The Name Calling Never Ends

There is nothing quite as polarizing as religion and politics. And while this blog is primarily about business and copywriting, I’m not shy about my beliefs.

For instance, my Digg profile is filled with political and world news. I’ve used Twitter and Facebook to broadcast some polarizing views in both politics and religion. And I’ve even used this blog to share some spiritual/religious stuff — the last such post being the one about Christmas.

As a result, I’ve been called some interesting names over the last couple months. I pay attention to this stuff not to nurse any grudges, but simply to see how other people perceive me.

You see, I have a limited and distorted view of myself.

It’s kind of like the sound of your voice. It sounds one way to you — but another way to everybody else. (This is why so many people think they sound weird when they hear themselves on a recorded medium.)

So it’s important to know what other people are “hearing” when you speak.

Anyway, here are some of the names I’ve been called in the last couple months:

“Cynic”Rob Siders

“top Christian copywriter”John Manley

“Right-Wing Nut Job” – multiple people

a MASTER of getting readers involved.” – Eric Graham

a good friend and colleague” – Ben Settle

a reasoned thinker”Dave Lakhani

“not one of them” – Jason Witt (Full quote: “I’m unfollowing you because of SecretEvangel. Many are called but few are chosen. You’re sure not one of them.”)

“a model of a courageous Christian.”Kevin Dawson

“the thinking man’s copywriter” – Keith Goodrum

“crawfishin’ hypocrite” – Dunneratt

And my personal favorite… “Scarlet Heretic” – Chris, a.k.a MontanaMan

And this is just from the past couple months. I’ve endured some pretty harsh criticism over the last couple years, some from strangers… and some from friends.

In the heat of such criticism, most folks would crawl back into their hole and stay quiet. But I actually find it encouraging. Criticism is a sign I’m doing something right.

Just a few days ago, I wrote this on Twitter:

Every post & tweet should repel those NOT aligned with you & attract those who ARE aligned with you. Write to your ideal audience.

I think this is good advice for anybody who is in the business of writing or giving advice in a public forum. It’s a fact that not everybody is going to like you. They just won’t.

And there are others who WILL like you. So write to them. Don’t worry about the rest.

As the comedian Bill Cosby once said, “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.”

Be aware of what’s being said about you — and be proud of it all, both the good and the bad.

-Ryan M. Healy

P.S. For the record, all of the above comments were posted in public places, so I’m not bringing anything new to light here. I simply collected it all in one place to show you the full range of people’s perceptions.

P.P.S. A point of clarification: I’m not suggesting you intentionally try to make people angry. I am suggesting that being yourself will naturally attract and repel people. So don’t be afraid to be yourself.

Ryan M. Healy

Ryan Healy is a financial copywriter and the author of Speed Writing for Nonfiction Writers. Since 2002, he has worked with scores of clients, including Agora Financial, Lombardi Publishing, and Contrarian Profits. He writes a popular blog about copywriting, advertising, and business growth, has been featured in publications like Feed Front magazine, and has been published on sites like WordStream.com, SmallBizClub.com, and MarketingForSuccess.com.

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