I’m not particularly big fan of calling people out online but there are some instances where it’s necessary to prove a point. And no, I will not use this person by name because far be it from me to embarrass someone. At the same time, shame on you. Seriously, shame on you. OK, here’s the story. I’ve become relatively active on Linkedin again and when that happens you tend to get more interactions with people.
Whether it’s on the content you post or the private message conversations, people tend to reach out to you more. Most times it’s some kind of sales pitch or spam. I’ve gotten used to those and honestly don’t even mind them anymore because they’re very easy to ignore. If you pitch me I’ll likely not buy your product or respond to your messages so no skin off my back. But on occasion someone will go out of there way to try and get my attention by doing something with what appears to be good intentions but it’s really just as low as it gets. The other day someone reached out to me. Here’s the conversation verbatim. In between I’ll put my analytics on it.
Liar: Hey Nat. Really appreciate your strategic assistance for entrepreneurs! Just checked out Uncoached and was really intrigued by its vast portfolio.
I’m curious to know though – is there a particular facet that’s most productive for you therein?
Right then and there I know the guy was lying. I’ve never, nor will I ever publicly list all of my websites that I own anywhere. I mean sure, if you dig deep enough you can probably figure it out but that just happens to be information I don’t make readily available. It’s not as though I truly care but in my business there are tons of copycats and I’d rather make them have to work for it if they truly want to know what properties I own. So I called the guy out on it.
Me: Vast portfolio huh? Which site is your favorite? Come on man. You and I both know my sites aren’t listed anywhere.
My guess here was that he was going to do one of two things: Try and save himself or not respond. Turns out he tried to save himself.
Liar: I know man. I just read that it encompasses 10 websites, and even if they’re not listed that’s a pretty vast portfolio. I wanted to know what’s the most productive outlet for you ATM – as in the area you’re focused on now The name initially made me think it was in personal coaching space, but later realized your specialty is quite different.
You later realized? Yikes. You not only admitted guilt but tried to play it off like it wasn’t a big deal. My first impression of you is that you’re a liar and will say anything. But I still give the guy the benefit of the down with a response.
Me: Websites and doing personal brand stuff
After that I got no response whatsoever. My assumption is that he felt it was time to move on to another prospect.
Dishonesty is the kiss of death
There were a million different ways this guy could have come at me and the one he chose was a blatant lie. And you know what? Who the hell am I? I’m no one. It’s not like I’m going to create a personal vendetta against this guy and try to ruin his business. Far from it. I respect people trying to make a living but I sure as hell don’t respect dishonesty. And here’s the problem with being dishonest. What if I were some loon who got so pissed off that I did try to upend this guy’s career?
What if I shared this story with someone (like I’m sharing with you), and then they shared it with someone, who then shared it with someone else? What if it got so far as to truly upend this guy’s career? If you think that can’t happen in this day and age on the internet, you’re surely mistaken. People are being canceled for tweets they put up 15 years ago. The moment you’re online, you’re in the public eye. Do you really want that first impression to be that of a liar? The fact of the matter is that you really don’t know exactly who you are talking to and who you’ll potentially be dealing with as a result of that conversation.
Brutal honesty is always the best policy
Am I telling you to be brash? No. Am I telling you to be vulgar and verbose? Of course not. But the one thing people should respect are honest intentions. I may not buy from you today. I may not buy from you tomorrow. But one thing I’ll remember is that you were honest. I’ll remember that “hey, they weren’t ready for this yet but at least they tried and at least they didn’t lie about it.” Because frankly that’s better than most people do these days. With lying and misinformation running rampant out there, honesty is one of the most valuable commodities around. Treat it as such.