Why You Can’t Take Reviews Personally (#28)

Posted by in Prose on Fire

When I worked in payments, we found that there’s no real way to convince a client to switch to your gateway for their credit card payments. It was a lot of work to get on a new gateway, and for the most part, as long as a company could accept payments, they didn’t think much about who was making it possible.

The ways that we got clients were:

a) we caught them when they were first setting up payments
b) we found them when they had serious pain with their current payments provider and thus had intense motivation to switch

From that experience, I learned that timing in sales was everything.

For awhile though, I thought this was specific to this particular industry or business. It didn’t occur to me how important timing was in everything.

Have you ever heard about a big-time blogger or podcaster, tried their content, and decided it wasn’t for you? Lots of times, I’m sure.

Did you ever come back to it 6 months, 12 months, 2 years later by chance, and realize that you LOVE their content? You start consuming everything they’ve ever written at a rapid pace, and this time, it truly and deeply resonates with you at the cellular level.

The content didn’t change during the gap. You did!

Another example… Have you ever absolutely LOVED something, been obsessed with it, thought it was the best thing since sliced bread? Examples from your childhood are perfect for this—Surf Ninjas, anyone?

Have you then come back to it and thought, “Why did I ever like this?” Maybe it’s that you’ve outgrown it. Maybe it’s that you used to love an author, but now you can barely get through her latest release. Maybe it’s the blogger who used to write about interesting stuff, but now you ignore his emails.

Again, the content didn’t change at all. You did!

What does this mean?

  • It means that one person can give you 5 stars, while the next gives you 1 star.
  • It means that sometimes a reader is not ready for your content, then comes back to it two years later.
  • It means that sometimes your Truest Fans drop off the face of the earth.
  • It means that the thing you wrote 5 years ago? It bears no reflection to who you are now.
  • It means that your new direction may not resonate with your oldest audience members.

On a larger level, it means that the reader brings his own energy (his present mindset) to your content and co-creates his personal experience with it. YOU also bring your own energy at the time of creation (your past mindset). When these two energies mix, it could be magic or it could be combustable.

As a creator, you have less than half the control over this process, but don’t fret about it. Because as a creator, you can leave your work available out there forever. You can get second, third, and fourth chances with the same exact person, in fact! (How many books have you set aside, only to come back to them 2 years later? It absolutely happens.)

Timing matters. A lot.

Keep this in mind as you create, as you market, as you grow your business.

We all tether and untether from each other as the world shifts beautifully around us. Don’t take this process personally. Connect as it feels good, as it makes sense, as the world spins.

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