The Quest to Be F*cking Awesome

Pardon my unusual use of a thinly veiled f-bomb in the title here for a moment. It will all make sense shortly.

I had one of those moments last week. You know, when something just clicks for the first time and you wonder why you couldn’t see things that way before.

It all started around the beginning of the year, when I wrote a post over at Think Traffic that would become the pervasive theme for that site. The post is called Write Epic Shit, and it was one of those posts I knew would be a big deal from the moment I wrote the headline.

That post started an avalanche of great things over there. I’ve been loving what I write and the community has been growing fast. Hurrah!

The momentum at Think Traffic made me take a step back and consider what I’m doing here, at this site.

Ever since the rebranding here, I’ve had this weird feeling that this site is about me, but not really about me, if that makes sense. Like a half finished transition. My name is up there, but I’m not really in here.

This feeling was all compounded by a 45 minute session with Danielle LaPorte I did a couple of weeks ago for Traffic School (my new course that launched this week).

Danielle is all about self realization and authenticity. She’s one of my favorite bloggers, hands down. Her stuff just oozes with in-your-face realism. Danielle is living her true self in front of the world in a way that frankly makes me jealous.

A conversation with Danielle can make you wonder who the hell you are, and why you aren’t 100% comfortable in your own skin in all circumstances, both public and private.

In the weeks since the Think Traffic breakthrough and my conversation with Danielle I’ve spent every Saturday and Sunday when I wasn’t “working” thinking about my business and this site and who I am. Yes, it’s been one of those heavy existential times.

Like I said, something hasn’t felt settled about this site for a while. The domain change was the first step, but I didn’t change much about the site’s topic or purpose from the old “Free Pursuits” days.

I’ve tried on lots of different “mission statements” for myself (my business actually) and this site recently. Here’s the conflict I’m dealing with: I’m building a business online, which partly involves this site, but at the same time, I decided that this site is “me” (or at least bears my name). I’m building a business but want to do it without being a douchebag.

Every new mission statement / tagline / branding direction I’ve contemplated has felt forced or manufactured. Nothing was a natural fit. (note to any bloggers considering running your site on your own domain name: it opens a whole can of worms that you might not be ready to deal with, especially if your blog is somehow related to your business)

Then, last week a bunch of things happened that led to that moment of convergence that I mentioned in the opening.

First, my friend Sean Ogle wrote a post about how he’s been stuggling with blogging lately, and questioning what his blog is about. He admitted that he’s not a professional blogger, nor is he trying to be.

His post made me realize two important things. First, I’m ridiculously fortunate to make a living online and to have had such success as a blogger, no matter how often I question WTF I’m doing here. Second, every blogger seems to have the same occasional existential crises I have now and then. Thanks Sean for putting things in perspective.

Then, my buddy Baker from Man vs. Debt shared a new project he’s working on (watch for it soon). This is the type of project that just fits Baker so well, and made me think damn, Baker is starting to live his personal legend (in The Alchemist sort of way) and it makes me want it even more for myself.

I’m finding more and more that my entire drive to operate online is really a quest to be myself as openly and truthfully as possible. Not necessarily to be my real self, but to be my best self, the one that you’ll like most and the one that can help you best.

Then, Johnny Truant (another awesome guy who rocks everything he does) shared a link on Twitter that BLEW MY MIND.

I want you to read this post, either now or after you finish this. It will rock your world. The post is from Julien Smith. It’s called (are you ready for this?) The Short and Sweet Guide to Being Fucking Awesome.

Read the post. You won’t regret it. Julien is a total badass and I can’t believe I wasn’t reading his stuff earlier.

The post slapped me across the face. Actually, it backhanded me, for a few reasons.

First, it made me realize how incredibly powerful and liberating a goal of being fucking awesome could be. If you’re awesome, nothing else really matters. (read the post, I’m not going to regurgitate what Julien already said about it so perfectly)

The next question is, how can you be awesome? The only way to be awesome is to be honest with yourself, which brings us to the next reason the post slapped me awake.

Second, as Julien pointed out, the litmus test for whether or not you’re being awesome is what your friends and people you’re close to think. Do the people who really know you and don’t believe the hype think you’re being awesome?

In my case, not totally. I’m definitely not even close to being as awesome here as I am in real life to the people who really know me. I’ve been awesome in some ways, but not fully as awesome as I should be here.

Third, Julien uses some strong language in the post and writes in a way that makes me read every last drop and then share it with everyone I know. That post (and a whole lot more of what he’s written lately) is truly epic shit, the kind of stuff I advocate for (but don’t always achieve at this site unless I’m really being myself).

At this blog, my blog, there have been glimpses of awesomeness in what I’ve written here, but those glimpses have been obscured by what I saw as competing goals: expressing yourself, enjoying blogging and trying to build a business, all through the same site.

I’ve thought about every potential way to solve those conflicting goals, from thinking about myself here as my “business self” instead of my real self, to making this site purely a creative outlet without any business goals.

Side note, I feel sorry for artists after going through this self examination, and now actually much better understand what my wife (an awesome painter) deals with. Being an artist is a constant struggle to earn a living while keeping it real.

Everything finally made sense today, because I was introduced to the new religion of being awesome. Thanks Julien.

For me to be fully awesome here, I’m going to have to be true to myself, maybe above all else. I think some of you will like that a lot, and others won’t. That’s OK. I may use swear words (like I do in real life) and talk about other things you’re not used to here. I may also get more creative and share things I wouldn’t have shared in the past.

Welcome to my website. My goal is to be fucking awesome.

To me, a big part of being awesome is also being useful, as in helping people out in some significant way. As the saying goes, the best way to succeed is to help others succeed.

And I don’t just want to be useful, I want to be insanely useful. I want to help you make breakthroughs and live awesomely yourself. If I always do that, earning a living won’t ever be a concern.

I’m committed to helping you live more awesomely by building a business online doing something you feel great about. My life has become 1,000% more awesome since I became blissfully self employed and now have the freedom to live where I want and do what I want.

I want you to have your version of the same situation.

My quest: to simultaneously be fucking awesome and insanely useful.

Damn, it feels great just to say that. I’ve been writing here for nearly two years and today everything seems much clearer than ever before.

What I create for you from now on will come under the following scrutiny:

  1. Am I being true to myself?
  2. Would people who really know me think I’m being awesome right now?
  3. Am I being insanely useful to people who read this?

Who knows, maybe I’ll have to change this site significantly again to achieve all of that. I don’t think that means a blank slate, but if that will help me be more awesome then so be it.

I might lose a bunch of subscribers over this post, mostly because I used the word “fuck” a few times. But guess what? In real life I say things like that. To pretend otherwise would simply be inauthentic, which would violate my rules about being awesome.

So to the people who decide to unsubscribe after reading this, it’s better this way. I have a feeling I’m headed in a direction you wouldn’t approve of. I’m on a quest to be awesome, and only people who also want to be awesome will understand.

Isn’t this is why I left the corporate world in the first place? To live a more awesome life and be my real self? Isn’t that what everyone really wants from life, to be awesome?

When I publish this post, I’ll be out being awesome on an overnight surf trip with friends. I can’t wait to read your comments when I get back.

If you like this post, I’d be grateful if you shared it.

If you don’t, I still think you’re awesome.

I'm Corbett Barr, co-founder of Fizzle and entrepreneur for a decade. Get my weekly curated email of useful things for independent entrepreneurs »

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