There’s a gross amount of online content out there for every subject imaginable, but in our little bubble of a startup life, ‘entrepreneur porn’ reigns. The digital startup community is an ecosystem in every sense of the word, with content targeting curated for entrepreneurs in all industries, and at every point of their startup journey – from wannabes to seasoned growth hackers. But what isn’t talked about is just how monotonous and tedious this content is when it’s a part of your day-to-day.
We feel the need to read every startup story out there, every blog post lamenting the struggle of being an entrepreneur, and every repetitive ‘look how hard I’m working’ Facebook post. This is what I call entrepreneur porn, or startup-related content that contains no business advice. What all this amounts to is startup fatigue, or the utter exhaustion experienced from living and breathing the entrepreneur experience, and the compulsion to understand this recently mainstream lifestyle choice. So what’s to be done about all of this? Let me explain my thoughts through an anecdote. I used to work in the wedding industry, and suffered from a common case of ‘wedding fatigue’. Pinterest boards were the breeding grounds for ‘wedding porn’, where an incessant stream of wedding gowns, bridesmaid dresses, flower arrangements, table settings, stationery, party favours dominates your glitter-infused existence. For brides who may have started the wedding planning process with a small, simple wedding in mind, the endless stream of wedding porn does nothing but confuse their initial choices and vision. Their weddings then become yet another mundane detail-for-detail manifestation of a wedding blog, devoid of all individuality. Just as I left the industry (for good), emerged voices advocating the ban of wedding porn in wedding planning, and brides who chose to make their wedding their own, rather than taking inspiration from elsewhere.
There are valuable resources for brides out there, but the notion that there’s a right way to plan a wedding is misleading and misinformed. Sound familiar? There are countless talented content creators who provide genuinely valuable insight for entrepreneurs. Marketing tactics, tips for running an industry-specific business, tools that work, business mistakes to avoid are some topics that come to mind. These stories can undoubtedly help to build and grow your business. But we should be weary of flaky stories that talk about the experience, or the aesthetics of an entrepreneur’s life because they’re simply a surface-level look into what it’s actually about. Bloggers who glamorise the digital nomad life only makes us stationary workers feel unfulfilled. Only self-ascribed entrepreneurs will write about their experience because they lack the credentials and experience to share information that has the gut. Entrepreneurs should feel empowered by the online community to make their experience their own, and a business that they’re proud of, rather than having the nature of their highs and lows dictated by someone else. Have you ever experienced startup fatigue? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Welcome back to Mandy's In-House Notes, a twice-monthly column touching on all things brand-building, entrepreneurship and female-empowerment related, from the mind of Mandy Pao.
This week, we're talking about the power of using the right data to inform your design process.
Author: Mandy Pao, Founder and Creative Director, Eloquence International
Cover image: Jezael Melgoza via Unsplash
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Cover image source: Liz and Mollie
Author: Pin Cher, Career & Clarity Coach
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Author: Ching Lam Ip, Programme & Marketing Lead, Garage Society
Cover image source: Quentin Lagache on Unsplash