Embarrass Yourself with Effort, Not Fear


Yesterday’s post, Why Be the Angry Unsubscriber?, launched a lively discussion in the comments section about how far we should or are willing to go to promote ourselves and our work.

One commenter pointed out how annoyed she gets by requests to join multi-level marketing teams (e.g., Amway, NuSkin, Herbalife).  Another poster responded, and I eventually hopped in.  Then, because I occasionally fall in love with my own writing, and like to repurpose things so as not to have to write a new blog post every day, decided that my comment was worthy of it’s own SpeakHappiness entry.  So, here goes:

I agree that people who ask me to join MLM teams turn me off, and I just say, “No, thank you,” but I have to share something that changed my attitude a lot. My friend, Claire Risoli, started selling Arbonne about two years ago. It was all she posted about on Facebook, and she posted a lot. She was the convert who became the preacher. Arbonne, Arbonne, Arbonne.I thought it was really annoying and ridiculous and wondered how she wasn’t embarrassed putting that out there so much. Then, I noticed that some of her posts were congratulating team members for their success, and I thought, “Okay, she got some people to buy into this…whatever.” Then, I noticed that more of the posts were about congratulating people or welcoming new team members in other states and countries than about recruiting the rest of us. In other words, what she was doing was starting to look like…success. And I admired it. I really, really admired it. And I was not only proud of her, but I saw that that kind of persistence is what it takes to succeed as your own boss/salesman/promoter/publicist, and I decided that I would follow her lead.

Yes, it is a little disconcerting to me that I post so much so publicly about my book, and there are probably people out there making fun of me, or rolling their eyes, or blocking me in their feed, but so what? I want to sell books, and I can’t do that from under a rock. So, thanks Claire, and congratulations, not only for being happy and successful in your chosen field, but also for paving the way.

If you talk about your book/project/business/career goals and are afraid there are people laughing at you, then let me assure you — those are small, sad people who somehow think that they are made bigger by attempting to put you in your place.  Don’t allow them to govern your success.   If you fail — publicly — wouldn’t you rather it be after doing everything in your power to succeed?  Wouldn’t it be better to turn that failure into something more robust, and come back swinging harder, rather that sit on the sidelines and wonder why no one is passing you the ball?

Put yourself (and your work) out there!  It might be a raging, humiliating disappointment to you and everyone you love, but that is so much better than never trying.  And if that is the result you get, come back here and tell the rest of us about it, and we will help you find a way to convert that into your next big thing.

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