Yup, we have all heard of the golden rule: treat people how you want to be treated. My Dad used to tell me the rhyme when I was in school: “Don’t forget the golden rule, grab your books, and go to school.” The Silver Hook operates based on my personality. How could it not, it is a one woman show? That is a perk of being self-employed. I have one life rule: create the world you want to live in through example. I could delve further into that, but this post is about the golden rule as that is the world I want to create.
When I am tired or stressed it is much more difficult to follow this rule. Recently, I almost broke this rule. I received a generic unsolicited message on Etsy from someone offering their photography services for my Etsy shop. The “insert business name here” section was left blank. If I wasn’t so much of a do-it-yourself-er I might have been tempted. Then I received an “oops I forgot to fill in the blanks” reply confirming that she is a real person. My first reaction was to ignore the message, or to send her an email about the Etsy spamming rules. But I took half a day to think about my reply.
Procrastination worked to my benefit. I looked at it from her point of view. I checked out her very new Etsy shop. She had recently discovered her photography passion. I understood she was targeting her ideal clients. She definitely wasn’t trying to annoy people with spam.
I replied honestly – I was happy doing my own photography, and I am not interested in outsourcing and increasing my operating costs. I also encouraged other venues of advertising her specialty: talking to small businesses and markets in her neighbourhood, or placing an ad on Kijiji. Shortly after I sent my reply, she sent me a message thanking me for the “gentle” refusal. I guess she had received some less pleasant and discouraging replies.
I understand how difficult it can be follow a creative dream. It is scary and negative comments strike deeply. I’m happy that I gave her encouragement to follow her passion. That’s the sort of world I want to create. Golden rule success.