Leave A Trail
A funny thing happens when your brain starts operating on the Love First Mindset: you don’t think of failures as failures anymore.
This can also be a bug when you are desperately trying to make something happen, but external factors are getting in the way and you don’t want to admit that. Of course, living in denial about any part of your life is not really Embracing Vulnerability, which is one of the core principles of Love First.
Let’s backtrack a couple months, for full honesty and transparency. Over the past year my runway for Love First got cut short by 6 months. The reason is that I was saving a friend’s life, keeping him housed and fed while he recovered from a series of traumas. His goal was to recover, get a new job again, and start paying me back; things did not pan out quite that way. Still, my investment probably saved his life, so I have absolutely no regrets about it, and I would do it again whenever I can afford to.
However, the situation forced me to scramble with increasing urgency over the last 4-5 months, trying to make Love First a profitable business well before it was refined enough. My scrambling plagued the clarity, direction, and focus of Love First, and everything about it suffered—including myself.
My dear friend was worried that my investment in him might have “killed Love First” (for eating up my runway), but I immediately told him: the idea of Love First wouldn't make any sense if it could be killed by an act of love. If anything, my sacrifice could be the phoenix rising for Love First: the idea had been born, but maybe it required an act of love to make it truly come to life.
Which, through this somewhat forced segue, brings me to the quote I love most in life:
Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path, and leave a trail.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
For over a year, I’ve been letting the mistake of being cautionary influence my actions to the point of creating a terrible new habit for myself: not publishing (almost) anything. Not sharing. Not teaching everything I was learning, researching, discovering, and formulating. Not leaving a trail.
When you read a book—an actual, physical book—and leave highlights and notes in the margins, you identify what you believe to hold the greatest value in its jungle of words. Maybe the highlights are just for yourself, but when you share that book with someone else, those highlights become a treasure map.
I’ve been sitting on a treasure trove of 300,000 words of Love First content in my writing app, doing nothing with it other than “preparing”. Preparing for what? Well, as the past 6 months of scrambling suggested, preparing for a podcast, a workshop series, a change management program, a book a blog… basically: preparing for the perfect opportunity. But hey, it turns out Love First has a principle to caution you against that very thing:
Don’t Be Perfect.
Don’t wait for perfect, don’t try to create perfect, don’t be perfect. Your work will never be as good as you need it to be, but done is better than perfect.
I’m done scrambling. I’m done living in denial. My initial attempt to kickstart Love First did not work. That’s fine; I’ll Celebrate My Struggle about that later.
For now, it’s time for me to start leaving a trail. To Teach What I Know. I’ve updated the Patreon description, changed the Tiers around to reflect the new direction and changes, and I’m looking for a Product Design job to stabilize my life again.
Love First is going to be published in the order I have planned it out, and in the meantime, the Patreon is going to be the raw stream of everything, a development blog and more. Check out the new page description for what’s going on.
I’ll see you in the whispers,