What Dave and Rachel Hollis have taught me about marriage and business
We live in a world of influencer idealization- we look up to the people that throw their lives online. We respect them, we learn to love them and then we buy from them.
But can we really be sure that some (read MOST) influencers are telling the truth? Are they sugar coating the ugly parts of their lives to make for better engagement/content? WELLLLLLLLLLL boyyeeeee, we don’t REALLY know, do we?
Dave and Rachel Hollis, business partners, entrepreneurs, self proclaimed marriage and life gurus…were struggling in their marriage for 3 years? While continuing to tell others what they do to keep their marriage alive? While selling marriage conferences and books and happy stories about their sex life and making out and what they do to keep their marriage thriving? Why wouldn’t they just tell us that they’re struggling? Why wouldn’t they just be real with us? I mean, they put most everything else out for us to read- why wouldn’t they show us that marriages take a LOT of work consistently and there are ups and downs and sideways and big drops? We can RELATE to that!!!
Now, look, I don’t fault the Hollis’ for getting divorced- marriage is HARD. Working with your spouse is even harder. I don’t ever ever fault anyone for trying everything they can to make it work then realizing that going separate ways is a better option. What I DO have a problem with is selling the world on your happiness, offering up solutions to marriage and making your audience feel like their struggles aren’t normal because your marriage is picture perfect when in reality, behind the scenes you are drowning…now THAT’S some fucked up shit right there.
My husband and I have been together for 15, married for 10 and working together for a little over a year. It’s a drop in the bucket compared to most but I prefer to keep it real. Marriage is hard. It takes work. EVERY SINGLE DAY I am learning. We have moments where I want to punch him in the throat or smoother him with my pillow. We’re not perfect and we’re never GOING to be perfect and I would never ever ever make it out like we were. Maybe I’m wrong but I feel like when you’ve got such an incredibly large, diverse and attentive platform it is YOUR DUTY as a leader to paint a real picture, not a fake & sparkly one for “likes”.
I understand that the influencer culture breeds the dreaded life comparison- picture perfect squares that are just the right size to show off just how spectacular your life is- no room for the shit storms that go on behind closed doors. NO WONDER we’re all depressed, right? We look up to people who show off the best parts of their life, family, marriage, home- they don’t show the piles of unwashed laundry, eating with plastic forks because you haven’t run a load of dishes, kids yelling and fighting and hanging out in their underwear, disagreements with your spouse that result in 3 days of the silent treatment. None of us WANT to show that but more of us NEED TO.
Why? Because if you’re wanting to build an online brand, you need to be real, you need to be authentic and you need to CONNECT with people.
You CAN teach people how to raise respectful kids while still figuring out the kinks yourself.
You CAN teach couple’s how to get along and work together while remaining truthful about the ups and downs.
You CAN teach entrepreneurs how to grow their businesses while still growing yours.
Why do we have to post such a highlight reel of our lives? I’m learning more and more how important it is to use your platform for good and to create a brand around the real life you live, not the fairy tale version. Your audience doesn’t want you to be perfect. They NEED you to be transparent. It’s evident by reading through the thousands of comments on Dave and Rachel’s announcement posts. People are MAD. People are FUMING. Over and over again they’re saying they felt lied to, betrayed, taken advantage of. By all means- sell to your audience that loves you but don’t sell to them under the premise of achieving perfection because that doesn’t exist.