I’ve been talking often with clients and friends lately about standing one’s ground as a key component of leading your business. The more outside influences impinge on our every day life and our work, the more it seems important to know one’s ground and be courageous enough to stand it. Leadership means to consistently stand for what we believe is honest and compassionate in our life and our business. Straight up, the online world needs a lot more of it.
The online world is now no different than the real world in terms of business. There are plenty of bottom feeders and sharks who push tools and tactics that, for me, are selfish and unwise. I’ve been in the online world for over a decade now. One of the things I truly loved about it in the beginning was the up-and-up relationships one formed in the virtual world. Many online business owners I “met” were (and are) quick decision makers, helpful, honest, and enjoyed working collaboratively in a way that truly gave both businesses benefit. Good business was done with a virtual handshake and a common belief that there was plenty for everyone. Leading your business in this environment meant saying yes often.
That has eroded badly over the past few years. I’ve watched as business models have come to popularity that don’t equally help both businesses, and for me it’s important to say hell no and stand my ground. It’s also vital to steer my own clients away from using strategies that create a win for them at the expense of others.
I wrote on Facebook about an invitation I received to participate in one of the popular weeks-long telesummits from someone I did not know. The invitation arrived with a written list of demands about what I had to do to participate and how big my list had to be. There was not one word about what the host committed to do or her list size. You can read the whole story on Facebook if you like. The bottom line for me is that this type of trolling for “partners” you don’t even know for the sole purpose of harvesting their list with little benefit to that partner is a selfish and one-sided business model. It is popular because it makes building your list seem easy and deflects the work onto the backs of others. It's up to you to say “hell no” to one-sided proposals and lead your business away from that hot mess.
The online biz owners who adopt this model are not interested in knowing me or having a conversation – in fact this one as well as many others have delegated approaching me to a team member. They can’t even be bothered to reach out in person. They are not interested in assuring me what they are bringing to the table, but they have a list of “requirements” about what I should bring to the table. Never once after their event is over have I been approached to provide feedback about how I benefitted, how their process worked for me, or what we could do together in future outside the “big event” model.
I’ve owned two businesses now, one for 14 years and one for 11. I know what creates long-lasting businesses is building true connection and steadfast relationships that benefit both parties. This is true both business-to-client and business-to-business. I am standing my ground and saying hell no to these one-sided “collaborations.” I am calling them out. While I love to work collaboratively (witness my 5 year relationship with Ali Brown and my year-long Peep Show with Marnie Marcus) it has to be based on knowing each other and mutual benefit.
If you want help building a business based on solid ground that does not take advantage of others and is based on leadership with consciousness and soul, I invite you to click here and learn about my 2016 program which is designed to make you strong, decisive, and successful. In the meanwhile, make sure that what you give makes sense for your business and doesn’t push your values. That’s the secret to a long-lasting business you love that benefits everyone it touches. That's the secret to leading your business.