“You could be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be someone who hates peaches.” - Dita Von Teese
How true. How unabashedly, scathingly true.
This was initially going to be a post about my perfectly imperfect diet and how I’m not ashamed of any of my dietary “vices” (eg. Diet Mt. Dew, bacon, McDonald’s vanilla soft serve). But over the past couple of days, I’ve found myself staring blankly at my Evernote app (a must-have, by the way) open on my laptop trying to figure out how to say, in more ways than one, that the perfect diet for you is one that makes room for your food preferences and quirks and still helps you reach your fitness goals. That goes without saying for me and I insist on the same for all of my clients. But I think I already kind of did that here.
This point branches out into an issue much greater – one that reaches far beyond the confines of the fitness world. This is a lesson that I’ve had to learn time and time again, as it’s a hard pill to swallow.
I feel silly admitting this, but I never actually thought of myself as entrepreneurial until a number of weeks ago. It just never crossed my mind that hey, I’m trying to do all of these things with my career, and that now makes me an entrepreneur. The title just seems so… fancy. Which is not typically a word I’d use to describe myself (note that my idea of dressing up involves insisting that my Lululemon yoga pants are appropriate for a nice restaurant). And besides, aren’t entrepreneurs supposed to live in coffee shops hovered over their laptops, surrounded by a dozen empty cups of Americano? Aren’t they supposed to forget to shower and wear the same clothes three days in a row and be tech-savvy and hustle and bustle to VC meetings? Because, umm, I never did any of that. And I doubt that I ever will.
When I had this epiphany, I poked a friend and said, somewhat in awe,”I just realized I’m an entrepreneur.” I was met with a raised eyebrow and a, “Yeah, uh, I knew that the minute I met you over a year ago.”
Thought it may a little premature to say this, as 2012 is not quite over, I’m quite pleased with how far I’ve come in the past year. I remember typing away on my laptop on the night of December 24th, eager to finish up a project I was working on – one that would become my very first piece of work dedicated to my business. Midnight came and went – the clock struck twelve for Christmas and also my 22nd birthday (yes, I’m a Christmas baby) – but I paid no mind; I had more exciting matters to tend to. A number of days later, I stayed up well past 5a.m. on New Year’s Day, and I launched my website for the very first time. Over the next couple of months, I became a writing fiend, banging furiously on my keyboard about fitness topics that had been on my mind for a long time. And much to my surprise, people read my words and my articles got passed along throughout the Internet. Some received tepid responses, a handful instigated controversy, and a number went viral. I started receiving e-mails from individuals requesting to guest write for my site, and I began to get regular pingbacks from other fitness writers. One of the highlights of my infant career thus far has been joining the Bodybuilding.com team as a contributing writer. Mini-milestones: accomplished.
I’d be lying if I said that I haven’t been nitpicked and torn apart by some, however. I’ve been “called out” for being far too opinionated, too sarcastic, too caustic. I’ve been told that I’m flat-out wrong about some of my thoughts (but, but… opinions are like asses!) and others have tried to downplay many of my struggles, much to my chagrin.
When I first got into this, I never really thought about the fact that I’d be putting myself on a public podium, making myself vulnerable to worldwide scrutiny. That I’d be picked apart by people hiding behind their computer screens and unfairly judged by folks who knew nothing about me. I didn’t expect any of it.
Yet it happened. And it stung – a lot.
I should have seen it coming. I should have known that I’d sometimes wake up in the mornings to hateful messages and false accusations. Maybe a part of me wanted to remain naive and believe that people on the Internet were all good and nonjudgmental (ha!). Perhaps I wanted to fool myself into thinking that individuals would be kind.
Unfortunately, I’ve learned that many are quick to point fingers and slow to think. If you look for faults, you will always find them.
But I’m okay with all of it now. In fact, I welcome it. I read somewhere that the greatest marker of success is not how much money you’re making, not how many people like you, but rather by the number of haters you manage to amass. If I can get your panties in a twist over something outrageous I say, then… awesome. That means I’m doing something right.
You have to grow thick skin to make it as an entrepreneur, I’ve been warned time and time again. And how true that has been. I can now read something that may have hurt me in the past and instead just smile, not let it touch me, and move on. After all, all that means is that while I’m busy making moves, others are squandering their minutes away by gossiping about others.
I understand now that despite how hard I try, despite the fact that I may give my very best to be benevolent and fair and selfless, there’s always going to be someone out there inspecting me with a microscope, trying to find even the tiniest fault to blow out of proportion.
Dear haters, welcome to my humble abode. Thank you for all the motivation you’ve provided me to become better, stronger, and more successful. Without you, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
I am perfectly imperfect. And I am imperfect in my own unique way.
(And I don’t apologize for how I am.)