The “Real Deal” – The Value of Authenticity in Blogging

If each of us hires people who are smaller than we are, we shall become a company of dwarfs. But if each of us hires people who are bigger than we are, we shall become a company of giants.

David M Ogilvy

It’s no secret that I’ve been a HUGE fan of Cath Lawson for quite some time now.  While I don’t remember exactly which blog post it was that I first read, but I still remember the feeling that washed over me when I discovered her blog.   Was it recognition?  Was it relief?

It was probably a little of both.  After all, I’ve publicly declared that there are times when I feel like I’m the only ” honest politician in Washington” because sometimes, I sometimes get EXHAUSTED by the “self proclaimed gurus and experts” who talk the talk, but don’t walk the walk!  I was half way through reading my first Cath Lawson blog post when I recognized that I had found another “honest politician”, even though she lives “across the pond” from me.

See, Virtual Impax is NOT my first rodeo.  I’ve jumped in and out of self employment ever since the birth of my oldest child and I worked extensively with entrepreneurs and business owners during my time as an AE with an advertising agency.

So it’s only natural I guess that when I had trouble finding a reliable cleaning lady, I decided to start my own cleaning business on the side.  I don’t know WHY I thought that was a good idea at the time.  Looking back, that one was PURE FOLLY!  “Let’s see, I can’t find ONE person who will clean my house properly – I think I’ll start a business where I have to plant my foot in the buttocks of a CREW of people who don’t know how to clean a house properly OR show up for work!”

In the end, I learned A LOT about myself.  I discovered that  I SUCKED as a boss.   I ran my business like it was some kind of charity organization.    I hired women who needed flexible hours and extra money instead of hiring people for their work ethic.   I hired dwarves instead of giants!  I hired people who wanted easy money, not people who took pride in their work!

Of course, my employees used and abused me.  (As Liz Struass would say, “They were people being people.”)   I closed shop when I had a dream that I was working in food prep at McDonald’s.  In the dream, I was stinking of grease and exhausted, but I declared  within that dream that it was better than cleaning houses.

So that’s probably why, when Cathleen would write about the trials and tribulations of running her plumbing company, I could relate.  I recognized the voice of another battle scarred business veteran.

With that said, I don’t know why I was so FLOORED by reading Cath’s offer to run an ad for free on her blog.  I just sat back in shock and awe.

DAMN – SHE’S GOOD!

As a matter of fact, I’d say she’s a MARKETING GENIUS!  No wonder I’m such a fan!  Not only is she a giant, but her readers are as well.   As her readers have been finding this blog, I’m feeling quite privledged to be in the company of so MANY giants at one time.

By the way, I can DEFINITELY tell a difference between Cath’s readers and mine.  Cath’s readers leave comments.  Mine email me or use the contact form.  Either way is good for me!

Comments

  1. says

    We’re both members of Cath’s fan club, as I’m sure she and I are both members of yours. Realizing that leaders can only channel energy in the direction that it’s already going . . . we can’t reroute rivers. Even if that were possible, what a waste of resources!

    I’m glad you’re no longer cleaning houses. I think your wit, savvy, and intelligence work much better with cleaning up how we’re thinking. 🙂

    Liz

    Liz Strausss last blog post..SOB Business Cafe 10-17-08

  2. says

    Hi Kathy – LOL, I just knocked off the comments section on a blog post.

    I must admit – you are also one of the few business bloggers I’ve come across who is obviously writing for experience, as opposed to what you’ve read in books.

    Employing folk is tough. I was like you in the beginning – to soft. Then I went to the other extreme – too hard. Hopefully, like Goldilocks, I’ll eventually find “just right.”

    But at least we both know how tough it is, which is useful when we’re advising others. The text book types usually say, do A, B and C and it works and we both know that just isn’t true.

  3. says

    Me, a newish blogger, is very inspired by you, Cath and Liz. Thanks.

    Oh, and another great blog is by Christine Kane.

    This blogging stuff is so much fun! Why’d I wait so long to do it?

    Jannies last blog post..Unsubscribed, Baby!

  4. Kathy says

    @Liz
    I’ve never heard a BETTER description of my “management style” than “trying to reroute rivers!” PRICELESS!!!

    @Davina
    I worked for a regional shop in the Chicagoland area over 2 decades ago. We specialized in “small” accounts spending $10K- $20K per month. All the work of working with the big boys, but much, much less money. The shop closed a few years after I left for the “mommy track”.

    @Cath

    It’s strange, but you can almost “smell” the scent of someone else who has REALLY done this. (So glad to hear there is hope for me when it comes to hiring employees! I fired my first one last year and it actually felt GOOD!)

    @Jannie,

    WELCOME ABOARD!!! Blogging is fun! It gets better – just wait!

  5. says

    Hi Kathy – I think this is my first visit but who knows? Frankly I just can’t keep track anymore. I’m also impressed by Cath’s candidness and I paid you a visit from Barbara’s new directory. I read the post because I’m a sucker for anything with authenticity in the title. I’ll subscribe and see what else is up your sleeve.

    Tom Volkar / Delightful Works last blog post..Got It?

  6. Kathy says

    @ Tom

    Thanks for stopping by! Authenticity and trust are popular topics around here. Hope I can keep you “entertained”! 😉

  7. Bill says

    I too have been at this IM thing for one year plus, and am putting in significant hours with sporadic paydays. But, I am pursuing my dream and am still confident that dream will be a reality very soon. Many people quit right before they reach the top of the mountain and never realize they were inches from getting over the top and letting that momentum carry them down that hill to success and happiness. I have found a common thread of successful people to emulate in a specific type of business model that I believe to be one of the most effective and lasting ways to become successful as your own boss. Best of luck to all who read this. Bill