Success and the Fine Art of Shutting the Hell Up
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A high-profile marketing pro I follow on Twitter recently made the following announcement:
“If you want my advice, you’re going to have to pay me lots and lots of money.”
That’s not verbatim, because then this person could do a Google search of his tweet and find my blog post — the one you’re reading now — insinuating that humility is not his strong point. And then he would chew me out on his blog.
I know because he has already done this to someone else, and I don’t want to put him through the trouble of having to do it again. (Especially when he’s not getting paid and all.)
Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous
Normally I wouldn’t pay much attention to tweets like his, but it turned into a discussion among several high-profile social media “gurus” about the trials and tribulations of being too famous.
“Heck, I don’t even have an hourly rate,” said one such guru. “If you want my attention, you have to pay my daily rate. Which is $20,000.”
I’m a huge advocate of getting paid what you’re worth, whether that’s $12 an hour or $20,000 a day. But I take issue with social media gurus who have made their fortunes by telling others to be generous and approachable, then using the same platform that made them famous to complain about their success.
It’s OK to have boundaries and price points. It’s not OK to alienate your audience. And when you leave a casual comment saying that you charge more in a day than much of your audience makes in six months, that’s alienating.
What’s the point? To commiserate with other industry leaders? That’s great. Do it through email. Do it on the phone. Do it in private.
My Own “Shut the Hell Up” Moment
I had my own “shut the hell up” moment this morning, when I noticed someone had taken credit for a blog post I wrote for Forbes.com. The offender had taken my article and substituted every instance of the word “women” for a phrase describing his own target market.
I quickly sent an email demanding he take it down, and he wrote back saying that while he hadn’t plagiarized my article, he would comply with my request.
His response only made me more frustrated. It was obvious he had cut and pasted huge portions of my work, and he was denying it. I tweeted about my aggravation, and was considering the best way to name and shame him when I realized that maybe I should just … shut the hell up.
The guy offered to take the article down. What more did I want? Obviously I wanted to to discourage more plagiarism, but did I really want to annoy my Twitter followers with complaints about my high-profile article?
Plagiarism’s not OK, but it’s also pretty common when you write for major web sites. And I have more important things to do than publicly torment some schmuck who’s not original enough to come up with his own content.
My time is way more valuable than that.
Success Sucks. Suck it Up.
Does that mean I’ll look the other way if this guy leaves my article up? Hell no. Does it mean I advocate giving your time away for free or charging less than what you’re worth? No way.
But if I ever become as successful as these social media gurus, I’ll try hard not to complain about the little aggravations that result from such success. I hope you’ll do the same.
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