Thursday, July 28, 2016

The One Bad Apple Policy

Here is what I've realized. If a newsletter is one of your favorites, it could land in your email box every day and you would be thrilled. Yes, I am stating the obvious, but then again I never thought about it like a favorite pillow or favorite food. I've always been aware that the word "spam" and First Word weren't a good combination, so I might want to avoid activities that could link the two concepts. Then I thought, "Why lead a business from a place of fear?"
Stop and think about that for a moment. Hit pause! Yes, and now what do you think? Do you find yourself worried about everything you do in business getting a negative or positive reaction? It hit me that I'm constantly worried about the criticism than the accolades.
Let me give you an example of why I found myself wallowing in this mindset. When you're doing something right and everybody is happy, most people don't say anything. They're happy to receive your newsletter or information. But as the old cliché goes: one bad apple spoils the batch.
Recently Meetup sent me the most ridiculous email saying that "members" were complaining about my articles being sent out through the group. Keep in mind I founded and maintain the group activities. The offending articles were all related to education and writing tips. The only plug for 3L Publishing said if you wanted more information to contact me.
So here is my reaction to this nonsense: when you say "members" do you really mean one particular "hater"? Why would writers not want FREE information to support their success? My assumption is one person didn't like it and complained. Therefore, it went from all of the quiet members (1,000 + of them) now being deprived of valuable information. See, the one bad apple theory. Furthermore, how does one construe information-based content and education as Spam? I equate Spam to blatant advertisements and nonstop Cialis and Viagara advertisements.
What is the net result? Everyone loses based on one whiney member who somehow construed an article titled "15 Great Tips to Market Your Book" as Spam. I soon realized the great "Spam Avoidance" complaint was the reason I was avoiding sending out information to my audience. The label of "spammer" was causing me such anxiety that I wasn't marketing and providing the kind of rich and important information to help business leaders and authors succeed.
And here we are ... do you avoid doing things for your business, book or life because you're trying to avoid something? What one whiney member of a group I founded and have ran for years shouldn't be able to push my buttons (or for that matter Meetup's buttons) to stop a valuable service. Meetup's general policy shouldn't be based on "whining winning over value". People are going to complain. Some people are generally unhappy campers so no amount of "love" can clear up a case of bad attitude.
It matters that you care. You should care, it's your life and business, right? It's when caring goes over the line and turns into general anxiety that prevents you from living your best life. Believe me. I'm no expert. What I have learned without a doubt these last few years is to set my own course and go for it. Caring too much about being the "ultimate Spammer" vs. serving my audience and fulfilling my own vision is a sad comment on personal neurosis.
I'm 50-years old. My mantra needs to shift from caring too much about negative reactions and promoting and reinforcing positive outcomes. It's time to quit caring about something that isn't even based on sound reasoning. If I had sent out articles that were either offensive or blatant ads then I would see the point. But labeling valuable information designed to help others in a negative context deprives everyone based on one bad apple. Does that make sense? Is that a good way to run a business. One person doesn't like it so I quit?
When you put it that way, it seems ridiculous, doesn't it? Meetup, your so-called "spam" policy is ridiculous! And with that in mind, here is today's lesson learned:
Always do what you know in your heart is the right thing. The right thing can never be the wrong thing.
Now Friend-Os go take on the last half of the week. And I hope First Word is that one newsletter you look forward to reading - at least that is my goal!

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