Ladybug in flight

I’m about to break one of my very own rules: Don’t write for women.

I’m a woman. I write about business. Why not write about business for women? Because I write for people, and women are people. Because business doesn’t care what you’re packing in your panties. At least, not the kind I write about, the kind where you exchange value for money.

So why paint myself into a corner with a glittery pink brush?

Thus, I have never — not once ever — written a post specifically for women bootstrappers.

That ends today.

Because, ladies? I am tired of your bullshit.

Yes, bullshit.

I am addressing you specifically, my smart and capable ladyfriend, because I am tired of watching you sabotage yourself.

Over nothing.

I am tired of sitting by while you ship your thing, and refuse to market it.

Or you make a few sales your first time out, but it’s not enough sales, so you sink into a funk. And quit.

Or you make it to the 90% mark…You toe up to the line of doing something, then refuse to cross it.

Or you dip your toe across, then use the gentlest of gentle, constructive criticism as a reason to ragequit.

You wield your negative self-worth like a weapon and a shield.

You imagine that everyone else has it easy, that opportunity doesn’t just knock, it breaks down their door. And it’s not breaking down your door.

You talk and obsess and talk about what other people think about your work — or rather, what they might think if you would ever actually release it — instead of doing the work.

I am tired of the words. The endless words.

You argue passionately for your limitations, for stasis, for continuing to be miserable in your situation, when you are neither downtrodden nor disadvantaged.

When, in fact, you are middle class, healthy, skilled, capable, and intelligent.

I am tired of your justifications. Your “buts.” Your excuses.

The endless promises of a new you, a new leaf, a new plan. And I’m tired of knowing that it’s the 583rd time you’ve said this, and that nothing will ever change, because…

I know you are capable of doing great things if you would just fucking do them.

I am tired of watching you play chicken with your life.

Crying, “Nobody wants what I have! I’m a loser!” and then daring the world to prove you wrong. Waiting. Waiting for a sign. Waiting to be noticed. Waiting to feel different, better.

You will never win that game.

Never.

Women are not the weaker sex.

Women are strong as shit. I know this from personal experience and from history. We have inner resources beyond measure.

Yet I have watched endless parades of smart, capable women shit on themselves pre-emptively. For no reason. Again and again and again. No matter their secure footing. No matter their objective skill set. No matter the facts about their market. No matter who supports them.

They shrug their shoulders and sigh, “I know, but…

And then they take their lumps, just like they always have.

Because it’s familiar. And that means it’s safe.

I’ve made it my life’s work to help people like you create bootstrapped product businesses.

Because there is little better than being in charge of your work day, your income, your professional destiny. It’s not about riches. It’s about the power of personal sovereignty.

In the creative fields, we don’t just own the means of production, we are the means of production. We have the power. All we have to do is take it.

All you have to do is take it.

I’ve made teaching this my mission.

And I am sick and tired of watching my female students fuck themselves over.

Absolutely, a lot of this advice applies to men. Many of our male students have whined and excused their way out of doing the work.

But the rate for women is much, much, much higher. Nearly total.

There’s always a “reason,” of course.

But men have those reasons, too.

Which is why it royally pisses me off that the more I encourage you and support you, the more I tell you objective facts about your power and worth, the more books you read or courses you take, the less you do.

You are telling me, with your words and actions, that I am wasting the time and effort I invest in you. That I should care less about you. That I should spend more time on the dudes.

Because the dudes are a better bet.

And that pisses me off.

I’ve spent years of my career watching smart, capable women refuse to use their power…except to yank the rugs out from under themselves.

Fuck yeah, I’m angry.

So I’m breaking my own rule in the hope that I can give you the kick in the ass you need.

Listen:

Value yourself, or no one else will.

It doesn’t matter what’s in your pants. It doesn’t matter what was done to you in the past, or what you have done to yourself. The ball is in your court now. You are not a passive receiver. You are not a bucket to be filled with someone else’s bullshit.

Perhaps today you are addicted to guilt and shame — but like any addiction, only you can choose to kick the habit.

Perhaps today you are making excuses — again — but you can choose to drop them and move forward.

You are a fully paid up member of the human race and you — and only you — are in charge of your actions.

“Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot; but make it hot by striking.”

You can’t control outcomes, but you can sure as hell control what you do.

That’s the real secret.

It’s not about feeling confident, or feeling good, or feeling ready.

The people who succeed are not stronger than you, smarter than you, better than you. They are rarely more talented or powerful. They were not plucked from obscurity by the universe as reward for doing some special deed.

They show up. They do the work.

Even when it makes their knees knock together.

They bite back all the justifications, all the excuses. They tremble, they doubt, then they do it anyway. Then they do it again.

And slowly, slowly, they feel more confident and less afraid. Because confidence is built, brick by brick, by overcoming the things that scare you.

Confidence never comes from waiting.

Because the world will never beat a path to your door. It will never pluck you from obscurity because you have suffered enough.

You will never receive an engraved invitation.

You will never be chosen.

If you wait, you will be waiting for the rest of your life.

If you show up and do the work, you will learn.

You will grow. You will get better. And if you keep it up, the rewards will come.

That’s how it worked for me.

That’s how it worked for everyone you envy and admire.

That’s how it has worked for my lady-friends, who I needled for years to no effect, who “suddenly” blossomed overnight, after they took just one terrifying leap.

That’s how it has worked for everyone, man and woman, throughout all of history.

Success will never come looking for you.

You have to chase down success, and tackle it.

Choose yourself. Educate yourself. Act.

And if you are ready — truly ready — to get over yourself and get to work, I’m here to help you.

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