Acting is hard. Being yourself is easy.

In my recent debut podcast interview with Jason Fried, he put into words something I’ve learned the hard way over the years.

We all have our heroes who we emulate, and Jason has been one of mine over the years.

But over time, I realized that I’m not Jason. Not only that, but that we started our businesses at different times, with different resources, and with different factors surrounding us.

I also realized that I’m not other heroes that I’ve had; and that’s when things got easier.

Jason describes this in the context of people approaching him at conferences:

[They say] ‘oh, I want to be like you guys.’

I’m like ‘no, you don’t! You want to be like YOU. You want to be like you.’

Because acting is hard. Acting makes you have to hold a bunch of things in your head about a different state of the world that is not natural to you.

And once you stop acting then everything becomes a lot easier…

…The earlier you realize that acting, and playing a part, is really hard, but being yourself is really easy — then you should take the easy road. There’s nothing wrong with that, and it’s actually the more honest road. And I think that you’ll ultimately be happier.

But, the byproduct is, other people are emulating that acting with more acting. The eventual product of actors copying actors would be a world where nobody has any idea who they are.

So watch out for when you’re acting. It could be that you’ve let others convince you that you can A/B test your way to success, it could be proclaiming that you’re “crushing it,” when you’re actually scared out of your wits, or it could be pressure to raise money for your business, when you just don’t see the point.

By all means, act a little bit. But then, be yourself. It will be easier, and the world needs more you anyway.

Listen to the whole interview over here (show notes / non-iTunes). This discussion starts at about the 1-hour, 11-minute mark.

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Bestselling author of “Mind Management, Not Time Management”

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