What Does "Working in Public" Really Mean?

Yesterday, I sat down with Steph Smith to talk about her amazing work and her new book “Doing Content Right.”

In Steph’s book, she talks about the value of “working in public” and the topic was brought up during our podcast interview. Steph gave me such a delightful definition of the concept.

I mentioned that I think working in public is a bit gimmicky, because what happens is people post screen shots of their revenue numbers on Twitter and use it to bait people to buy their courses or products.

Then the people who buy the course, basically copy the same material, repackage it and sell it to other people, at which point they post screen shots of their revenue numbers. They call this “working in public.” It turns into a weird MLM scheme.

Steph chimed in and said that she agrees it can be gimmicky, but that I am missing the point. Her analogy was spot on.

“Working in public simply means opening the door. So let’s imagine I am building something in my garage, all I am doing is opening the garage door so that whoever wants to come see my work can come inside.”

I loved that. Here’s why…

As I have been growing my personal brand, I’ve felt a lot of reluctance to “work in public.” I don’t want to be gimmicky and I don’t want to be another white dude who brags about his business on social media. However, I know I am losing opportunity because being transparent about your work is effective in that people want to follow you on your journey.

So on one hand, I want to do it because it works and it builds a tribe. But on the other hand I don’t want to be a sell out.

Steph gave me the solution. It’s not about showing off. It’s not about throwing a big party and hording attention towards my products. It’s simply about opening the garage door so that people can come inside and see.

I love that. I will be working in public from this point forward.