So last week I wrote about sneaking into visibility.
Which means: everything you do (including unlikely invisibility hacks) to help you feel safe while still letting your right people find you.
And since the post was already about all things sneakified, I sneakily snuck in a tiny piece of “advanced practice” craziness at the end. Hinted at it, actually.
Yes. The ridiculously counter-intuitive notion that visibility can help you feel safer.
And it kind of blew the tops off of people’s brains.
In a good way? Maybe? I hope so. Oh well.
Anyway, I thought I’d give you a bunch of examples from my own business — that way it’s not just a nebulous concept but something you could imagine actually working.
It still might be terrifying and hard-to-imagine, but maybe it will also give a glimpse of possibility and hopefulness. That would be nice.
When visibility creates safety. I know. What?!
Safety from mean people.
You pretty much never see troll-ey people here. They just don’t show up.
But if someone said something mean in the comments? My lovely commenter mice would go, dude this is not acceptable we don’t talk to each other like that here.
There would be an army of protection. And I wouldn’t have to stand up for myself or process it by myself, because my people would be there with me.
This is because I am visible. My people find me because I agree to not hide from them and because I hang out at the Twitter bar and because of the magic of the googles.
And they like me enough to stick up for me. Not just for me, but for the integrity of both this space and the community of smart, sweet, delightfully kooky people who have made it safe and welcoming.
That is amazing.
To hell with market research.
When I decided to create the monster coloring book, I didn’t have to go find out if this was something people thought was worth spending money on.
My particular brand of visibility has brought me people who get the way I interact with the world. If I realize we need a monster coloring book, they’ll bounce excitedly along with me.
Without this kind of visibility, I’d have to make myself crazy/bored with “research and development” stuff and unpleasant things like trying to figure out what people want.
You see some seriously biggified people constantly, frantically changing directions, not because they want to, but because they can’t abandon that pigs-hunting-for-truffles mode of relating to their “market”.
Visibility creates safety when it gives you the ability to not have a market. Just people. People you like. It’s so much less painful that way.
My business partner is a duck.
And my business card says Pirate Queen.
Though only because I am one. And there’s a picture of Pirate Selma!*
* We’re flying the Duck & Crossbones aka the Jolly Selma at the Playground too. It’s hilarious.
Since I stopped hiding my me-ness from my people, I’ve discovered just how many quality people in the world do not actually think I’m crazy.
A lot of them even approve of my ludicrous approach to running a business while pretending it’s a pirate ship. And some of them have become really good friends.
This gives me permission — and safety — to be as silly as I want to be.
I don’t have to tell people what I do.
As we discussed yesterday, I have no idea what I do for a living.
Which makes any event where you meet people and they ask what you do excruciatingly awkward.
Especially when I turn into a stammering bright red mushball of discomfort.
Guess what? Almost no one ever asks me that anymore.
Last year at SXSW, there were a couple people who asked the horrible question of doom. But then everyone else just looked at them pityingly.
As in: You don’t know who Havi is?! You don’t know Selma the Duck?! Do you live under a rock?!
Helper mice everywhere.
This whole having a community of people who care about your mission thing is still pretty new for me.
Phase 2 of the fun-brewing madness this week has shown me just how much support and encouragement there is for bringing something big and wacky into the world.
This is completely healing my deeply stuckified thought-programming of “you have to do everything yourself and you can’t trust anyone to be there for you”.
If I hadn’t let my people see me and my process — and if I hadn’t set clear boundaries for how this space works — I’d still be tangled up in all that hurting.
So this particular form of safety-infused visibility has brought more support to my work and less vulnerability and fear.
I am not going to try and talk you into being more visible.
Because I don’t think that’s even slightly helpful.
As far as I’m concerned, you could hide for the rest of your life and I would still like you just as much.
The only thing I’m trying to do here is to introduce the idea that it isn’t a toss-up between being seen or being safe. That sometimes visibility creates more safety instead of less.
And that when you agree to be visible for your people, whoever they may be (even if you’re not sure they exist), something beautiful happens.
And you discover you’re packing serious protection that you didn’t even know about.
Comment zen for today.
This subject is so, so, so full of hard.
And if anything in here has stepped on your stuff, I apologize and offer a hug. And a warm blanket. And pie.
Because my intention is not to force you to do things differently, and it’s not to send your monsters into panic mode. It’s just to hint at what is possible, in the hope that some part of you can feel the pull of things that are good.
We’re all working on our stuff. We don’t give advice, but we are supportive and appreciative of the fact that talking about our stuff can be really hard and painful.
If learning how to be visible-while-not-compromising safety feels good and you want help with the right people thing, peek at Camp Biggification before it closes. And visit the Fun Brewing: Phase 2 page to read about the outrageous bonuses. xox