Too often we waste time on the wrong people. Too often we try and get people to like us, or join our particular cause by painting a pretty picture. Too often we are inauthentic and then we wonder why the right people aren't in our lives.
The story of Ernest Shackleton's newspaper recruiting ad is a famous one. It's now acknowledged that the ad was in all likelihood fake. Whether or not it's real doesn't matter - what does matter is the advertisement's purpose.
Simon Sinek does a good job of talking about why this ad works in his great book Start With Why. To paraphrase, Shackleton was able to lead his remarkable expedition because his ad (or whatever he used) attracted the right kind of people to his cause. He didn't paint a pretty picture or promise riches and fame. He told the truth, whether in an advertisement or in person, and the right kind of people stepped forward to join him. He found his people.
Who are your people? I have spent a lot of time thinking about this because I've spent a lot of time around the wrong kind of people. I've tried to get the wrong people on board with my "mission" and it doesn't work. It doesn't work for you or for them.
It's scary to be honest sometimes and to open yourself to the world. We all fear what will happen if we tell people our ultimate plan and they just laugh at us or we make a fool of ourselves. Newsflash: people will always laugh at you or call you stupid or worse. There's no way around it. But the beautiful thing is that when we open up and talk about what we're trying to do, the right people will be attracted to you. The right people will respect you. The right people will join your cause and help you do something epic.
That's the point of the fake Shackleton newspaper ad. And who cares if it's real or fake, he found the right people for the job - his people. Now it's time for us to find ours.