Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t recall Leonidas apologizing to the Persian army before battle.
I definitely don’t remember Russell Crowe’s vengeful Maximus sitting down to write a few notes of sincere and profuse regret before he suited up and took out a couple of gladiators.
Then why do so many people ask forgiveness right before they actually do something worth doing?
You can see it in the way they write.
Of course, this is just one person’s opinion …
I could be totally wrong about this …
I’m not trying to pretend I’m some kind of expert but …
When I read things like that, it’s like watching Tyler Durden cry.
It’s just not right.
When I think about great, response-focused copywriting, I think about a writer reaching out, grabbing her audience by the collar, and snarling, “Buy my stuff or leave, but make a decision.”
What are you doing this for?
I don’t know about you, but I don’t have time for anything but decisions. I don’t post on my blog in order to kill time between flower-arranging and playing bridge. I post on my blog in order to create a response. To attract a certain type of person.
Granted, I definitely piss a lot of people off. There are many of you who probably cringe as you read this. Fair enough.
But if I lie to you to make you like me, what does that make me? A liar, no?
I’d much prefer to make you hate me. Not because I want street cred or because I actually enjoy annoying people, but because in making one person hate me, I make others love me.
Havi Brooks or Michael Port would say I’m rolling out my “red velvet rope.” I’m not just turning people away. I’m forming a bond with other people who are on my wavelength.
It’s this bond that builds tribes, and it’s this bond that builds businesses.
Instead of pandering and trying to sell a little bit of something to everyone, I’m selling a lot of something to a small bunch who believes in what I’m trying to do — my version of 1,000 true fans.
Don’t just sell … lead
To me, leading a tribe means you need to finally accept who you are, to write the truth as you see it, and never apologize for it.
Let’s face it, there are hundreds of thousands of blogs that look just like the next. It’s easy to think that you should do the same, but that’s a fast road to failure.
Readers are begging for someone to not only be different, but to own being different.
Want to lead your own tribe? Don’t show them how to fit in. Show them it’s OK not to.
When they see you’re willing to be first over the wall, they’ll be thrilled to follow you into battle.
In my journeys throughout the blogosphere, I see far too many people concerned about offending someone or possibly even making an enemy.
I’d argue that cowering in the corner just makes you look like everyone else. Which gets you nothing.
So get out there. Be real. Be yourself.
And don’t you dare apologize.
About the Author: Nathan Hangen writes about web entrepreneurship at NathanHangen.com, and about how to bootstrap your business without losing your savings or your sanity at The Bootstrap Sessions. Follow him on Twitter @nhangen.