There’s a bit of a misunderstanding about the promise of the You Economy.

It’s not all about you: your self-worth, your passion, your personal brand.

It’s about your power to create and offer something of lasting value. It’s about your ability to contribute to things that are bigger than yourself. It’s about your access to the machinations of commerce.

My friend Amanda Steinberg, who is also the founder & CEO of the financial education company you simply must subscribe to, wrote recently of the proliferation of personal brands in the wake of the solo entrepreneurship craze.

She describes it–and I squealed when I read this–as a “torrent of social media one-upmanship.” It’s a race for the funkiest website, the hippest photos, the most profound tweets, the cleverest pins, the most raw Facebook updates.

Stand out, or stand down.

And she’s right. It’s a mess.

The You Economy doesn’t promise that you can get paid to be you. It doesn’t guarantee that you can make money & follow your passion.

The You Economy promises that you have the chance to create something that makes others lives meaningfully better.

You can harness your passion, your personality, your pizzazz to realize that imperative but those things are no substitute for stick-to-your-ribs value.

If you’ve found yourself in the one-upmanship game of personal branding or the race to social media stardom, it doesn’t mean your business is doomed. But it does mean you need to stop–today–and evaluate the value your business is creating.

Escape “digiphoria; the cold, joyless comfort of softly glowing screens.”

Venture into the pursuit of something real.

Click to tweet!

What are you pursuing? What keeps you up at night? How does that drive you to serve? To create? To question?

The You Economy has asked you to show up. Not just as you are, but in pursuit of the solution to a problem, the answer to a question, the fulfillment of a desire.

Will you rise to the occasion?