I should be writing right now, but when the blog post inspiration faerie arrives, there’s absolutely no ignoring her!
Something suddenly struck me today, and I am going to try to explain it, in the hopes that if anyone out there has a similar experience, it may help.
In the last few months, I have had a couple of experiences with people who I have considered to be respected experts in their field, who are worth listening to, and taking their advice. They are very successful, have a lot of experience, and have based their businesses on helping others to achieve the same success.
Earlier in the year, I had the chance to attend an evening workshop with a lady whose book had inspired me years ago, but whom I had never met until then. I had a lot of respect for her because her story was so inspirational, and she was devoted to helping others to achieve their true potential.
I arrived at the event, I was having a good time, and was joined by a dear friend of mine for the evening. As part of the workshop, she was doing some short coaching sessions, and my friend was chosen to take part. When my friend said what her aspirations were, which included self-publishing her books, the lady’s response was – “Bulls**t. You will never make money doing that.”
When my friend tried to explain that self-publishing was quite different these days to how it used to be, the lady was not interested. She said that why anyone would want to self-publish was beyond her.
In that moment, my respect for her began to slip.
I could understand a traditionally published author having that point of view ten years ago, but the industry really has completely changed since then, surely, if she is advising people on their businesses, she would know that?
While chatting later, I spoke to her a little about how different the industry is, and she seemed surprised, but not particularly interested in learning more. And when it became apparent that I was not in the financial position to pay for one of her coaching packages, her response was – “Come back to us when you have the money.”
Wow. Bubble totally popped. In fact, the copy of her book that I had kept for so long, found its way into the car boot stuff a few weeks ago. And when it didn’t sell, it went to a charity shop.
I recently had another experience with someone who I thought wanted to help my business (my book writing and publishing) to flourish and grow, but it turned out that what she wanted was for me to create ‘products’ like video series’ and courses, to sell and make money with. It didn’t even really matter what the product was, as long as it sold. I felt uncomfortable with the concept, and I didn’t get the feeling that she liked me very much, which made me even less inclined to get more involved and put a lot of time and energy into her business. Later on, she even said several times that writing books was not the way forward, it takes too long. Videos are the only way forward. Unfortunately, I am a writer, and that’s not going to change.
When I finally admitted that I didn’t want to be a part of her business, her response confirmed my feelings – she really didn’t want the best for my business at all, and in her opinion, I wasn’t ‘ready’ to be a part of what she was creating.
It was after this experience, that I realised something. When around these successful experts, who are building their businesses around empowering people to follow their dreams – I feel completely disempowered. I feel like a small child who is below them. I’ve been thinking about the reasons for this, and I am fully ready to accept that it may well be my issue not theirs, but I wonder if I am the only one to feel this way?
I’ve been reading The 7 Graces of Marketing recently, and there was a story recounted in there about a coach trying to sell the author a course, that cost thousands of dollars, and when the author declined, the coach tried to make her feel like a failure for doing so.
After reading about the old paradigm of marketing in her book, I have come to realise that perhaps those who have been in business for a long time, are just accustomed to these old marketing tactics – as we, the general population, are conditioned to respond to these old marketing tactics. And when someone says – actually, this doesn’t feel right to me – their response is to make us feel like we will never succeed because we are not doing things their way.
But then it all comes down to your definition of success. If success is having lots of money – then I am a failure. If success is selling lots of products – then I am a failure. If success is being famous – then I am a failure.
On the other hand, if success is helping people to feel a little less lonely in the world – then I am a success. If success is encouraging people to listen to themselves, to really get to know themselves and then to dream big – then I am a success. If success is inspiring others to changes their lives because of your words or actions – then I am a success.
When it comes right down to it – success and failure are just words. It is our perception and attachments of feelings to the words that causes them to mean anything at all. All I know is, whether I succeed or fail, I want to be able to say – I was authentically myself, I followed my heart, I listened to my gut and I did my best.
A lesson in that “experts” are human, ay? The selling empowerment movement is only a business, not a movement.
‘Tis important, IMHO, to understand that our only “guru” is the Universe itself. People can share their experiences, and we can learn from them for sure. Yet no one can show a true “way” because the way is inside each of us already. We need only dig deep within and listen. Our challenge, perhaps, as spirit beings on this earth plane! Keep trusting your gut.
Indeed Julie! Originally I was going to include a note about how the experts are humans- not deities – and so we should listen, yes, but not put them on a pedestal and take their word as being the absolute truth.
The way is most definitely within us all, all we need to do is listen to ourselves. Xx
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I like the second set of definitions of success. Anyone who says ‘you are wrong I am right’ is missing the point.
I always loved the quote – There is no right or wrong, only the consequences of your actions. Everything is perception. And those who focus on making people feel like lesser beings, don’t really understand that they are making themselves less in the process.
Money is nice, but feeling good about your product is much, much better. If you put in the work and keep your eyes and ears open, things will happen when the time is right. Human society is slowly waking up and it takes as long as it takes for your books to become what many people will want to read. Show your face and let your voice be heard and there will be an organic growth to fame and fortune, build on a good foundation. You deserve it!
It’s true. Money is lovely, and I love what it makes possible, but I dislike doing things ‘for the money’. I wouldn’t write a book unless I had something to channel, to say. I believe there is a way to be successful in business, and still retain your spirituality. I think organic growth is the way to go. No GMOs in my business!
I can TOTALLY relate to this. I have had 2 experiences with “gurus” that call themselves business coaches. I got involved with one of them because she had a business that I THOUGHT was all about learning how to blog more effectively while also making money helping other people do the same. It turned out to be a business where you blog on a certain platform, they control what you can and can’t say and your blog is basically an advertisement for them. And the way you make money with it is to basically convince people to spend hundreds and thousands of dollars on courses filled with info they could probably learn on their own for free (though it would take more work). I didn’t like it. I didn’t want to abandon the blog I had worked hard to build just to become a mouthpiece for this company. And i didn’t want to talk people out of their hard-earned money just so I could profit. When I told her that I didn’t think it was right for me, I got the clear impression that she was no longer interested in talking to me. Which made me feel as though I was nothing more than a prospect to her. She didn’t really care about helping me with my goals. I was just part of the means to HER end. Now, I don’t think she is a bad person, but she is no longer someone that I want to view as a role model.
Another person is actually REALY REALLY popular in my industry, but she rubs me the wrong way. For a variety of reasons. And one comment that she made to me was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I was at a point where I no longer felt that I was in the right place with a company. I wasn’t passionate about it and was trying to figure out a viable exit strategy. She said something about how I would always fail with that mindset. Personally, I think it is ok to move on when you realize that something is not working for you and that you are no longer emotionally invested in it at all. I think it is important to try to find your best fit. I follow my passion and what makes me happy. She seems to just follow whatever brings in money. So she isn’t a good mentor for me.
In short, I have come to the realization that these gurus and self-proclaimed experts may not be all that they are cracked up to be. They are human beings just like us. Some of them may be great at what they do and have the best intentions. Some may be great at what they do but not have anyone’s best interests in mind other than their own. Some may suck at what they do and just be lucky to have gotten a large following (and you know that having a large following makes people believe you know what you are doing). I think we should be careful not to put them on a pedestal and to always remember that they are not perfect and that their advice may not be perfect for us.
Great comment Tiffany 🙂 It seems that a lot of people have had similar experiences, and I hope that this post just serves to remind people to really check in with themselves, with how they feel about something, before they invest their time, money and energy into something. Yes, sometimes we reject on opportunity because of fears or blocks, but if something really doesn’t feel right, or you try something, and it doesn’t flow, then perhaps it is time to let it go and move on. It’s like anything – what works for others may not work for you, just as what works for you may not work for others. Whenever I give advice, it’s always with the view that it may be taken, it may not – ultimately, it’s up to the person to decide if the advice is right for them or not.
The publishing industry has changed. Earnings from self-published books can now compete with the traditional published ones. Self-published books are growing in numbers each year.
I completely agree with you Don. It’s a completely different picture to just 7 years ago.
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