One out of ten people don’t understand what I’m doing. I’ll talk about the Meaning Movement, what I write about, and the work I do one-on-one with people, and they’ll just stare at me for a moment and blink. Then they either change the subject or they say, “So… you’re a life coach?” To which I often respond, “Sure. I’m a very specific kind of coach.”
Sometimes they’ll ask for examples of what I do, and I’ll offer a story or two from clients and people in the Meaning Movement community. No matter what I say, some people still don’t get it.
Some of this may be my fault. Maybe I need a better pitch? I’m sure that would help but that’s not all that’s going on here.
Eight out of those ten people will get it and think it’s pretty cool. They’ll ask some questions and we’ll often end up talking about how my ideas of work and meaning intersect with what they do and their passion behind it.
Then there’s the last one of those ten people— that blessed final person. As I talk about what I do with her, immediately her eyes widen. Our conversation turns electric. She doesn’t simply understand what I’m talking about at an intellectual level, it connects and resonates much deeper than that. She gets it. She really gets it. She wants to be a part of it, and wants to invite others to join in.
Out of those ten, she’s the one who goes home and subscribes to this blog. She’s the one who comments on posts and shares on the site on her network. She wants to be part of this community and wants others to do the same.
It’s as though she’s found her people.
And in her, I’ve found mine.
You can’t be everything to everyone. Some people just won’t get what you’re about and the work that you do. That’s ok. There’s nothing wrong with them or you because of it.
A number of my good friends don’t read this blog. That’s fine. But the ones that do and the ones that bring up the ideas and talk about them are the ones who will make this successful.
You can’t be everything to everyone, but your work can mean the world to someone.[Tweet that]
That’s the person for whom you do your work. To that person, your work may mean life or death, freedom or bondage, openness or oppression. That’s the person that you need to find and that you need to pay attention to. Not everyone will understand. Some of your closest friends and family may not understand. But others will.
Find your people. They make all the difference.[Tweet that]
Find the ones that resonate with what you do and build something that matters to them.
To me, it feels like it’s about 1 out of 10— which is pretty goods odds, I think.
To those of you who are that 1 out of 10: thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Every share. Every tweet. Every email to a friend. Every conversation. All of it. It all matters. Thank you for that.
Read who some of these people are over on this post, and add your voice if this community makes sense to you.
Love this post, Dan. It’s so good to keep in mind, especially as I work to build my audience at A Sacred Journey. Many followers come and go, but I have to remember that the ones who stay are the people I’m writing for. And in the end (when I’m really honest with myself and about my message), I don’t want to do work for everyone. My work isn’t for everyone. My work/message is to invite others to something that requires risk, intention, and awareness. In the scheme of things, these people are probably low in number, but they are my people—both my audience and my place of belonging.
PS: I’m going to forget this and likely turn to doubt on a regular basis. Could you remind me of this each day? 😉
Thanks Lacy. I’m with you. I need to be reminded of this on most days 😉
Our work isn’t for everyone, but I find it hopeful that it is for someone. 1 in 10 is pretty good in the grand scheme of things. There are a lot of people in the world and if 1/10th of them connect with my work I’ll have plenty of people to help!
I just had a conversation with my therapist today about this very thing you two are writing about. It’s so vulnerable and, yet, not every person will be one of our “people.” So glad to be learning from the both of you and following your good, good work. Thank you for the words of this post, Dan, and your comment, Lacy.
Thank you both for being one of my people!
This is a perfect post for me right now. I keep reading about finding people who do what I do, or relate to what I do/think and building community with them…but that feels like .5 out of 10 for me (I’m not even finding a whole person sometimes!). And yet, here you (and your peeps) are! My friends love me, but don’t always get me in the profound, deep ways. And if they do, they are frequently not online (imagine that!) talking about it. So the combo is ideal for me. Count me in!
And ditto to what Lacy said.
Hi Becca! So glad to have you with us. It can be lonely when people you love don’t totally get you. We’ve all been there! I’ll do my best to keep reminding us all of this 🙂