The Differences Between Posers And Pursuers

January 14, 2020  |  
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poser meaning

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Posers. I thought I’d be done with them after high school. Even though poser may be a juvenile term that we learned in our youth, posers are very much real throughout our lives. There will always be those who are most concerned with appearance, rather than their personal experience and values. There will always be those who are impatient, and seek instant gratification and fame, rather than actually enjoy the process, or have any admirable purpose behind their work.

Whatever industry you’re in, you know that they exist. There is the group of you who is actually putting in the work and in it for the right reasons, and there is the group that is just here for the attention, the notoriety or…maybe they’re not even really sure why they’re here. But you—your group of pursuers—you know exactly who the posers are. You roll their eyes when they approach. You groan when they want to “try to get something going with you” because you just know they don’t have the work ethic. They don’t have real drive. They have no idea what they’re doing.

I do feel bad for posers. Their behavior naturally comes from some deep-seated insecurity that was never addressed, and has been there for a very long time. But, real talk: they just tend to saturate industries that are already oversaturated. I wish they’d go work on themselves, figure out what it is they want, and come back. Here are the differences between a poser and a pursuer.


A poser talks a lot

A poser has endless time to talk. She’ll just catch you in a coffee shop or the break room or some plaza and just talk your ear off, as if she has nowhere in the world to be. She wants to talk about what you’re doing and whom you’re working with and what she’s doing and whom she is working with. But really, she seems like she could talk all day.


A pursuer is too busy to talk

Pursuers are too busy pursuing to talk. A pursuer won’t call you to chat on the phone for an hour about basically nothing. That would drive her crazy. She wants to spend that hour pursuing. She just thinks of all the progress she could be making in that hour. She doesn’t waste time standing around outside industry buildings, just waiting for someone to talk to, endlessly.


A poser asks for opportunity

Posers are leeches. They learn of somebody who got something, and the first thing they think is, “Oooh. Now how do I get something from that person? How do I hop on that success train and ride those coat tails.” They’re the first to reach out to someone who just got an opportunity and say, “Hey, can I have some of that?”


A pursuer creates opportunity

Pursuers are typically too busy creating opportunity to try to leech of what others have gained for themselves. They are organizing things, putting things together, establishing platforms and groups and goals. They are the movers and shakers. They don’t sit around, wait for someone else to succeed, and ask, “How do I get in on that?”


A poser is all over social media

Social media is important to many industries, but posers will post obsessively, talking so much about the hustle and what it means to be a whatever they’re pretending to be here. How could they possibly be doing much of any of that if they’ve updated their Instagram story 17 times today?


A pursuer is a bit too busy to post

A pursuer probably understands that social media is important, and will make an effort to remain present on there. But she isn’t going to post selfies of her “thinking about the process” and “working hard at the hustle” or whatever. She will work and hustle, and then she will—occasionally—post the results.


A poser talks about the process a lot

Get together socially with a poser, and she’ll just want to drone on and on about the process. All she’ll want to talk about is all the progress she’s been making, how this person retweeted her, how this idea is “in the works,” and how they’re now on so-and-so’s radar. They want to talk a lot about their work (or should I say “work”) in social settings.


A pursuer wants to relax when it’s time

When a true pursuer gets into a social setting, she wants to chill. She has spent all of her other time truly working hard, and now, she wants to take her mind off it all for a bit and relax. She spends most of her time hustling, so social time is for socializing—not showing off or talking about the process.


A poser speaks in grandiose terms

Posers always have “something big happening,” or “something huge in the works.” They say things like, “You all won’t even believe what’s coming” or “Big things on the way!” They’re always promising something absolutely massive and shocking that’s coming down the pipe. And they always talk about making it to the top.


A pursuer speaks in baby steps

Pursuers talk about baby steps. They work in baby steps. They make actual plans that consist of hundreds of micro steps. The way they get to the top is by not even looking at the top, but by looking at the task ahead of them. The ones who talk the least about making it to the top are the ones actually in the process of getting there.


A poser networks, grossly

Posers network in such a conspicuous and gross way. They’ll ask someone what they do, then tell them all about what they do, then start spit balling all the things they can do together, and try to set up a coffee date right then and there, with this person they’ve known for ten seconds. Everyone is just a title for them—not a person.


A pursuer networks, naturally

The pursuer knows the difference between bad and good networking. If the pursuer is, say, a writer who meets a publisher at a party, she doesn’t instantly say, “Oh my gosh. I’m a writer. Read my stuff. Please. What’s your email?” A pursuer works hard, lets her work speak for herself, and allows relationships to naturally blossom over years and through many shared acquaintances and collaborations.


A poser postures

Posers love to assert themselves as authorities, top dogs, winners, bosses, and so on. The second they meet someone they view as competition, they pull out little manipulative moves to bring that person down a peg, alpha dog the person, and show that, in some way, they’re more advanced than this person and not on their level—they’re on a higher level.


A pursuer is a willing student

Pursuers, first off, don’t see everyone as competition. But they also openly admit when they’re in the presence of someone who does know more than them and has done more than them. They’re happy to admit that they are a student with a lot to learn. They don’t try to convince people they’re more than they are. They just are.


A poser compares

Posers compare their process and success to others constantly. They love to gossip. They love to tear down the accomplishments of others. They have a very high school mentality, always keeping tabs on who did what, who knows who, who is friends with whom, and who got what by sleeping with whom/exchanging favors with whom.


A pursuer is too busy to compare

Pursuers are, again, just too busy to compare. They don’t know about all of the micro dynamics and silly drama going on. They don’t really know who else is up to what—besides the major ones—because they’re too busy doing their own thing. They don’t see people as competition. They are their own machine, and nobody can do what they do.

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