods vs. True Gods
In online marketing, we measure the value of our actions by unique visits, page views, likes, shares, comments, retweets, signups, etc. Other worldly ways we assign value to our actions is through the accumulation of wealth, of merit – money or public accolades for what we do.
But these mundane things are insignificant.
If you have truth to share, the most powerful action you can take is to speak your truth. Because you never know who is listening, whose life you will change, through your words you write, the experience you share, how you live your life.
And if you simply change the life of one person for the better, you would have made a difference.
Live your truth, speak your truth, be a clear channel for love in all the things that you do.
Even when you think nobody is watching & listening, finding your truth and living it is indeed the most important thing that you can do.
Because you never know whose life you will touch, unbeknownst to you.
The Power of Truth
A friend of mine, when I knew him, and loved him, was a cocky, self absorbed entrepreneur. Sure, we’re all self-absorbed in our own unique ways. He was smart, visionary, and extremely well connected. He still is. But his last business went down in flames. He had to look his investors in the eye – many of whom were his friends who believed in him, who trusted him – and explain that he lost all their money. And he had to look his employees in the eye, and then lay then off. And then he got really, really sick, and in this dark place, contemplated death. But eventually, he pulled himself out of it.
Then he decided to speak his truth, and share with others how he pulled himself out of this dark place.
He was humbled by his experience, but in this humility, became bigger than who he was.
He influences more people than he ever did – as an Amazon best selling author – for a small, simple book he wrote that he thought no more than 10 people would buy.
He didn’t write his book to sell. He wrote it because it was his truth.
Don’t Give Up
I’ve been blogging since 2006. Innumerable times I wondered whether I was spinning my wheels, wasting my time. I wondered whether anyone cared. Many times I let that fear prevent me from sharing my truth. Other times, I didn’t care, I simply wrote, published, and went about my daily life.
Numerous times I’ve been surprised at people whom I’ve never met, say to me in public forums, how they’ve been following me for years, and I had no idea. I have my flaws, blind spots, limitations.
Sometimes, in my lowest moments, I think I am the most unworthy creature to walk the planet.
But to them, what I said at that time, how I lived my life at that time – it mattered.
If you are an entrepreneur, I bet you’ve been to these dark places. You take big risks, there is no security. You’ve opted out of the system. There’s no safety net. Friends and family wonder when / if you will get a job. Every year that goes by you are not employed, without a steady paycheck, as career references grow old – it is another ding in your reputation unless you make it BIG.
But what’s big? Making 7 figures online? Or changing the life of one person for the better? Or inspiring 1 person, who inspires 10 people to be a force for good? Or inspiring 1 person, who mentors 1 person, who develops the cure for cancer?
A flutter of butterfly wings can create a hurricane.
If you have a truth to share, and that truth has value, never give up, even if you think no one is listening.
This doesn’t mean you don’t tweak your strategy. Or take a well deserved break. Or pivot. Live your truth, be yourself, and allow yourself to grow and change.
In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
So dare to live the life you’ve dreamed for yourself, and never give up.