On Controversy, Risk and Lost Subscribers
A few days ago I published an article about selling. Some people thought it was about a con man. Perhaps they were right.
Either way, the article resulted in me losing quite a few of my much-loved subscribers – some of them sending me nasty messages about how unethical I was.
So, at the encouragement of my good friend over at Lion5 I decided to write a short follow up post about controversy, risk and lost subscribers. The last paragraph contains a statement I want you all to help me with.
Oh, and Scott, I’m waiting for you analysis of this photo.
So what happened exactly?
A few hours after I published the article above I got a flurry of notices of people unsubscribing from my email list. Well, not really a flurry. More of a slow drip. I think it was four people.
And that is pretty normal. Every article I publish I lose a few subscribers but gain a whole bunch more.
So why was this different? Well, normally the messages that people leave me under the box for “reason for unsubscribing” says something like, “I just get too many emails from people” or “I’m switching to RSS”. Not this time. This time I got messages like:
“How dare you glorify a con man and teach people how to behave so unethically. You have lost the plot mate. And a reader.”
I’ll be honest with you. They really upset me. I’m a pretty sensitive person anyway, but when you work so hard to try and help other people with their blogging careers it is a bit hard to take.
My intentions weren’t to teach people unethical behavior – the article mentioned a number of times how I wasn’t talking about the stealing, but the use of human emotions in ethical selling.
Not the first time
Its not the first time I’ve upset people either. A few months ago I published this article which really upset one of my favorite readers. When I found out how much I had upset them by using such a controversial title I was devastated. It was all I thought about for days.
The thing that really gets me is when you mean to help but actually end up doing harm. I think it is a symptom of a lack of wisdom, experience and better judgement. And like they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
Please weigh in
The reason for writing this article is not to get all my friends out there to tell me how amazing I am and how wrong those people were. I actually believe both I and them are a little bit wrong and a little bit right. Rather, what I want to know is how you feel about this statement:
To succeed you must take risks
Please leave a comment and let me know what you think about this statement in the context of the rest of the article. Should you take risks? Were my risks too big? What happens if people get hurt?