Another Day Another Book Review! As usual, we find many ways to tie everyday life into running a small business. So today we’re taking Felicia Day’s – You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) and pulling out what she says about starting her business, her struggles, and the toll her success took.
Who the Hell is Felicia Day?
To start, She’s Quirky, She’s Weird, She’s Nerdy… and She’s Successful.
After graduating from her full-ride college adventure, her desire to be an actress took her to LA where she struggled to make her mark.
That is until she decided, with the help of her support group, to take a stab at writing professionally.
I’ve been acting for years and have created a good niche as the quirky girl who does laundry or works as a secretary. I realized that it might be the only role I play for the rest of my life, so I decided to write a show to feature me as a character you don’t normally see in Hollywood: a plain, introverted girl with a horrible addiction to video games. It’s a touch biographical, and I wrote it as a half-hour pilot that didn’t garner much interest.https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/general-news/felicia-day-how-a-girl-212744/
As she began to see that her idea was never going to make it, she took the advice of a friend rather than the producers that slammed the door in her face.
Niching. The process of determining the specialized segment of the market. Felicia’s Niche? Nerds.
As she began the process of trying to get her tv pilot picked up she continued to hear the same line over and over. Expand your niche, write for the majority, no one will connect with this.
Felicia was crushed. She had great feedback on the writing and was excited to share it with the world, but the no’s were turning into a debilitating realization. That is until Kim, her future business partner, suggested taking matters into her own hands.
Felicia and Kim then filmed and produced the first few episodes entirely on their own and posted them on Youtube. With… great feedback.
She had found her people. So much so that when she announced that they probably won’t be able to produce the rest of the season the fans started to send in donation after donation. Fully funding the rest of the episodes.
That was just the start of it all.
Mental Health for Business Owners
“Don’t chase perfection for perfection’s sake, or for any one else’s sake at all. If you strive for something, make sure it’s for the right reasons. And if you fail, that will be a better lesson to you than any success you’ll ever have. Because you learn a lot from screwing up.”
As the show took off Felicia grew and grew. Landing larger acting roles, producing and acting in future seasons, as well as, creating her own production company. Day admits that she struggled her whole life with perfectionism, but as she started to take on more responsibility her health started to also decline. Starting mentally.
“Imagine saying to someone, “I have a kidney problem, and I’m having a lot of bad days lately.” Nothing but sympathy, right? “What’s wrong?” “My mom had that!” “Text me a pic of the ultrasound!” Then pretend to say, “I have severe depression and anxiety, and I’m having a lot of bad days lately.” They just look at you like you’re broken, right? Unfixable. Inherently flawed. Maybe not someone they want to hang around as much? Yeah, society sucks.”
It’s interesting how the mindset of business owners directly affects their business. As Day was at her worst, her business began taking hits as well. Losing her business partner, struggling to finish out her show, and moving on to bigger things.
You are You and you have to be happy with that
I was trained to get an A in life from everyone, so I never learned how to take care of myself even if I had a right to.
And that starts with your mind. As business owners there are so many abuses we take. Too many hours, not enough help, and words of insult from those online or in the real world.
“There are enough negative forces in this world—don’t let the pessimistic voice that lives inside you get away with that stuff, too. That voice is NOT a good roommate.”
It starts with you. Your thoughts, your mindset, your boundaries. Don’t let the trolls and haters take your peace. There’s a balance to having great customer service and not letting it affect your personal life.
“But the heart of my story is that the world opened up for me once I decided to embrace who I am—unapologetically. My story demonstrates that there’s no better time in history to have a dream and be able to reach an audience with your art. Or just be as weird as you want to be and not have to be ashamed. That lesson’s just as legit.”
Wrap it Up
If you like the gaming industry, nerd topics, and a search for self identity this is a great read. I know it won’t appeal to a lot of my subscribers, but these are the quotes that I felt held a lot of value. It’s something I really enjoyed reading and look forward to reading her other books.
If you’re struggling in your business for authenticity and self deprication I think you may find value in this.