Hi, my name is Dave Starr, sometimes known as Mr. GPS or the ROI Guy (that’s Return On Investment for our non-business oriented folks) and I’ve been online since long before there was a World Wide Web (I’m a certified old guy) but I’m pretty new to blogging and the other aspects of making money on line. Tyler has graciously asked me if I would contribute a guest post or two from time to time here and I’m delighted by the opportunity to branch out and write a little about online business and the online community in general. My blogs www.satviz.com, www.retiredpay.com are mainly centered around business and legal specialities which can be decent for AdSense but not of much interest to general readers.
Whenever asked to write something the smartest thing to do is identify the audience you are aiming at. My concept of the most common reader here is younger guys, interested in poker, on line games and getting rich without working 40 hours a week. Budding (and already budded) on line business persons.I fit in with one of those three … I hate working 40 hour weeks, did it for far too many years, and am now retired to my little patch of paradise in Bulacan, Republic of the Philippines, when the weather is always warm and I’m always a day ahead of those folks back in North America. The Philippines is one of the things Tyler and I have in common … he’s Phil-Can by birth, I’m the male half of a Phil-Am marriage, my spouse is the unoffcialcook. Enough link dropping, there will only be one more, I promise.
I don’t know much about games and I’m a pretty poor poker player, but I have had many years experience in business, including building my own brick and mortar business through on line web referrals so perhaps I have something to offer along those lines. Thinking about the audience here and what I know about their interests I was struck by the fact of how I was attracted to Tyler’s writings in the first place … his almost rock-steady politeness and refusal to launch of into rants, even when writing about problems and issues would certainly could justify a rant or two. It strikes me that this is one of the common threads I see in blogging and forum posts all across the ‘Net … a great many folks who probably have some very good things to say squander the value of their statements and thoughts by giving in to abruptness, impoliteness and downright rude treatment of others. Some people liken it to the problems of ‘road rage” on the highway … folks who wouldn’t dream of acts of physical violence walking down the sidewalk somehow feel all-powerful when they get in their car and act out the most bizarre acts of anger. The problem for a prospective online business folks is, unlike in your car, where your indiscretion is normally forgotten in five minutes, things live forever on the ‘Net. So unguarded personal attacks, silly flame wars and random acts of “snarkiness” may come back to haunt you years in the future.
No one, least of all me (with my hair-trigger temper) is going to tell you not to get angry and not to speak out on issues. But I am going to suggest a way to do it which will keep you in people’s minds for your better moments instead of your worst.
Some of you will remember your mother tried to teach you the “Magic Words”, Please an Thank You, when you were very young. Even though I find a Google on “Magic Words” today turns up more results on stagecraft and comic books than Emily Post, the words are as appropirate now as they were decades ago. Even when you’re right, the other guy is wrong as he can be, it still costs nothing to be polite.
When you ask someone to do something, with a “please” in it, (even if you are determined you are not going to take no for an answer), it takes out almost all the “sting’ and it makes the person receiving the request feel s/he has a choice. Works wonders.
When you say “thank you” it works wonders too. Even if the person responded to you with a perfectly dumb, missed the whole point sort of answer? It costs you not a penny and only 11 keystrokes (counting the spaces before and after) to say “thank you”. Makes you look as smart as the smart ones and way smarter than the dumb ones, I guarantee.
So please give that a little thought, and if you’re in business give it a lot of thought, (might even want to read this post on thank yous) because I can count on one hand the folks I have bought stuff from in the past who bothered with a personal thank you … and I am still doing business with them … Thank you all.