+

I was recently talking to a software entrepreneur whose business had cracked $1 million in profit this financial year.

He’s self-funded and the sole owner of the company. To anyone else, that would be hugely impressive — people look at his business and see an empire in the making. They look at him and see a millionaire entrepreneur.

But because he’s right in the thick of it, he told me that all he can see is the pressure and the panic.


It’s tough for him to step back and appraise his own success from anyone else’s point of view. He only sees missed opportunities, a mounting pressure to grow, and the financial burdens and responsibilities of a steadily expanding team.

It’s the same with fitness bloggers, Instagram celebrities, artists, and musicians ... and anyone who makes, builds, writes, or starts anything.

Often, all they can see are the problems and the cracks.

Image via Arcturian/Pixabay.

It’s even the same with me. I’m focused so much on freelancing for start-ups and firms, working in tech marketing, and attempting to start a career as a writer that all I can see are the problems. To me, it often feels like my work is wildly inconsistent, my writing is total crap, my marketing practices are badly thought-out and managed, and my dad was right about my lack of potential.

To anyone else, it might not seem like that. You might see a blog post every day, or an evolving brand, or a speaking engagement and think it’s all running smoothly.

What you can't see: the blind, clutching panic.

You can’t see me reading an article about a new software start-up and suddenly losing all faith in my professional services business, then frantically texting my long-suffering girlfriend about how much of a mistake my entire life is. You can’t see me sitting on the floor in the corner of my work space, struggling with a panic attack.

Whether you’re running a business, writing a blog, or trying to build a freelance creative career, remember this: You may always feel like your life is in total chaos.

You're probably going to feel like the whole thing is held together with duct tape, Band-Aids, and a few well-placed staples.

Everyone's dirty little secret is that they feel this way too. Please believe that. No matter how successful you’ve been, every minor problem or small issue or inconsistency will probably always feel magnified a thousand times ... until it turns into Godzilla and you lie awake at night with a huge mutant lizard rampaging through your head.

It’s because you’re right there in the trenches. You’re slinging shit every day trying to make it work. So to you, every little aspect of your project seems so much bigger, so much more important. Every imperfection almost screams at you.

The hardest part is looking at everyone else.

The other entrepreneurs whose images look so perfect. The writers with Instagram feeds full of tastefully posed photos of manuscripts and whiskey. The “freedom businessmen," sunning it on a beach in Fiji with a laptop and a coconut.

And it looks perfect, doesn’t it? It looks like they’ve got everything under control. Surely, they’re running a smoothly operating, well-oiled machine?

Image via StockSnap/Pixabay.

No way.

Don’t even think that for a moment.

They are operating on the same level of blind, clutching, stressed-out panic as you are. You can’t see it, but it’s there.

I don’t want to depress you or convince you that trying to make it, trying to start something, or trying to build something is too scary to be worthwhile. That’s not true. What I want to say is this:

You can’t hold yourself to a standard that doesn’t exist.

You’re never going to have a business or a project (or a life) that feels as perfect as everyone else’s looks. It’s not possible. Their world is as hellish and tough as yours, even if it doesn’t seem that way from the outside. But this is a good thing.

It means that when you’re panicking, stressing, and feeling overcome with self-doubt, you’re not doing any worse than anyone else. You’re not alone in feeling that way. You’re one of us, and we get it. We’re not all #lovinglife or feeling #blessed. It may seem that way sometimes, but it’s not the case.

Rest assured: You don’t have to be a machine. You don’t have to think positive. You don’t have to “just believe and breathe.” That’s the advice you’ll probably get when you tell people how much is on your plate. I say: Don’t listen to it.

Image via Joschii/Pixabay.

Perfection is a game you can’t win because the rules keep on changing and you’re only playing against yourself.

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

This article originally appeared on 08.21.18


Addie Rodriguez was supposed to take the field with her dad during a high school football game, where he, along with other dads, would lift her onto his shoulders for a routine. But Addie's dad was halfway across the country, unable to make the event.

Her father is Abel Rodriguez, a veteran airman who, after tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, was training at Travis Air Force Base in California, 1,700 miles from his family in San Antonio at the time.

"Mom missed the memo it was parent day, and the reason her mom missed the memo was her dad left Wednesday," said Alexis Perry-Rodriguez, Addie's mom. She continued, "It was really heartbreaking to see your daughter standing out there being the only one without their father, knowing why he's away. It's not just an absentee parent. He's serving our country."

Keep ReadingShow less

Co-sleeping isn't for everyone.

The marital bed is a symbol of the intimacy shared between people who’ve decided to be together 'til death they do part. When couples sleep together it’s an expression of their closeness and how they care for one another when they are most vulnerable.

However, for some couples, the marital bed can be a warzone. Throughout the night couples can endure snoring, sleep apnea, the ongoing battle for sheets or circadian rhythms that never seem to sync. If one person likes to fall asleep with the TV on while the other reads a book, it can be impossible to come to an agreement on a good-night routine.

Last week on TODAY, host Carson Daly reminded viewers that he and his wife Siri, a TODAY Food contributor, had a sleep divorce while she was pregnant with their fourth child.

“I was served my sleep-divorce papers a few years ago,” he explained on TODAY. “It’s the best thing that ever happened to us. We both, admittedly, slept better apart.”

Keep ReadingShow less