This is what I have to deal with some days…
So I wake up this nice, beautiful morning, full of cheery anticipation for the day and there’s an unsubscribe email to my blog.
No big. I’m not for everybody. I’m not trying to be.
I actually like it when people who are the wrong fit unsubscribe so that I can be me without anyone harshing my groove and continue to help those who appreciate it.
This person writes:
The blog isn’t really a blog it’s just a straight out promotion machine. Every post geared around selling something.
Somehow, this confused person got the crazy idea that I’m supposed to spend my life and my time helping everybody and giving everything away for free.
Looks like she also missed the 498 other posts out of 500 that weren’t promoting anything. Such keen observation skills. 😉
And at the same time this person is being nasty, she’s got the ACA membership button on her website and word-for-word content she’s ripped off from my blog here, the ACA site and the products she’s purchased… um, content she obviously expects to attract clients with to earn money from.
Perhaps she needs to stop stealing from people, particularly those she wants to criticize at the same time. You think? Gotta love the hypocrites… (or not, lol).
Look, people, the ACA is a professional association, this blog an extension of that.
Professional associations are for BUSINESS people.
And business people don’t have welfare mentalities of entitlement, expecting everything to be handed to them for free.
They understand that in with the free things they enjoy (and there are a LOT of things I enjoy giving away for free to help others), there are also some things they need to pay for and that there is likewise necessarily going to be some promotion around that on occasion.
How else will anyone know about these things unless I tell them? Duh.
And for any post in which I include links to products in the store (for example), I do so to avoid the 20 or 30 emails all asking me where to find that product because there wasn’t a link. I’m nothing if not practical.
Business people get that. They certainly understand that these things cost time, money and energy.
And just as they wouldn’t appreciate any client who expected them to work and give everything for free, by the same token they don’t expect their colleagues and other professionals to work or give everything to them for free either.
(Whoa! Living in integrity and consistency? What kind of concept is that?!)
One of the reasons I don’t give away everything for free is because it attracts ugly, ungrateful people.
I know this first-hand because when I first started all of this, I did not charge for anything.
And that’s because I didn’t start the ACA as a business. It was born out of a passion to help others and transform a cottage hobby industry into a true profession.
I soon realized what an extremely poor business example that was.
Even though I do what I do out of love and a passion to help others succeed, I can’t teach others about business while being a doormat and devaluing myself and the experience and expertise I have to offer at the same time.
And that is part of the problem. Perhaps I really do need to start thinking of the ACA more like a business, just like I do my Administrative Consulting practice.
The funny thing is I’m still actually a very bad example of promoting because I don’t do it near enough! My bad, because that then sets the wrong expectations and understandings around what people should be here for and why.
I should really be doing MORE promoting than I do so that I attract less of the freebie-seekers, and more of the people who respect my time and therefore my generosity more and are as equally appreciative of both the mentoring, information and tools I charge nothing for as well as those I do charge for.
It’s the very thing I try to help you avoid in your business.
People who are only there for the free buffet are the WORST people on the planet; they are the cheapskates who cheapen our entire culture and society, making it nearly impossible anymore for quality and integrity to exist.
Think customer service has gone to the dogs? Can’t believe all the nickel and diming the airlines are doing anymore?
Guess what? You have the cheapskates of the world to thank for that.
They want the best, they just don’t want to pay for anything. Sorry, Charlie, you can’t have your cake and eat it, too.
Anyone who expects you to give, give, give without anything in return, ever, is a user, a taker and a hypocrite. They contribute nothing to the world while stealing from everyone else in more ways than one.
Now, you might mistakenly think this post is a vent, but it’s not. I write this post with two purposes in mind:
1. I want you to understand the business lessons here.
Business is business. You have to get out there and promote yours if you expect people to know about you and what you have to offer. That means not just networking and being helpful, but also making offers at times. Stop catering to freebie seekers (including those who want to begrudge you promoting your business while they themselves expect to be paid). Those people make for the worst clients because they expect you to work for free (or nearly so), appreciate nothing and criticize everything. When you promote and put yourself out there, the people you attract are those who are perfect for you. Do more of it. Don’t worry about those who go away or want to be ugly to you; they aren’t your ideal clients. That’s the whole point. You want to get those people away from you. Let that whole natural selection process work for you, girl.
(I’ll let you in on a little secret; even though I’m naturally very unfrilly and plain speaking in the way I write, there are times that I’m intentionally more direct and abrupt because I’m trying to sort the wheat from the chaff. I like smart, thinking, rational, discerning people who appreciate candor with a bit of spice and an unsanitized, real personality. I find the precious, overly-sensitive snowflakes and woo-woo pixie-dust butterflies who cavort with rainbow-tootin’ unicorns tiresome, unstimulating and uninspiring. Funny thing, too, the first group tends to have better manners than the other, always remembering to say thank you and extending little kindnesses in return such as telling others how I’ve helped them and referring them to the ACA and my products.)
2. Make no mistake, this is a business blog… for business-minded people only.
And in with my free mentoring and advice and the many other goodies I don’t charge for, there’s going to be some promotion of paid products, services and learning occasionally.
If you don’t have the business mindset to understand that, I want you to unsubscribe right now. You are NOT who I’m trying to help, and certainly not for free.
(And no, I’m not interested in your reasons; just politely show yourself to the door. You know the way out.)