Saturday, May 22, 2010

Petty Tyrants as Great Teachers

Carlos Castaneda once said that petty tyrants can be our greatest teachers. For a lot of us, learning how to use the Internet to develop our business is a constant learning experience.

We buy ads on websites hoping for the best, but not knowing until later whether that brings us new business. The same is true of print publications. Exactly the same. You pay your money and you take your chances. And the same is true of buying a booth or a table at a special event. What is certain is that you will pay the publisher, website owner or event producer. What is not certain is what you will get out of it.

We try using social networking websites to see whether that brings us new business, but they may have their own bizarre ideas of proper behavior, and we still do not know until after investing many hours in them, what works and what doesn't. If they consider you guilty of improper behavior, and you wish to disagree, good luck finding an actual person to talk to about it so that you can straighten it out.

Some of the social networking sites have gone under, and others are starting to charge fees for participation in something that has been free up until now.

Our email services have many efficient features, but they also have limitations. For example, if one day you were to send out emails to everyone you have done business with this year, and that number is more than 200, their robots will consider you a spammer and block you from sending any more emails today,and perhaps for the next couple of days. These robots do not know or care that you have these email addresses because people gave them to you and they do business with you. Try and get in touch with a real person so you can explain that.

Blogs seem to be one of the best methods going, because we can write whatever we want, whenever we want, and anyone who is interested can read it. The challenge with this, as with everything else, is to reach out there and find ways to grab people's attention. You can have a great blog or website, but so do millions of other people. So we have to be creative to get people to visit ours.

These setbacks are always a nuisance, and within them, there is always a lesson to be found, a more efficient way, a loophole.

Right now, I am going through one of those setbacks which I will not detail here, but the upshot of it, is that it may actually clarify and strengthen some connections, and that will probably improve my business. It is not the first time I have had to reinvent one of my wheels.

Sometimes a petty tyrant enforcing their rules will help us to see something we had been overlooking and by kicking dirt around they might uncover some gems for us.

Carlos Castaneda was right because those people who always agree with us can lull us into complacency. Those who present us with obstacles can inspire us to learn how to dig deeper, do things better and find alternate routes to our goals.

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