This dude just created the first mobile version of his blog and really thinks he’s all that… he thinks everyone is sitting around thinking about it too.

Guess what? You aren’t nearly as important as you think you are. Your stuff isn’t nearly as central to the lives of your audience as it is to you. Sound ugly? It’s not. It’s a basic business and blogging truth that everyone learns either by listening when someone tells them, or the hard way in the School of Hard Knocks & Bruised Egos.

First, let me explain what I mean. We work very hard on our blogs or in our business. We think about them constantly. They consume a lot of our time, energy, and emotion. So it’s perfectly natural to overestimate the amount of time other people think about us, our blog, and our products. But remember: they have their own lives, their own interests, and their own things they are highly invested in. We are fortunate to get ANY of their focus and thought time.

So What?

Why does this matter? Why is it an important lesson? First, it keeps things in perspective when we don’t get the success, attention, and recognition we think should have already arrived at by this point in our blogging career. Our stuff is not nearly as monumental and life-altering to others as it is for us personally. Be patient. Think “snowball.”

True Story

Second, it helps us keep stress, problems, and crisis’s in the right perspective. Sometimes we think WAY MORE people are sitting around thinking about us than is actually true. So we alert them to problems, mistakes, and concerns that most of them otherwise were oblivious too and frankly don’t care about unless we all of sudden make it a big issue. Here’s a true experience to illustrate this point:

I’ve got multiple subscriber sites, some with almost 50K subscribers. When I first started doing those sites, with my desire to be transparent, honest, fix mistakes,and  let people know I cared about them (customer attention was paramount), I would do this: when a problem with a site occurred, I would immediately send out emails and put up notices assuring people that I was on the job, aware of the problem, was VERY VERY VERY VERY sorry for any inconvenience to them, and that I was doing everything necessary to “get it right.”

What I didn’t realize was this: I was thinking 98% of my subscribers were aware there was a problem, hacked off about it, and were about to bail out on me.

What I learned was this reality: 99% of them weren’t even aware of the problem, didn’t even care to be alerted to it, and my frantic emails just made them have a concern they otherwise wouldn’t have had.

I later figured out that by simply jumping on the issue and fixing it, 99.99999% of my subscribers stayed completely happy and didn’t know or care about some “problem” that had occurred.

“You’re not that important.”

I don’t say that to insult you. I say that as a matter of PERSPECTIVE. We tend to WAY OVERESTIMATE how much other people are thinking about our business, our mistake, our ________.  Conscientious bloggers and online business owners want to bend over backwards to correct a mistake or problem. That’s a GOOD thing. It can be bad when we publicize it to people who were completely unaware to start with.  That doesn’t mean there are not times for public alert, apologies, etc. There are. But don’t jump the gun.

Ask yourself: are you making a problem bigger than it has to be? Does it really require a mass response, or just a response to the handful of people who noticed? Can I build goodwill with a public notice and apology? Or will it simply make me look incompetent?

Don’t be afraid to be human – to be transparent. Failures and mistakes reveal us to be normal people who our audience can relate to.  But unnecessarily alarming people or going overboard with an apology can erode their trust in us.

What do you think? When is a public alert to a problem necessary? When should you apology to everyone in mass? Does it help? Does it hurt? Have you ever experienced the “I’m not as important as I thought I was” revelation?

PS: WHAT ARE YOUR QUESTIONS FOR ME? Ask here. Want to book me for training, speaking or business consulting? Go here. If you benefitted from this post, would you be so kind to share this post with others by clicking one of the SHARE buttons?

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