Web.Search.Social Marketing Podcast
WSS #0128: You Are What You Think: Pride, Business And The Danger Of Negativity

Today's Episode Is Handsome And Delicious

It's our first official podcast roadshow! This weekend we were in Nowhereville… er, Connecticut… visiting Mike Brooks (the Handsome and Delicious) for some mojitos and business. In between we recorded a couple of podcasts – the Nuclear Chowder podcast coming out in a few weeks, so stay tuned – and this one.

It was great fun for us and we hope you'll enjoy this, too.

We Love Connecticut, Really

There are just so many tall things… roads and trees and stuff. Coming from our condo in New Jersey, it's a whole lot of suburban.

But more than Connecticut, we love Mike Brooks because he cooked us some amazing carnita dinner plus guacamole and a shrimp and chorizo appetizer that I may have eaten most of.

SuperFreds Of The Week

Ralph starts out calling them Superheroes of the week but I decide that is not prestigious enough. So here they are.

Traci The Kitchen Girl (I hear she has an amazing recipe for Brussels Sprouts on her site and in spite of all his cringing and complaining, Ralph agrees to try them if I use her recipe!)

Tina McAllister, Mila Araujo, the folks at Simplexity and Bob Dunn, the WordPress genius behind the BobWP website.

Thank you for your conversation and sharing! If you'd like to connect with them too, you can find their links below.

Alisa Meredith Mails Us A Brussels Sprout

I'll leave it at that. And that's why I love her.

Ian Anderson Gray Is On Notice

Since we can't help ourselves, we continue to talk about food – or in this case beverage – because Mike is a super tea lover and he made us a lovely pot of fresh tea.

He calls it English-style, which is putting the loose tea leaves into a pot, letting it steep and then straining it into your mug.

So we want to know: Ian, as the official British guy of the Web.Search.Social Podcast, is this true? Or are we just doing another Americanized version of the real thing?


This past week was a big one here in the United States. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality and we're happy to celebrate with our friends and family who have long waited for this moment.

We also name SuperFred Tammie Rampley our Chief Executive Web.Search.Social Pride Officer.

She wants double pay but considering the amazing bags she is constantly sending us, we agree. Also, it makes it easy that zero times two is still zero… ahem.

Tammie's new job entails ensuring that the Web.Search.Social Podcast is FABULOUS!

PS: Are you voting for Tammie to win a commercial in the Super Bowl? SuperFred in the Super Bowl FTW!

And The Confederate Flag

This was another big deal this past week as racial tensions over a recent shooting boiled up. And while we're not here to talk politics, Ralph found a great video with some historical context about the flag that is worth learning from.

Plus all these controversial current events lay the groundwork for our next conversation which is about…

Negativity. Ugh.

I'm not the "I will block you" type when it comes to social media, even if you say things I don't like. But for the first time ever, this week I started blocking, unfollowing and deleting people from my life.

Two things happened to drive me to this point.

First, I read a post that Mike wrote about how a lot of people like to complain about how bad the economy is, how terrible things are in our country and how everything is going to hell in a handbasket. Taxes and business problems and WHHAAAAA!

Mike says: stop your bitchin'.

Or maybe I said that. But what Mike really said is that there are opportunities if you stop focusing on the negative. You have to go out and find opportunities if you want them instead of sitting around complaining about what you lack. If you fill your head with things that are terrible and bad and engage in constantly pessimistic talk then that's what you will focus on.

You've heard people say, "You are what you eat"?

Well, Mike says, "You are what you think."

As he has studied what makes people successful, he's found that they all share an optimism that transcends the petty complaints so many people spew every day.

Fast Forward…

Mike's post was the first catalyst. The second was everything that happened this past week as a result of current events.

And the things that have happened have been emotional and caused a lot of emotional reactions.

And that's ok – but where it's not ok is when it becomes everything. 

It's not ok when opinions become hateful and vitriolic. When conversation and debate break down and become name calling, complaining and negativity.

There's a difference between disagreeing and spewing negativity.

If that's you, if you are in a perpetual state of negativity and complaining – consider yourself blocked!

But more importantly…

You Don't Have To Watch The Train Wreck

The 24 hour news cycle is great at keeping the negativity front and center.

But a constant barrage of that can really take its toll on you.

Ralph reminds us of Lena West – speaker, author and social media consultant – who spoke at an event we attended and said that she is focused on building her business, not on crimes, wars, problems and disasters she can't do anything about.

The point is simple but clear: if you fill your brain with all the bad stuff, there won't be any room for the good.

You don't have to listen to it, read it, participate in it or acknowledge it.

Being part of a culture of negativity is incredibly draining. It will suck out your energy, your creativity, your passion, drive and enthusiasm.

And you can opt out.

Constant Optimism Is Draining, Too

We're human and nobody can be positive all the time. Being real is important and that means the good and the bad.

So we're not being idealistic here – we know people (including us!) have our moments of bad days, bad moods and complaints.

So we're not advocating for perpetual optimism, but we do think that when things start to turn down, you have to find your way back to the light or your life and business could be in danger.

Social Media: All The Stuff You Would Never Say In Real Life

It seems like people have developed a sort of social Tourettes when they post online. They say extreme things in hateful ways that they would not say in a room full of people.

I could go on all day on this topic but if you're really interested in joining the debate then I encourage you to listen to our conversation on this podcast.

We all struggle a little bit with where to draw lines and what's ok and not ok when it comes to business (Should you bring your controversial stance into your business? Should you talk politics or religion or [insert delicate topic here] and be willing to alienate people or should you leave it for you personal life?) but it's something worth exploring so you can understand where you stand and take ownership of your position.

Whatever you choose, do it purposefully and without hate.

We Can Disagree Rationally

We disagree with our families. We disagree with our friends. We disagree with clients. Sometimes they are small things but sometimes they're big issues. And yet we don't kick those people out of our lives and we don't expect to change their minds.

We're not saying you have to agree with everything everyone says in order to maintain a relationship but you can disagree with integrity.

Conversation, debate and a willingness to listen contribute to a civil world where we can disagree, we can have passionate beliefs on any side of the equation, and we can still get along.

Your Marketing Action Item

From Mike: Put positive stuff into your head. "Your attitude, not your aptitude, determines your altitude." That's a quote by Zig Ziglar, so go listen to him. Go listen to someone who has a positive influence on your life and let them inspire you. Read something positive, talk with someone encouraging and fill your head with things that give you good energy to be creative and successfully run your business.

From Carol Lynn: Clean up your social streams, especially your Facebook page where it's too easy to read all the mean, complaining, negative things people say. You don't have to make a big deal out of it, just remove those people from your sphere of attention. You don't need to kick them out of your life but you don't need to read or listen to their nonstop downer conversation all the time. Make room for the people who will bring you up instead of dragging you down.

From Ralph: Find a podcast in your niche and then talk to the host about being a guest. You don't have to host your own podcast to take advantage of the audience a podcast can afford you. If you share your ideas and the things that make you unique on other podcasts then you can tap into a lot of potential.

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