Nobody wants to feel like they’ve been duped

When we think about getting someone to buy something the first is probably that it’s a bad thing. Perhaps what comes to mind is a greasy car salesmen or some sort of trickster who will tell lies to convince you to spend money.

But what about the other times we buy things based on being influenced and we’re happy with the choice. I don’t consider that to be a bad thing.

It could be a £1,100 pair of Valentino Garavani boots that you feel great in, you get you compliments every time you wear them and they were purchased in a store where you received excellent service. It could also be £10 water bottle that doesn’t leak.

The issue arises when we buy something and it doesn’t work as it should, it doesn’t feel worth it, it feels like a waste of money, we regret the purchase or it stops working and you can’t get a refund.

Nobody wants to feel like they’ve been duped, we want to feel like we’re making good choices and spending our money well.

The problem with trying to be relatable

A lot of people build personal brands around ‘the struggle’, being relatable and essentially saying that they are ‘just like you’ (but a little more visible).

People are often drawn to things that they can relate to. It’s comforting to see someone also going after the thing that they are working towards. But if their interest in you is because they feel like they’re like you (often including financially), of course how they feel towards you will change when they can no longer relate.

If you spend time growing a personal brand and a big part of that is you saying you’re just like the people watching, listening to and supporting you, if you’re now regularly shopping from luxury brands, mingling with celebrities, attending events and you’ve bumped yourself up a few tax brackets then you’re clearly not ‘just like everyone else’, your life is now different.

There’s nothing wrong with that at all, I think the issue comes when people try to deny that their life has changed much in order to still be relatable. We’re all aware that a persons financial situation doesn’t mean they don’t go through some of the same things as the average person but it’s okay to acknowledge the other parts of your life too.

With influencers the need to be relatable comes from the fact that it’s easier to sell to people when they feel like you’re just like them rather than when you show up as a millionaire that you are. It’s really just a marketing tactic which I don’t think it necessarily a bad thing. However, it shifts influencers away from being the relatable stranger online who recommends things they’ve used or clothes they’ve worn to instead being just another sales person trying to get you to buy something.

Spending time on your interests

Outside of all the things you’re obligated or committed to do, how much time do you spend on your interests?

It’s easy to be dedicated to your career because doing so often comes with rewards like praise, promotions and a pay rise. It’s easy to spend time on your ‘side hustle’ because doing so will hopefully bring it closer to being your main hustle.

But when it comes to your interests like neoplasticism, poetry and hand embroidery sometimes it can feel difficult to make the time when you don’t directly get anything back from it.

As much as your interests bring you great joy, they don’t don’t always come with specific tanigble rewards. And so if you find that you’re not making time for them, you may need to remind yourself why were interested in them the first place.

Order status update

I recently placed an online order from a beauty retailer and one from a fashion retailer. Both orders were delayed and the companies handled things totally differently.

One company handled it by providing regular email updates on the status of my order, to apologise for their delay and assure me that I’d receive my parcel as soon as possible.

The other company did nothing, in fact I had to contact them to try and find out what the issue was.

Something as simple as an email was enough for me to feel like a company cared. It wasn’t personal but the choice to send an update gave the message that they value their customers enough to let them know what is going on.

I think sometimes we underestimate the impact that something simple can have. But you don’t always have to solve the problem, sometimes just acknowledging that there is one is more than enough.

Letting things pile up

Little problems can suddenly become big problems.

It is so important to address things in the moment instead of brushing them off, waiting or saying nothing.

When you do this you’ll find that days, weeks or even months later you’re bringing stuff up that were (according to the other person) not an issue when they happened. And this can then make you seem disingenuous because you pretended that everything was okay instead of raising the issue in the moment.

I think it’s important to be clear about what you do and don’t accept. And then practice voicing that to the people around you so that they are aware of what you’re not okay with.

That way, you never have to let things pile up because that person is already aware. Sometimes we tell ourselves that by saying nothing we are avoiding confrontation or protecting the other persons feelings from getting hurt. However, more often than not we just end up causing ourselves more issues.

A healing place

There comes a time when you must come to a healing place.

Some say they feel connected and at peace by the ocean and for others it’s being among the plants and trees.

Life can be challenging, emotions can be draining.

It’s hard to go on with your normal day to day life when your troubles are weighing you down.

Maybe you don’t even realise you need a break, that your body and mind have had enough.

And then suddenly you find yourself called to a place that is peaceful and calm. Upon arrival, you relax your shoulders and audibly exhale. You had no idea how much you needed to be there.

It gets easier

Letting go can be scary, terrifying in fact. But, once you start doing it and especially if you start with something big, it gets a lot easier.

This happens because you realise that you’re completely fine without the thing you thought you needed.

However, when you’re caught up in the moment going back and forth over whether not not to let something go. it’s difficult. Sometimes no amount of reassurance and advice is enough to make you believe that things will turn out okay.

Perhaps, you believed that your whole world would implode, that you’d be miserable or that nothing good better could come into your life. And maybe you do feel that way for a little while after but then things will start to change. Eventually you’ll find yourself pretty happy with your decision, a weight will have been lifted off your shoulders and maybe you’ll even wish you’d made the choice to let go sooner.

The role of the creator

When it comes to this blog, I’m in charge of the writing process and you are in charge of the rest. That includes the views, likes, comments and how popular each post gets.

As the creator, as much as you might want to be, you can’t be in control of the numbers and of how well your work performs because that’s not your role.

Your role is to do the work and as long as you’re doing it well, you have to learn to be okay with everything that comes with it.

Obviously if you earn a living from creating, the stakes are much higher. You might need to report back to someone and of course what they want to hear is that the numbers have gone up and at worst that they’ve stayed the same.

However, in spite of the above, I think it’s good to look at the numbers occasionally (even if they don’t affect your income). It can be useful to see the kind of stuff that is performing well. For example, one of my most popular posts is about Instagram and I’m also aware that my posts about being a writer and the writing process tend to do fairly well. I enjoy writing about those topics so choosing to do more of that would be a win-win for me as the writer and you as the reader. I wouldn’t have that knowledge without looking at the numbers.

But most importantly, the key is to not become so attached to the point that you’re happy when the numbers are up and sad when they’re down. The only thing you need to do is create.

What if things could be easier?

I have this belief about the people that we meet.

I believe that sometimes we meet people who may be in our lives for a few days, a few months or maybe for years and years but we meet them and they become reminders. They remind us of the way that things can be.

Maybe there is something in your life that is challenging, frustrating, difficult or stressful, the total opposite of easeful. Chances are, within your mind you know that things could or even should be different but you’re so used to the way that things are that you just allow them to remain.

Then all of a sudden you meet a person that shows you a different way. It can be shocking or surprising because you’re not used to it. Maybe you even judge it as being wrong or not the way that things should be because you’re so used to them being otherwise. Sometimes the ease of the situation is the very thing that you’ve been longing for but when you get it, you almost resist because you’ve gotten used to things being difficult .

I think that’s something a lot of people struggle with. So many people are used to things being difficult that they almost get hesitant when things become easier. Sometimes we unknowingly use the challenge and the difficulty to justify getting the thing we want. You end up feeling as though if you didn’t have to struggle to achieve something then you didn’t really deserve it. I think it’s healthy to let go of that mindset, not everything has to be difficult.

Get the ball rolling

As much as it is easy to remain stagnant it requires much less effort than expected in order to get the ball rolling.

It could be as simple as making a phone call, sending an email or booking something.

We make things much more challenging than they really are by thinking that we have to complete the thing in one giant leap rather than step by step.

We under estimate the power of little by little because we can’t see the bigger picture.

It might start with a phone call but then it moves on to something else and then something else which goes on and on until suddenly you’ve completed the thing you were working towards.