Back in October and a gorgeous cabin outside of Gatlinburg, Tennessee, more than 15 members of our mastermind gathered for three days for an incredible retreat and as a surprise to everybody there with Ken Hoops and Juan Gonzalez members of the mastermind. They are part of Impact Martial Arts which Ken Hoops owns. We surprised everybody one afternoon and we brought out a bunch of boards, wooden boards to be broken with their own hands, but it was way deeper than that. This is what Ken and Juan do for a living. We talked about it months earlier about what the impact would have. We did this at the retreat and after we took everybody on the deck and Ken explained what was going on, everybody got a board and wrote down what limiting beliefs they have about themselves onto the board and Ken was going to hold it while we physically punched through the board and nobody knew this was coming and everybody had a little bit of scared look on their face as we were getting ready to do it.
But what happened over the next 20 to 30 minutes was absolutely remarkable. The things that were written down were things we hadn’t talked about in all times. We’ve gotten to know each other feeling unworthy of success, scarcity with money not being good enough. We saw multiple times the fear of letting everybody around them down, financial security and doubt in their own ability to be an entrepreneur, and Ken chose me to be the first to go, but Jennifer Harshman was second and when she crushed through her board, tears rolled down her face one by one. Michelle Williams, John Appino, Jeremy Allen, and many more got to take a deep hard look at what was holding them back, staring them right in the face and then got to physically take their fist and break right through it. Then I got to watch proudly as two of our kids did the same.
I’m going to tell you what mine was that I busted my fist through and it was this. It was a fear of my own success because I know time and time again, I have sabotaged myself from being more successful. I’ve so often in different ways, got to a certain point, a certain level that was good enough and then I backed off and I’ve done this many times. I have my excuses for why I do it. I continue to do it and I record this and these podcasts for myself at times, selfishly because I want it out there to where you can challenge me on it, but fear of my own success. I think it does have some merit and I’ll explain why as we build a platform and a podcast of more people knowing about what we do. That’s always been a danger area for me to wade towards.
I know so many people that want to be as big and as well known as possible. It’s never been me. I’ve always wanted to do the work that I love, do it for the right people and never make it very much about the money or whatever fame that would come with it and a lot of it has to do with this. I have a great, tremendous fear of being inauthentic. When I think about what so many marketers do, all I can envision are the people in my life that know me the best looking at me and being like, what are you doing? That’s not who you are. That is one of my greatest fears. It’s not not having enough money because I have lived with nothing and we were fine. And it’s not about, I’m never going to be famous enough cause I’ve been around enough famous people to know that that’s not the life that I desire.
So right there I have two hurdles that I don’t have to overcome that many other people building platforms have to do for themselves. My big fear is the opposite. Because I can tell you, and I hate to even say this, there are so many phonies in this world that I’m now a part of. There’s so many quote unquote influencers that preach authenticity. They preach relationships, they preach person to person marketing. And it all sounds good on video and it all sounds good on their clips and their podcasts and our blogs. And then you meet them in person and it’s the exact opposite. And I never do that based on one appearance or one connection. But when you see it happen multiple times and your other people say the same exact thing, you realize that a lot of people use authenticity or what I call fake authenticity as a marketing tool as opposed to who they really are.
And that’s where the fear of success comes from. But my biggest fear is doing something, recording these podcasts, doing what we do and not being true to either what I’m talking about, what I’m teaching or what the messages. So people have asked me, why does that scare me so much? And it scares me because getting bigger will often mean losing a lot of that. There are people that do it so well, people, I don’t know how they do it. People like Bob Burg and Seth Godin, but I’d never felt any inauthenticity with, whether it’s through personal connection or what I see them talk to millions of people about, they’re the same person and then there’s the other side and that’s what scares me. I talked to somebody one time that runs a big conference and we’re having dinner together, and he said, Vince, you’d be so disappointed to see how phony so many of these people are and I didn’t even need to see it.
All I needed to do is hear that because it had been in my mind so often. So what that fear has done, it has pushed me towards playing smaller. Now I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. I truly believe that a micro niche where you are known to a small group of people and you’re very successful in that area, the whole thousand true fans will be talked about from the episodes back with Kevin Kelly. That is as relevant today as it was when he wrote it. But the struggle for me, and I’ll be completely open with this, is how much is too much? When does it become too big? When do you strive to grow bigger? Because you know, the more people that hear this, the more people that can be helped. So I’m not coming to you today with some big revelation, some giant lesson about what I can teach to you.
I’m letting you know one of the things that holds me back as the type of thing that I haven’t learned yet that Gary Vaynerchuk talks about, which is the more you can get your voice out there, if you’re a voice for good, the more you have to do that because it will drown out the other voices. And he’s done a masterful job of doing that. At the same time, I watch his content and I see how much he’s on his phone and how wired into technology he is ended appears though it never ends. And I questioned is this what I really want to, I want something like that. You know, a lot of us battle with how much is too much, is what we’re doing good enough and or are those excuses we make to ourselves that actually hold ourselves back. So this goes to what I talk about often that nobody’s got it all figured out. I just wanted to open this up and give a peek inside to what my insecurities are and what my fears are and why I need to write that down on that board and break it with my own fist so that I can figure this out and move past it. And I hope that by talking about this and putting it out there, that this might do the same thing for you. Thanks for listening and I’ll talk to you tomorrow.