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Path of the Bartender: Fear & Loathing via Email

January 1, 2010 By: Gary Regan

I got my head chewed off recently after we had our donation campaign in the ardent spirits newsletter.  I'd never asked for money from our subscribers before, and since we make next to nothing on our "Hot News Flashes" classified ads, and since we hardly ever bother looking for spirits companies to help sponsor our missives (but if you know of one that's interested . . . ), I thought it might be interesting to see how much money I could raise by just asking our readers for contributions.  I worked out pretty nicely.  We didn't make a fortune, but we got a decent amount of scratch, so it was well worth the effort.

After sending out our plea for money I got an email from a guy who asked me to remove his name from our list, telling me that he thought (I'm paraphrasing because I never saved his emails) that it was pretty much outrageous for us to ask for donations.  I made the mistake of being defensive.  I told him that I put hours and hours and hours into putting the newsletter and the bulletin together, and that I do that pretty much for free, and after all, we weren't demanding money, we were just holding our hands out.

We went back and forth a few times, and eventually he started to see my point of view.  So much so that he confessed that he'd been upset with me for quite a while because I hadn't liked one of his products--he was a marketer.  I hadn't publicly said anything about the product, but I'd told his company that I didn't much like it.  So that was what this had been about.  How very sad.

On reflection, I wish I'd never have replied to this guy.  So many negative vibes flew through the ether that week, and it wasn't satisfying for either one of us.  I wish I'd have just taken his name out of our database and forgotten all about it.  You can't please all of the people all of the time, you know.

So why did I take this fellow up on his challenge?  Because it made me angry, that's why.  And where does anger come from?  Anger comes from fear.  I was scared that someone was misunderstanding my intentions, so I allowed my ego to rule, I allowed my self to become angry, and I allowed this marketer to get my goat.

Next time you get angry, try asking yourself what you're afraid of.  You might save yourself a heap of heartache.


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