Why opinions are bad for business

This morning, I burst into tears. For a good reason, not a bad reason. 

Black and white drawing - man in a suit speaking through a megaphone

Be yourself, don’t listen to other people’s opinions.

You see, sometimes I get mail. From people with Opinions. Mostly, I just ignore it, because most people are speaking from a position of relative ignorance when it comes to marketing, copywriting, and running a business.

Which is fine; it’s not their fault. A few years ago, I didn’t have a clue what I was talking about, either.

I reckon the difference, though, is knowing that you don’t know what you’re on about and setting out to learn. Some people who write to me with Opinions, though, already know it all. There’s nothing for them to learn. Like M, who sent this to me last night:

“What you have written that I read so far seemed good but your  bad language makes you appear unprofessional.

“You might want to think about that before writing anything new.”

I’m sure she didn’t mean to sound so high-handed, but that’s not the point here.

I’m sharing it because it’s a great opportunity for a bit of insight. The thing is, “professionalism” has naff-all to do with the odd swear I might chuck in to my writing. True professionalism is doing what you do as well as you possibly can. It’s delivering when you say you will, being a delight to work with, and continually trying to improve.

This little example also illustrates perfectly how being yourself – note: not just F-ing and blinding indiscriminately, to “stand out” or “be different”, but being yourself – pulls towards you the people you want to work with, and pushes away the others. Like M, who believes language can be “good” or “bad”. It can’t. It’s just words. I don’t direct aggressive language towards anybody; that would be a shit thing to do.

I don’t swear at people.

It’s just the way I talk. I love language. All language. Including the “naughty” language.

I also know that the way I market works. My happy clients, happy book readers, happy husband, and bank balance all show that.

So, while I always think about what I’m going to write, I’ll carry on swearing as much as I fucking like. Nobody is putting a gun to anyone’s head and making them read my book, or my blogs.

I think sometimes people just need permission to be themselves. I know I did, once upon a time. So, this is your permission: be yourself. Everyone else is taken. And you’re doing yourself, your clients, and your business a disservice if you’re not yourself.

Also, I got another email last night. From one of my Inner Circle Members, who said this:

“I watched the video (thank you) and this one came up on the RHS as another option to watch.

“Which I did.

“It also brought a tear to my eye.

“And I figure… as a teacher… this is totally relevant to you… as this is how I (and I’m sure many other superheroes) feel about you!”

Here’s the video she sent me.

Which is why I burst into tears. That anyone would do me the honour of holding me that much high regard is humbling and utterly delightful. The thing is, I think the same thing about my Superheroes and about loads of other people I meet and whom help me out.

It’s why I wrote my book, Business For Superheroes. I’d love you to read it and see what you think.



Vicky Fraser is a copywriter, author, and entrepreneur. She really did run away with the circus… but when she’s not swinging from a trapeze, she’s showing other copywriters and small business owners how to work with better clients, make more money, and stop missing bathtimes, first words, and dinners with angry partners. In fact, she wrote the book on it. Get your copy here.

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