There’s a scratch on the back of my brain.
It’s a thought that sits there, and niggles at me. It’s not always front-and-center, but it’s always there, reminding me that I’m forgetting something important, that I really should have done by now.
For the world, for my audience, and for myself.
And no matter what I do, or achieve, it sits there, reminding me that something important still hasn’t been done.
It all started with an email that I received more than a year ago.
The email that broke my heart…
The Email That Broke My Heart (And Got Me Thinking)
The email came in about a year ago.
It was the evening after I delivered a webinar about getting “More Traffic and Subscribers with Fast, Easy Writing” (promoting my Write Like Freddy training program).
Now, if you’ve been on a webinar of mine, you know that they’re filled with information and value.
And if you’re a student of mine, you know that our training programs are very reasonably priced, and that we seriously over-deliver in terms of value and support.
But as reasonably priced as our trainings are, they’re still out of reach for some of the people who really want and need them.
That’s exactly the point that was driven home by this email, which went something like this:
“Dear Danny, I want to thank you for today’s webinar – it was the most valuable free training I’ve ever been through.
“I also would really like to join your paid training, but there’s no way that I could afford it. It isn’t a matter of value, and I think the price is very fair for what you’re offering – but it’s still more than I make in a month.”
(In case you’re wondering, Write Like Freddy costs $137.)
Now, a year ago we were doing okay, but not well enough that we could take our eye off the ball of growing our business.
But I made myself a promise that, when things had grown bigger and more stable, I’d do something to at least make a dent in this very unfair state of affairs…
Our (Empty?) Promises to Change the World
I know for a fact that I’m not the only one to make such a personal (or sometimes public) promise.
I see it across the blogosphere, and I see it in my own students: the common refrain that goes something like “once I’ve made my fortune, I’ll put it to the good of mankind.”
We talk and fantasize about the amazing, massive change that we’re going to affect in the world… all for free, of course, because our intentions are so *very* pure.
Now, to be fair to myself, it’s not like I haven’t given anything back; I’ve worked hard to create a business that contributes to our audience, our students, and our team, and I’m very proud of that fact.
But what about the massive gesture, the enormous campaign, that I was going to set in motion once I’d really “made it”?
Well, here I am, more than $294,865 later, and I still haven’t done it.
It’s because of fear…
The Debilitating Fear That Leaves Dreams By the Wayside
Fear isn’t a new sensation to an entrepreneur.
From the day that you first start, there are terrifying questions that plague you (even if your spouse is the only one who knows it). You wonder…
- Can I really make this work?
- Am I wasting my time, and risking my family’s future?
- Will the faith of my friends and family prove to be misplaced?
- Does anyone else realize how much I’m “faking it ’till I make it”?
- If this all falls apart, how will I pick up the pieces?
These are terrifying questions, and you might think that once your business has grown, and become stable, they’d all disappear.
And you’d be right; many of them do disappear, and it’s a great feeling to be free of them.
But before you can blink, new fears come to take their place:
- Am I really as good at this as everyone seems to think, or have I just been lucky?
- What if something goes wrong that I haven’t anticipated, now that the stakes have grown so high?
- How can I justify doing dangerous new things, when my whole team depends on me for their livelihood?
- I’ve already put my family through so much; is it really okay for me to take big risks if I don’t have to?
These questions are just as terrifying as the ones you’ve finally gotten over. Actually, they’re worse, because if you get the answers wrong, you aren’t the only one who will suffer the consequences.
This is why many entrepreneurs, after their first big success, stop taking risks, and fall back on what’s comfortable, and what has worked. They put their big, audacious dreams on a shelf, and reassure themselves that whatever they’re doing is already plenty, and enough.
And that could be a tempting path, but sooner or later you have to ask yourself this question…
“What Is My Business For? What Is My LIFE For?”
Yes, we can forget it for a while, but at the end of the day, our time and our presence on this earth should matter for something.
And yes, creating a good life for ourselves, our families, our employees and our customers – that’s a very good thing to do with our time here.
But if you’ve been with us for longer than just the last little while, you’ve heard me talk about purpose and contribution, and seen me write about changing the world. You’ve heard me talk about my mission of helping entrepreneurs become better business people, because I truly believe that the lack of a fundamental business education is what holds people back more than anything else, and that democratizing that solid, robust business knowledge will make the difference that will, slowly but surely, point our world towards a better future.
And that scratch at the back of my mind reminds me that there’s more that I can do, if only I’d dare to dream big enough to try and make it happen.
Which is why… even though it scares the hell out of me… I’m thinking about what may be the craziest thing I’ve ever tried…
The Crazy Risk That We Just Might Take (tweet this)
Now, I have a pretty good sense of what I *think* I want to do…
…but I’m not sure that I’m ready to spill all the beans just yet. At a high level, though, here’s what I’m thinking about doing:
I want to take a significant amount of our time, resources, and money, and invest it all into providing a transformative business education experience for deserving members of our global entrepreneurial community; people who are set to create something spectacular for themselves, and for the world, but don’t have the critical business knowledge to make it happen, or the resources that it would take to acquire that education.
I don’t know how any of this is going to work yet, and I don’t even know if I’m off my rocker thinking about doing it.
Which is why I’m writing this post – because ultimately, everything that we do at Mirasee is for you, our readers.
So I want to ask you what you think about this.
Am I crazy? Is this nuts? Is this too much risk for a still-fairly-small business?
Or do you think that – in spite of the risks – this would be something worth doing?
Update: See my (fairly lengthy) comment below for an update, some more thoughts, and appreciation to everyone who has participated in the conversation. 🙂