Okay, I was going to jokingly say Michelangelo must have had me in mind when he sculpted this; but then that might imply I’m old and my FedEx package could have been sent via regular mail instead of shipped. Now we wouldn’t want that as a persona, would we?
Throughout your life, somebody somewhere is always looking up to you; and sometimes it can create lofty expectations. Do you want to be there? Is it deserved? What responsibilities come with that?
This post is a reflection of the admirations and criticisms that occur in the social media world.
What are you trying to achieve?
You got into the blogosphere for a reason. Everybody has their own reason but I’m guessing it wasn’t to be a lump and just sit around without exploring or growing, right?
It appears most are hoping to monetize in some way whether directly through their site, or one-off in selling their knowledge or services.
Guess what, to do this you have to expand and grow your network, build your community as they say. The more you are involved in growing your network, the more visible you become.
I think they like me
Most of the time it is a virtual love-fest in the comment section of blogs. Everybody is gushing how great the article is, how great the author is, how their breath can’t possibly stink, etc. Typically, everyone only sees the ‘good’ you. Can you see how easy it would be for an outsider to assume your community has placed you on this pedestal? Maybe you even start to believe the hype; did you just breathe into your hand to check your breath?
My wife reads my blog from time to time and jokes about how much everyone seems to adore me and all the back and forth thanking that goes on. She said, “Yeah, let them live with you for 30 days and see how great they think you are.” I’m sure she says it in jest, but I do see her point.
Don’t get me wrong however, I like the compliments. For some this is the only payment received, so of course they like it; it’s validation. However, it’s only healthy to keep it in perspective and stay as grounded as you can.
Lofty height indeed
As you progress up the ladder, based on whatever measurement of success you are using, you put yourself out there for all the world to see. Your comments, strategy, your whole demeanor is subject to review, criticism and debate.
You do have to develop a thick skin, but do you think it also changes who you are? Does it matter?
Make no mistake, all things are not created equal and there are different rungs on this ladder. This hierarchy is real and to say otherwise would be naive.
You do seem different
Typically success increases your activity; and this requires more time. Because of this, the way you interact now can look different than it did when you started. This doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve changed per se, but you did change. Some people will resent your success and could be jealous; not everyone will be happy for you to succeed.
Is this the least of your worries?
You can liken it to the corporate world where you have a group of buddies (equals) who hang out together and one of them gets promoted to manager. Suddenly the dynamics of the relationship just changed, and it is different.
It’s still just me
People who want to be successful tend to be competitive. Success can bring recognition and sometimes it might appear you are on a pedestal for all to see. Leaders frequently assume this position.
Whereas success brings more attention, don’t be so quick to build someone up to be something they didn’t ask to be.
Keep that in mind in the way you might challenge someone, until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes. Just because they have had some success shouldn’t make them an open target. It’s all about respect and common decency.
Also remember, once you’ve been placed on a pedestal there is only one way to go. I mean look at that naked dude up there, you don’t think people aren’t laughing at him?
You think you want it, but are you ready for what it entails when you take that ‘step up’?
About the author: Bill Dorman is a blogger who enjoys networking and adding value to his relationships. He is an insurance broker by profession. You can find him any day at Bill Dorman, The Invisible Blogger, where all strays are welcome and you can even subscribe to his content. Follow Bill on Twitter at @bdorman264.