December 7, 2010 By
So, I fainted in Target on Sunday. Out of the blue. And no, it wasn’t because of the great sales. In fact, they say it was dehydration, but whatever it was, it was scary. I had the oddest symptoms for about an hour before I crumpled in a heap somewhere between kitchenware and bedding. I found out it was due to loss of oxygen to my brain; apparently we traverse weird territory without our requisite O2—and for sure, I thought I was going crazy. Then, without warning, boom, a man’s kneeling over me, asking if I know why I fell. “I didn’t even know I DID fall,” I answer, groggily looking from left to right. Soon, I was surrounded by paramedics, police officers and Target managers bracing themselves for a lawsuit. Because I hit my head very hard on (something; no one knows because there were no witnesses—but, man, does that bump still hurt!) I was escorted onto a hard, orange plastic gurney and fit cozily with a neck brace. Off we went, sirens wailing, to the hospital for tests. It turned out that every blasted test came back normal —which is what one typically strives for, I know—but when you’ve interrupted your family members’ lives, not to mention your own all-important shopping spree, you want something to explain the hours in the ER. But, alas, I was diagnosed with “syncope”— otherwise known as fainting—and released to my own recognizance. Such as it is. As I was reclining back at home, my ex and signifi- cant other took my VW to the dealership to have them resolve an odd sluggishness I’d been experi- encing. After sleeping eleven hours that night, (and not one of them on my left-hand side because of the massive bulb on the side of my head), I headed over to the dealership to await my car’s release. And that’s when I got the female treatment. I’ll spare you the details, but suffice it to say there was some unmistakable shady activity going on. Ten minutes after I declined a $400 additional service, I was told that the issue had, remarkably, “disappeared.” All was fine. Then, a moment later, they came back to say that they had a used part in stock from another car and could slip that in to replace my faulty one. Had I gone ahead and accepted the $400 job, do you think I would have been told of the free used part? Or that the issue had miraculously disappeared? I’ve been feeling increasing disgust over the corruption and secrets so prevalent in our world today—not just on Wall Street, and in government; Big Business, “corporate media,” our religious institutions, etc.— but also in “small business”: the shallow and greed- based antics playing out in internet marketing every day. Having my own mechanics try to shaft me was a tipping point for me and I decided to make some changes in my own business. I have always been honest and trustworthy as a business owner, but I was following many of the Internet Information Gurus—and this week, I unsubscribed from a vast majority of them. I decided they’re too slick and phony for me; they’re the “Internet Hollywood Scene.” The few hours in the ER, not knowing what was wrong with me, plus the massive knock to my head, brought me to my senses: I’m “leaving the pack,” “escaping the wannabees” once again, no longer aspiring to rub elbows with them, proverbially “sleep with them” to get to the next level, attend their parties or adapt their business-building strategies. (Which are, on another note, entirely cookie-cutter, have you noticed?) I don’t want to make money by gouging other people of their hard-earned money. (And I never have.) Isn’t that what the banks do? I don’t want to make money by hosting a seminar that’s really a pitch-fest. I believe that’s called bait-and-switch. I don’t want to make money from obscenely inflated home-study products or memberships. And I don’t want to tell my daughter I made money following. Inspired Leaders don’t follow, they lead through inspiration. I got seduced by the glitter and glam—but now know that all that glitters is not gold. I have created a questionnaire over at Survey Monkey, to see if my own experience reflects the “zeitgeist,” the energy in the culture right now, about slick, internet information marketing. You know –the guys and women making millions of dollars on $20,000 – $100,000 yearly memberships, claiming they can “teach” (ha!) and “coach” (ha!). Have you had it, too? Do they feel like shallow, slick, plastic Hollywood types? Do you want to learn from a different type of leader? If so, what type? I promise to share the comments from your peers in an upcoming blog. By the way, in case you’re wondering: I’m doing fine… except for the nasty bump and the bruises on my leg and knee. I’ll be going to a cardiologist for a “table test,” just to ensure that I don’t have a propensity for losing oxygen to the brain. But I expect everything to come out normal. After all, I’m still young! In fact, the best part of the whole experience was my daughter grumbling to me as we sat in my ER room: “Everyone’s asking me if you’re my sister.” It was all worth it for that! Please click here to take my “Have You Had It With The Internet Hollywood Scene?” survey.