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Deeply personal and “deep down into my brain and soul” type of post below that I’ll probably wind up regretting posting.
I’m currently experiencing my “fate worse than death.” First time in about three years or so that it’s come back.
We all have one. For some, it’s as simple as sitting next to a constant-talker on a plane. For others, it’s much more complex. But we all have one. And before the comments start, I’m not putting down anyone else’s “fate worse than death,” nor am I marginalizing anything – not cancer, not child labor, nothing. This is just mine. Yes, lots of other things suck, but that doesn’t mean I’m not allowed to have mine, as well.
I’ve had this specific fate worse than death for as long as I can remember – It torments me when I least expect it – It comes out of nowhere, and keeps me up at night. It’s 7:15am in Vegas now, and I’ve been up since about 3:45. It’s not the kind of fate that I can fix by doing “just one thing,” it’s something that needs time, a plan, and implementation.
Compounding the issue, my FWTD tends to leech onto all my other fears, doubts, and deeply-receded-in-my-brain issues. It takes longer for the Uptown 1 train to go from 14th Street to 18th Street than it does for my FWTD to invade all my other issues. So in addition to my FWTD, I also feel incredibly fat, ugly, slow, and hell, anything else you can think of. Greasy. I actually feel greasy.
The funny thing is, my FWTD has always been professional. There’s absolutely nothing currently wrong in my personal life. My personal life, in fact, is fine – Better than fine. I’m married to a wonderful, understanding woman, who puts up with my shit like a saint. I have an adorable, if not fat and stupid cat who loves me (or at least loves that I feed him,) and I have a loving family and family-in-law who seem to actually like me. So personally, one could say I’m kicking ass.
So what is it? Well, on the surface, it seems incredibly simple. But dig down, and it’s much, much bigger.
Here’s my FWTD: I can’t stand feeling like I’m spinning my wheels. I hate feeling like there are worms to be caught, and I’m not up early enough to catch them. I deplore feeling like the good stuff is happening, the big deals are going down, the major clients are hiring, and I’m no one has thought enough of me to include me. I feel professionally alone, like nothing I do is good enough, and I’m just going to fade into the annals of history, as a footnote on a Wikipedia page somewhere.
Of course, logically, I know that none of this is true. I have more clients than I’ve ever had, and they’re spectacular. In fact, I’m writing this from the largest five diamond resort in the world – Why? Because they’re a client. They’re paying me to help them, as are no less than six other major corporations worldwide. And that’s awesome, and by all of their accounts, I’m doing an awesome job for them. I’m still doing my job for the company that acquired HARO, and they seem quite pleased with my work. HARO continues to grow, adding new members and new sponsors each week. The free version and the paid version are increasing membership, so that’s good, as well.
My advisory/investor role continues to grow, with new announcements from these companies all the time. No complaints there.
“Then what the hell, Peter?” I’m sure you’re saying. And you wouldn’t be wrong to say it, as it seems perfectly logical that I should be thrilled with how everything is going. And I guess I am.
But There’s more. There’s more out there that I could be doing. I’m spinning my wheels. There’s a lot deals being made, both inside and outside of our industry. There are new companies being started, built, and sold, and I’m not involved. There’s expertise badly needed, and I feel like I’m not getting the call. (Which again, is crazy, since I’ve been up this morning I’ve already done a BBC interview.) But it’s not enough.
Hell, I should even be doing more skydives, and becoming a better skydiver! (I’m currently a champion in the skydiving discipline of “flailing like an idiot.”) Let’s not even delve into the fact that I’ve been eating like shit for the past week and have a half-marathon coming up next Sunday, which I’ll probably finish the following Wednesday.
So the question becomes – What do I do? How do I get out of this mood and move on? Do I start advising to more companies? Do I start consulting to more companies? Do I take a week and go to a place with no wind and pay a skydiving coach like Regan Tetlow to teach me to not suck? How do I get out of this rut?
They say “Honesty is the best policy.” So I’m here being honest. And I’m already imagining the comments – “Peter, you’ve done so much, you’re writing this from a hotel,, you’re on a plane all the time, how can you say you’re in a rut, this is a humble brag, you’re full of shit.” But here’s the thing – Human beings adapt very quickly to their surroundings. If this were all new to me, I wouldn’t be in a rut. But it’s not. I’ve been striving for success for many years. The problem is, when you strive that much, you don’t take that long to appreciate what you have. You want more. I want more. I want more success. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting more, per se. And there isn’t. We should all strive for greatness, all the time. The problem comes when you’re not getting it – If you’ve gotten it to some extend, and want more and all of a sudden you’re spinning your wheels, that’s a million times worse than never having success at all.
Nothing scares me more than mediocrity. And that’s where I feel I’ve landed.
“It is a wretched taste to be gratified with mediocrity when the excellent lies before us.”
So yeah. There’s my “fate worse than death.” I’m currently going through it, and I hate it. I need to get out of this land of mediocrity. It’s a horrible, burnt out shell of a place, where others come to die. Have you ever been here before? How have you gotten out? I welcome your thoughts below.
As always, thank you for reading.