Sure I can rub people the wrong way sometimes. Many times. That's what happens in life when you are totally frank and honest when asked a question. I don't put if thru my "Friend Filter" to come up with a bogus answer not to piss them off. My friends are real friends to begin with because they KNOW I am going to tell it like it is. They don't expect me to protect them. They would not even ask!
I am driven, have passion, certain of my direction, steady and don't allow others to distract me from my vision and goals. But what rubs many the wrong way in the beginning is what also makes great friends, allies and associates down the road that last a lifetime.
Look, many, strike that, MOST folks are much more 'Charming' than me. When I think back in my life of all those 'Charmers', their stock usually goes down in time. They are great when you first meet them. They are likable at bars and with one liners but they lack substance and character when they over promise and under deliver. As a charmer many others will then begin to make excuses for them and that just fuels what they do best. Charm. Their shortfall will eventually blame you. But hey, they are charming!
Charm eventually wears thin when the substance is missing. When others find out it was a bunch of smoke. When charm actually turns into being lied to, fooled and mislead. Ah, the road of a charmer. If I was shortsighted, I would certianly take that road and DELAY my worries. Charmers are in all walks of life and business. They are all around us!
But I am not wired like that. Ask me a question and I don't think to myself "What do they want to hear?" "What will they like to hear?" I take a different path. I tell them what I actually believe, what I actually think and what I see. That of course gets me in trouble and some, MANY, get pissed.
But while they are pissed at me and charmed by the phony charmer there is an intersection and at some point, usually 3-5 YEARS, I can win over most of my enemies. At least the ones with good hearts, open minds and some sense of being objective.
I win them over by just being consistent and doing what I do and them observing and understanding how I tick. They actually get to the point of appreciation in many cases becuase I am consistent. I have spine. I have a set of values that most share. I think character counts more than anything on this planet. I think character counts even after you are dead and gone. Character was the first thing I ever wrote about online. I know many don't care. I do. A LOT! The people I associate with do. The people I do business with do. The people I try to reach do. Some, hopefully most. The others, I avoid like the plague. I burn those bridges.
Some folks demand respect. I always went about it the old fashioned way and try and earn it year after year and decade after decade. I didn't always have good character. It once came with excuses for my own shortcomings of which there were many. I was a "D" student! But I turned it around. We all have that power.
I learned that excuses were weak. Calamity and drama follows the weak and is weak. Unintended consequences are weak. Turn that around and you build a strong character and life. I learned to put one foot in front of the other and take the weight off my shoulders of the entire journey. I learned to work hard when there was money to be made and not stress out when things were tough.
I remember stealing baseball cards from a store in New York City when I was about 10 maybe 11. I got caught by the owner. I took about 5 packs of 10 cent baseball cards and just stuck them in my pocket. Luckily in those days they did not call the police. They would just put the fear of God in you and that was usually good enough for most. It was for me. I never shared that with anyone until today. Not proud of it, but I was 10 and that is one of the stupid things 10 year olds do. That was probably the day I started to build my character from ground zero.
btw, I collected some 3000 baseball cards back in the early and mid 60's. We would "Flip Cards" in the hallways and I was really good. I won a lot. Ever play "Leaners"?
When we moved to Maryland, my mom made me throw those cards away. 3 shopping bags full of them. Those cards eventually were worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, possibly much more! They were all from the mid 1950's to mid 1960's. Gems and true collectibles.
So maybe my domaining career began back then. It was definitely the beginning of my collecting career. Coins and Stamps came next. I still love collecting. Besides domains I collect cars, watches, cell phones, hotel room keys, Real Estate, Shirts, Presidential memorabilia and Autographs. Oh, did I mention domain names? Some say it's a pretty good collection.
The first day I ever came online I knew from that point forward it was all about reputation and character. Those were the 2 things you could not screw up or you were DONE! So I carefully built an online presence. I earned my wings with my thoughts and deeds. I made sure I was consistent and I was careful in the words I used. I was one of few that used their real name back then. I loved this medium the minute I figured this one aspect out. Everything was on the record with a time stamp!
The Internet is the Magic Carpet that has the ability to make your dreams come true. It also has the ability to destroy. It's the burial spot for many reputations because it is all written in ink and it never goes away. It really is on your permanent record!
In life I always give folks a choice. "I can tell you what you want to hear." OR "I can tell you the truth as I see it." Well stories are for KIDS not business people! I REFUSE to tell you what you want to hear. I refuse. It's not in me. And that pisses people off. It's natural. And many stay pissed at me for years. That's on them. That's their loss.
My only sin, telling it straight and they can't handle it. I Talk about numbers. Numbers have no personality. They are an exact science and they do tell a story. They do paint a vivid picture. They do mean something. They show the way to the future. So, folks that ignore or run from numbers are FOOLS at best and that alone pisses folks off the most! Sorry, you're a fool if you bastardize the numbers. It shows a person that can't handle the truth. That runs and has to bend it to survive. Numbers are the ONLY constant we have and it puts fear in many because they don't want to hear what the numbers say. What they SCREAM out! How they diminish their dreams. How they fool, fools!
But during those years a lot of folks will blow smoke up their asses. They will find themselves on the short end of the stick. Even their best friends will lie, cheat and steal during those years. And me, I am just always the same. I don't change with the wind. I can't be true to anyone if I am not true to myself. Just look at my writings from 20 years ago and you can see the same tone, thoughts and consistency. I can be the devils advocate. I can see both sides and WANT to see both sides. It's like a fork in the road. I like to see what's down both paths before I commit to one.
So the powerful be damned. I am not a team player because there is no team! My only allegiance in life is to be honest and tell it like it is from my viewpoint. So I did not fall in line with the industry on GTLD's regardless of how many domainers were at the trough or how many friends. Regardless of the pressure or anger. Regardless of the consequences. Regardless of how friendly we were. But friends don't lie and bullshit friends. The truth is a bigger and a better friend than any domainer is.
So time has always been my best ally and now you know why! Maybe that helps you understand how I roll and I can win you over. Maybe not. I don't care. I am always on record for the record and if you can't handle a straight answer then don't ask for it. Go read Dr. Seuss. He is much better at fairy tales and bedtime stories than I can ever be. It's not becoming of a business person to be an ostrich.
PS: I started this post on September 13, 2012 and finished it this week. More to come from the vaults. Never before published blog posts!