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122: Don’t F*ck With the Guy With the Podcast: Four Lessons I Learned from a Trial by Fire

Sob story alert:
 
This has been a really difficult week for me as an entrepreneur.
 
I was forced to take down a podcast episode that I had put my heart and soul into producing, editing, etc.
 
To make a long story short, a single person who values a social agenda more than her musical endeavors took issue with me not removing a member of my Facebook group for making what appeared to be an insensitive comment. It was later revealed that the person who made the comment was purely ignorant and there was no malice whatsoever.
 
My podcast guest caught wind of this and was very upset. She's a fairly well-known female trumpeter and I've since come to understand that female trumpeters face pretty significant challenges being a predominantly male field.
 
At any rate, she had a chip on her shoulder from the get go. She was determined to find fault, was obstinate, refused to see that my intent wasn't to insult or belittle her, but to shine a light on what was obviously something she was very passionate about. No amount of explaining this would change her mind.
 
A person I had brought onto my team to do social media promotion heard about this and without consulting or asking any questions of me, published something on a bunch of Facebook groups saying how ashamed he was to be associated with me, that I was sexist, a misogynist, was disrespectful of women, etc.
 
His goal was clearly to get a little bit of cheap publicity but it came at the expense of the reputation of myself, my *REAL* partner and my business name, which I've been building for going on 2 1/2 years.
 
Completely shameless, no regard for facts or reason. As you can imagine, the Facebook jackals ate it up like a moose in an open field that had died of natural causes.
 
So the whole week, I've been posting videos trying to explain my side of the story to anyone who cares to listen.
 
At the same time, I know the value of being controversial. As unpleasant as it was, it was clarifying in many ways.
 
Yes, a few listeners and upcoming guests jumped ship. But MANY of them showed real devotion. People had the opportunity to say "no" to me, and when they chose to say "yes" the loyalty was that much more solid.
 
So while it's been a good thing from a business perspective, personally I've really been struggling with anger at those people who said things that put me in a negative light, and truth be told did real damage to my reputation. Not to mention the admins of those Facebook groups who just sat back and allowed it to happen.
 
Of course, anything I've posted trying to set the record straight and hold them accountable is interpreted as "self-aggrandizing". I just need to apologize and get on with life, say these people who stood and cheered while these people shamelessly besmirched my character.
 
I've posted things that were spoken in anger, not in the least bit productive. Definitely not healthy.
 
However, I have learned a few things from this unfortunate affair.
 
1. People do not have your best interests at heart. Even people you trust have their own self interests and they can and will use anything you say against you. So watch your words. Be aware of how they'll be interpreted by the other person.
 
2. Don't try to reason with people who are unreasonable. I found that trying to reason with these particular people was futile. They didn't care about women's rights and equality in the trumpet field. They just wanted to be angry. It goes back to #1, where anything I said either in defense of myself or to try to use my podcast in a way that I thought would better share their message was used against me.
 
3. When people are given the opportunity to say "no" they'll be all the more loyal when they choose to say "yes" to you and your message. I can't explain it, but James Altucher says it, so it must be true.
 
4. It reinforced the need to be an entrepreneur. If I was a college professor, I very well could have been on the hot seat for this. But I don't answer to those people, nor any kind of board that is bound by a political and social agenda.
 
Thanks for reading this. Just typing it out was therapeutic in many ways.

About the author, James Newcomb

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