12 Jan The vanilla trap.
I live tweeted the Golden Globes last weekend or last year depending on when you’re reading this. (If you’re reading from the future, I sure hope we have hover boards.)
If you missed it, I think the most popular, deep insight I had about the Golden Globes was this tweet:
“I’m going to carry a diamond studded cane but not use it.” – Prince.
“Why?” – Everyone at #GoldenGlobes
“Because I’m Prince.” – Prince
Changing lives people, I’m changing lives.
I definitely gained some new followers, who will be promptly disappointed the next day when I don’t continue wry commentary on who wore which gown best, but I also lost a lot.
The reason is that not every tweet is for everybody.
Not every book is for everybody. When you try to write for everyone, you end up writing for no one.
Not every blog is for everybody.
Not every dream is for everybody.
I was reminded of that last week when I shared a post about marriage. Someone on Facebook said, “This advice isn’t for everyone, of course.”
That person was right, I failed in that blog post to properly encapsulate an idea that was indeed for all 7 billion people on the planet. Intellectually speaking, no one would ever argue that you could create a blog post that impacted everyone exactly the same way. But, when someone makes a comment like that on your blog or your dream, you run the risk of falling into the Vanilla Trap.
The Vanilla Trap is that voice inside you that argues that unless everyone is for your dream, it’s the wrong dream. Unless you have 100% consensus from 100% of the people in your life, you haven’t found the right pursuit. In that moment, realizing that there are some people who don’t “get your dream” or worse, “don’t like your dream,” you decide that the only way to get everyone on board is to whittle away the edges.
Vanilla is the only ice cream that the majority of people can agree on. There will be a random renegade who says “I hate vanilla!” but for the most part vanilla ice cream doesn’t elicit a strong response. It’s just vanilla, a safe, simple choice to have at any party because most everybody will like it.
But the same attributes that make it acceptable to a lot of people, make it boring.
It’s not going to elicit a strong response.
Your dream will fall into this trap unless you’re careful. Everyone I’ve met, started their dream from the same place, a deep personal experience. They had bumped into something in their own life that they had to share with others! It was unique to their heart and they wanted to open that heart to the world.
Upon doing that though, you quickly realize that the deeper your personal connection to something, the harder it is to build a mass audience. It’s not that it can’t be done, it just takes tremendous patience and finesse. It would be far easier to just add some vanilla to the mix.
What started out as coffee ice cream, opinionated with a strong point of view, became vanilla over time.
Beware the vanilla trap.
We don’t need safe dreams. We need your dream. Danger and all.
Be coffee ice cream.
Not everyone is going to support your dream. That’s not failure. That’s reality.
Stop waiting for 100% of people to support your dream. Find a few who do and give them 100%.
p.s. My ideas definitely aren’t for everyone, but if they’re for you, sign up for my newsletter so you don’t miss a single one.