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I think the secret to loving your life – and your work, is to laugh.
Often. At yourself. And at others.
There are all of these really wise and well written articles and inspirational insightful opinions on what it means to do work that you love.
How to get there and how to stay there once you’ve arrived.
None of it is true, of course. What’s true for me, may not be true for you.
For me, when i really fall in love with my work – and the art of doing something that makes me happy – it’s always been about embracing my own eccentricities and just stepping into a reality where the only person I really want to please is me.
I know that sounds selfish. But it’s really not. If I strive to be true to my own sense of passion and purpose and service, I know, in my gut, I’ll do right by you.
Anyway, I share all of this because I got yelled at yesterday by a friend for my comments on our Facebook community.
The issue, to my mind, is pretty simple.
You’ve got to keep it real. And you’ve got to responsive. And you’ve got to be true.
Now, the funny thing is, as many of you already know, I do a lot of work these days in “spiritual” communities…..and this Facebook page, is for one of these communities.
I’m agnostic about most things other folks consider spiritual.
And while I have many of my own outlier sorts of intuitions about what it means to be a awake, aware and alive compared to MAINSTREAM scientific materialism, most of what many of my friends,and partners believe, in these projects, I find very dubious and doubtful.
So I find myself in this sort of weird position, quite often. In a group call about some sort of person we ought to connect with professionally who does some sort of thing I’m pretty sure is complete BS.
Anyway, so I struggle with that a bit, and I’m always trying to find that balance.
But this post, really wasn’t going to be about that. (i’m just tipping and tapping and typing away as the ideas enter my brain)
I really wanted to share why I got yelled at, and why I think it’s so damn funny (and worth learning from) still 🙂
So here is what happens:
We will post these surveys and quizes and entertaining, engaging style social media posts designed to get people on FB to interact with our content and community.
And when the topic is spiritual…..you get all sorts of wild, weird and wacky responses that can make your head spin.
When someone else is on FB page “duty”, I notice that they rarely respond to comments we get.
I’m just not wired that way. Even though the community has very little to do with me……when I’m “in charge” I feel compelled to respond. I can’t shake it or fake it or let it go.
Most of the time of course, a simple “thank you!” or nice or supportive comment is all that is required. (after all, most folks aren’t stopping by a strange FB page after seeing a quiz or a survey and being deliberately obnoxious)
But some are.
And my partners think – avoid, ban or ignore.
I always think – engage!
Anyway, so yesterday, someone had taken some screenshots of some of my replies, and thought they were too routinely confrontational.
I just find them funny! I just want to laugh – and be funny – and light – and engage with all of people’s weirdness and oddness and insecurities – and the strange compunctions that make folks say, and do what we do.
So when someone leaves a nasty or odd or weird or confrontational message on your business blog – or your community page – or whatever it is, I don’t believe in the whole “customer is always right thing”
People are fucking nuts. They aren’t always right. And pretending that this is the way to go through life only encourages more unproked nuttiness.
But I also won’t ignore you – or ban someone – or not respond to a point of view simply because it’s critical or unflattering or accusatory. (we get a lot of this on this particular page – from the religious fundamentalists – to the hard core atheists to the new age nutters with a very specific sort of world view or conspiratorial theory on how things work, etc. I never quite know which sort of insult I’m going to have to argue for or against – and it makes it quite interesting)
You CAN “fight back” with a kindness and compassion and humor, while still letting folks know you won’t be a public doormat.
One of the most amazing lessons for me is how just about everyone simply wants to be heard.
People want to be acknowleged – and know that their point of view was heard – and that it matters. (even if you don’t agree)
That has been the humbling take away for me – being the crazy guy who has a half a bottle of wine and fast keyboard fingers responding to the FB commentary from people I will never really know…….that in 99% of the cases, when you merely respond to someone – and just try to make them laugh or make light of their insult or attack – they are immediately contrite and want to be friends. (which makes me happy, because really, that’s all I want too 🙂
Anyway – this one screenshot really, really makes me laugh. I didn’t even remember this – but it’s so damn funny to me – simply because 1) it’s probably the first time someone used the phrase “mazel tov” on this sort of FB page in response to anything, and 2) her response to my sort of very (to me) obvious micro aggression was so damn sweet.
(she visited our page to say YES i am a “medium” but NO i will not be taking your “quiz” which she must have seen on her FB wall, as a paid advertisement – which I found, feeling the need to visit our page and comment on – very amusing!)
I love people.
And people just want to be loved.
Sometimes it takes colliding a bit, and not being afraid to speak up, even when other folks think saying nothing is best – to discover how much alike, underneath it all, we all are.