Why I Say “Thank You” (and why you should too)

Image Cred. Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash.

This post is longer than I would like, but I think the message is necessary.

If you’ve been following me online for any significant amount of time, you know I am always saying thank you or reintroducing myself to new readers. I do this because of my firm belief in the phrase, “people don’t have to support you.”

Let me tell you a story.

My husband was driving, and I was looking out the window of the passenger’s seat as we passed by the brick houses, mansions, and condos of downtown Atlanta. “This probably where most of the celebrities live,” I joked. We talked about how movies never show the city’s complete image by filming movies in less wealthy areas. Since we are both from Chicago, we talked about Chicago films where we didn’t recognize the city because it was on the side of town we have never lived.

As we drove, we passed by a fancy-looking hotel where a man stood. He leaned against his suitcase, a white sign on its top with black ink that read: “I lost everything.”

My smile faded, and my heart felt heavy as I realized he was homeless. He didn’t look like those fakes that try to scam people out of their money, either. Something about his vibe told me he was not joking. He had really lost everything.

The US economy was already bad, but since the COVID-19 Pandemic, things have gotten worse. People are out of jobs, out of money, out of homes, and out of hope. Any little they scrape together is reserved for only the most essential items. If someone spends money buying books or t-shirts, or anything that is not greatly essential (okay well, books are essential to me but I mean, like food), it means so much more to them, and they deserve a thank you.

Why EC?

Because they didn’t have to do it and sometimes, they couldn’t do it, but they invested in you.

Photo by Lucas Lenzi on Unsplash

Entrepreneurship has been on the rise a lot lately, and as an entrepreneur, I think that’s a good thing. I have always stood for the underdog and will still rally around the concept of Independence. There is a humility about small, independent businesses that I love. Plus, every large company started as a small business. And since the deaths of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and the countless black deaths, it has encouraged more people to support black-owned businesses and independent businesses.

This awakening means that while many people are struggling, many people are also thriving even amid this Pandemic. However, I am disappointed to see a lot of bullying among entrepreneurs, both large and small. Some people are shaming people with 9-5s when truth be told, most entrepreneurs in this economy have 9-5s, and their business is the real side hustle. That or their spouses have 9-5s. There’s nothing wrong with this, but some people think there is. People also throw shame when they try to bully people into supporting them.

Bully others into supporting them?

It means making people feel small and insignificant for not buying your services or product. It means threatening to cut people off because they didn’t support your business. It means neglecting to consider all the other things people have going on in their lives right now and that maybe they don’t have the extra money to spend or perhaps don’t have the time.

Image Cred. Ashkan Forouzani on Unsplash.

Ignore social media posts for a second and think about what someone may go through behind the scenes.

  • Maybe they cried their eyes out this morning.
  • Maybe they prayed on their knees, drowned in tears.
  • Maybe they were going to lose their home or apartment or children.
  • Maybe they lost their job, career.
  • Maybe a family member died.

Maybe people have other things on their mind that take precedence over buying your bar of soap.

And if you think someone’s being fake for wearing a smile through their storm, then you need not look passed the smile of Chadwick Boseman, who battled cancer while filming movies and never complained.

Image Cred: Creative Commons License | Chadwick Boseman and Lupita Nyong’o speaking at the 2017 San Diego Comic Con International, for “Black Panther”, at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, California. | Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, US

I watched my sister-in-law battle and eventually perished from cancer. My dad, too, so I know what Chadwick did was not easy from personal experience. And while everyone is praising his silence now, that is not how we treat the “regular everyday people,” we know in actual life who battle in private. We call them phony for not opening up as we think they should. Sometimes people don’t talk, not because they are being fake or secretive, but because it’s just none of your business. Let’s allow people to give their testimony in their own time.

My point in all of this is that no one is obligated to spend money with a business only because it exists. Anything that anyone chooses to give, including time and information, is a gift. I always say “thank you” because people don’t have to support me.

People support businesses that offer something they need, whose message or value system aligns with their own, helps them solve a problem and companies they trust. Someone might enjoy eating bread, and you may launch a bread business, but that bread lover is still not obligated to support you. Maybe over time, once you’ve gained their trust and they’ve sampled your product, they may try it and when they do, say thank you.

Why EC?

Because they didn’t have to do it, so show some gratitude.

To better conclude this point, I will again turn to Tyler Perry as an example.

For the record, this isn’t about Perry’s personal life. I will not comment on him dressing up as a woman, Madea, or his elite status because its none of my business. I am commenting on some basic business practices I see from him as an outsider looking in that many newer entrepreneurs can learn from. Everything else is for an entirely different conversation.

Image Cred. Creative Commons License | AMFM STUDIOS LLC | Filmmaker and actor Tyler Perry being interviewed in 2016.

From a business perspective, you see the same stories and the same actors in Tyler Perry’s films because Perry has a good understanding of his targeted audience. He knows the persona of the people who like his stuff, and he focuses on giving them what they want. Many beginner entrepreneurs can learn from this. Instead of guilt-tripping people into supporting your business and trying to sell to everyone, find your targeted audience or that specific group of people you want to reach based on shared interests and market and direct your attention to those groups.

This means that if only five people like your post, that’s a good thing because chances are those five people are genuinely interested in what you offer. Listen, I’m a damn good writer. I know this to be true. But I also know it to be true that everyone doesn’t want to read what I write, and that’s cool because I am not for everyone and everyone is not for me. I work to serve my audience no matter how small, and I appreciate all the support and time my people invest in my writing.

And for that, I say thank you.


My Soul is a Witness is Available

Check it out below. (thank you!

Why Writers Should Keep Writing

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

You cannot know for sure every one your writing helps. Not everyone will leave reviews, emails, or broadcast to the world how your vulnerability saved their life. Some people silently depend on the wisdom of your words, like pieces of salvation scribbled in ink. Some people are thirsty to hear your voice, and they wait for you to gather the courage to wrap them in that red cape we call writing. They are waiting for you to make them heroes to whatever suffering led them here. Not everyone is looking for words that are pretty either, cute, cuddly, and attractive looking. Some people need not be coddled but scorned out of comfort zones and disciplined out of negligence. Writers should keep writing because they are saviors to people they may never know.

Why Authors Need to Be as Accessible as Possible

Post Quote: “As an author today, you know that every reader is valuable. You love your readers; you want to keep the ones who are loyal and reach new ones…The easier a reader can find you and buy your books, the easier it will be to reach wider audiences.”

A Writer's Path

open-sign-1617495_640

by Katie McCoach

As an author today, you know that every reader is valuable. You love your readers; you want to keep the ones who are loyal and reach new ones. That’s what promotion and growing a business is all about – reaching new consumers.

That’s why it’s so important for authors to be as accessible to readers as possible.The easier a reader can find you and buy your books, the easier it will be to reach wider audiences.

View original post 766 more words

Everyday People

Group of business people standing in huddle, smilingI see you breathing and believing and filled with emotion and background and circumstances. I see you angry and frustrated and happy. I see you succeed and fail, fall and stand up. I see you in need of inspiration and encouragement and it encourages me to provide that serenity as best I can on this blog, as an individual. I also appreciate the encouragement many of you give on your blogs. For the most part I’m that person nodding my head in agreement (or shaking my head) and walking away. If I like your post its not because I’m a robot programmed to do so. It means I really liked your post! Some of you are awkward though. I see you coming into class with tilted glasses and pocket protectors. Some of you are loud and outspoken, others are quiet and reserved. Some of you are wild and passionate about that wildness. That’s your business. Some of you are super smart and can’t really hold a decent conversation without going over someone’s head. Some of you take off people’s heads. Some of you are a lot simpler. You walk into the door ready to listen and engage. Some of you come in popping bubble gum and rolling your eyes. You don’t really wanna hear what this woman is talking about again but you can’t stop showing up either.

I didn’t intend on writing much today. But I came across a very interesting post by my girl Linda G. Hill: Your WordPress Audience. In this post, Linda posed an exciting question: How do you see your WordPress followers? Are they friends? Are they followers? Are they individuals? What if you could get your followers into one room and stand before them and write your post for them? That post inspired this one. For Linda’s post, Click Here.

14-writers-cafe.w215.h143.2x

I think it’s about personifying your post, about making sure that you insert your personality into your writing; finding that balance between personal and too personal. Never sacrificing your stand but just being real with people. I think this is important so that we can better connect with others. Linda’s post made me think about that, and why I see my subscribers as everyday people like me. This is why I wanted to express my thoughts about the post on this blog in front of all of you. I think it’s a very good topic of discussion and it’s a great way to look at your blog. I know a lot of us would see things differently if we were in front of each other than behind a keyboard. Makes you ponder the question: Who’s being real?

Group-Recovery-You-Are-Not-AloneWe are bloggers, people who have decided that a particular blog was interesting enough to subscribe to. (As a quick side note, I say subscribe and not follow because everyone “following” your blog is not necessarily following your blog. Instead, I like to think of it as people who decide to subscribe to receive your post in their emails or in their readers. And although I do have something called “Audience participation” I see each of you more as individuals) For those of us who have trusted that blog enough to take off our shoes (please don’t leave footprints on the carpet, thanks) and sit down and leave a comment at the table, or to like once or twice, it is obviously easier to get to know those people, and they become much more than just a subscriber we never hear from. But they become associates. And maybe even friends. I say friends slowly and loosely. Everyone is not your friend, that’s just real and it’s an important thing to know when interacting online.

But in any event, how do I see you?

highres_444803Well, like I said, I see you breathing and believing and filled with emotion and background and circumstances like every day people. I wouldn’t say that I am standing before podiums and stages. I stand instead before you a woman. You walk into my place and we pull up chairs and gather together close like a writing group. I offer you beverages and snacks because I love to eat and I’m sure you do too. And depending on the atmosphere, we may even have a little wine. I only require that everyone has their writing brains turned on and their utensils ready to begin. Together, we nestle ourselves shoulder to shoulder, pencil, pad, smartphone or laptop in hand and we share. Our blogs collaborate and we are not just bloggers anymore but this is brick and mortar. Somewhere someone has built a time machine that takes you to this place as instantly as an email and together we meet eye to eye and I face you with my thoughts. There is a moment of silence as you listen and you read and decide how you would perceive the information. Some of you decide to get up and leave and never come back. Some of you scribble little notes on pieces of paper and place them into a drop box. Some of you speak, openly and candidly, you match your experience with mine. Some of you nod your head, and it is my hope that we can build. I picture us laughing and joking and learning and who knows where we’ll end up. Someone somewhere will get so upset that they storm out of the room. Some of you will cry because you can. Some of you will engage me in thought provoking and in depth conversation and who knows how long we’ll sit there.

And at the end we all give our goodbye greetings and there’s a sign-up sheet. Will your name be among those who will return? I wonder.

On the other hand, how about you? How do you see yourself as a blogger if you had to sit face to face with your subscribers? Would things be different? Would you be more or less nervous? Would you be the same person offline as you are online?

Hey You…yes, YOU

Hi there :).

 

I actually don’t want anything. Just wanted to take this time to see how everyone’s doing. Oh me? How thoughtful of you to ask (lol). I’m well, busy, but well.  In case you haven’t noticed already, there has been a slight change in my posting schedule. I now have more time in the evenings to post than the day time. (Though my post have always been kinda on the late side). Anywho, I’ll be squeezing out a few posts during the day when I can, otherwise it’s pretty much me and the night owls.

 

But enough about me….how yall be?