Do you suffer from FYPPS?
Ever since I stepped into this online business world in 2009, I’ve noticed a pattern I found sad.
I call it the “Find Your Passion Pyramid Scheme.” Or, FYPPS, pronounced “fips.”
No one’s designed it as a scheme. There’s no Bernie Madoff behind it.
What makes it run?
Human nature. In particular, these parts of it: envy, ADD, impatience, temptation, fear, internet addiction. Which didn’t used to be part of human nature but now it is.
A) I think it’s great to make money online. And to make money doing what you love. I think people who teach people how to do that well are the shit. The bee’s balls. Some of the ones I allude to below are smart and fantastic.
And, in fact, part of my business is helping people make money online and/or doing what they love — by writing better about what they do. I’m proud of it. It’s (mostly) fun.
The part I think is sad is when people give up what they really wanted to do, in order to coach other people to do what they want to do. Which is kind of like what my classmate Mandy* used to say her dad did: “He teaches teachers who teach teachers to teach at Teacher’s College.”
Note: If your job is a tongue twister, maybe you went off course.
B) I’m guilty of some of these things myself. I admit it, I’ve never found a way to make money doing what I really want to do: write Facebook posts while watching Real Housewives Of New York while eating ice cream that I metabolize like it’s romaine lettuce. It’s my “someday” dream.
And, sometimes, I toy with learning how to do webinars, or maybe even mastering webinars about webinars.
C) Given the above, this post might be a perfect demonstration of the following process. How meta.
D) Even though I call it both a pyramid and a cycle, as well as a process, I do have a basic understanding of geometry. (A process has 9 sides, two of them parallel.)
Now that I’ve C’d my A, here’s how FYPPS works in 20 steps.
1a) “This job is soul-sucking. I need to find my passion — line of shape wear like Spanx, but for fat calves? Children’s parties? Hand-knit booties for labradoodles? — and then make a living at it.”
1b) “I’m a talented artist. Everyone says my canvasses are better than Picasso’s. It’s time to paint them full time and make money from them and be a real artist, dammit.”
2) Google Google Google, “Oooh, a blog that teaches you to make money doing what you love.”
3) Click link, click link, “Oooh, look at all these coaches who teach you to make money doing what you love. Count me in! Sign me up! Hey boss, I won’t be coming in tomorrow because I QUIT! Bold action? Check! Leap of faith? Check!”
4) Descend into internet hole of madness.
5) Opt in to every list for every free goodie. 5 Ways To Find Your Passion. 10 Mistakes You’re Making That Keep You From Profiting From Your Purpose. Instantly Unleash Your Inner Authentic Amazeballs Awesomeness.
6) Upgrade to the 8-week paid version, Instantly Unleash Your Inner Authentic Amazeballs Awesomeness 8-Week Playshop (Because It Won’t Feel Like Work!) The program culminates in a retreat where you’re forced to pole dance in your most decadent, luxurious underwear. Find this humiliating but reframe it as “spirit-nourishing” and “best thing you’ve ever done.”
7) Buy every business book. Wack off to Gary Vaynerchuck. Search for your WHY. Journal your Essential MostWanted Feelings.
8) Set up website to showcase your art or your new thing.
9) Declare to world, “I’m an entrepreneur!” Call people who dare ask if you make money “non-believers” or “underminers.” They are “thinking small.”
10) Comment madly on blogs of other entrepreneurs. Retweet them, repost them, tweet @ them, tag them, stalk them. Declare your biz crush.
11) Write blog posts for other entrepreneurs, rather than for people who might buy your thing. Your first blog post: “Dare To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone.” Next one: “Why Failure IS An Option.” Next one: “My Most Vulnerable Post Yet.”
12) Grow your list…of people who do just what you do, which is try to figure out how to make money doing what they love.
13) Sign up for webinars about webinars. And then the product that shows you how to make money making webinars. Ask your mastermind group what they think of your idea for a webinar. Shelve that idea for later, because you’re still not sure what you’re selling at the end of a webinar.
14) Become obsessed with marketing. Give your good friend who’s a lizard trainer a bunch of ideas on getting more lizard-owner clients, even though she’s fully booked till 2018. Tweet to Burger King and Jet Blue that they’re “doing it wrong.”
15) Newsletter: “Hey, [FIRSTNAME], I have an embarrassing confession.”
(The confession is, “I’ve been hiding my awesomeness from the world” or “I was afraid to share my favorite course [affiliate link] but then I realized I was doing you a disservice.”)
16) Decide that becoming the next Picasso or the next Spanx is going to take years, and you’ll probably fail. Coaching and business programs — that’s where it’s at. Showing people how to become the next Spanx or the modern-day, more profitable Picasso, maybe. (Idea for product: “Gallery, Shmallery: How To Become An Art World Star On Your Terms Using Etsy”)
17) When you say you teach artists how to make a living selling their art and someone asks if you’ve made a living selling YOUR art, tell them to fuck off and then unfriend them. Those people don’t get you, because they’re “thinking small.”
18) Post pictures of your feet in a hammock, with the stunning-blue Mediterranean just beyond. Caption: “My office today! #LOVEMYJOB #GRATEFUL”
19) 4 years later, go to an art museum, or to Ricky’s to buy a pair of Spanx, and wonder if maybe you should go back to that original idea.
20) Scrap the whole biz and start from scratch. Or announce your sabbatical from “the grid.” Cycle complete.
Uh oh….are you afraid to comment here now? Don’t worry, it doesn’t make you a victim of FYPPS.
So tell me: have you observed the FYPPS phenomenon? Have you fallen prey to it? What steps did I leave out?
ps – Any aspiring Picassos/ Canva experts want to make an info graphic to go with this? I’d love it and cherish it and maybe auction it at Christies one day and give you a cut.
UPDATE – I wrote this a couple of years ago and I’m still waiting for a brilliant infographic. Come on, people!