I recently read a couple of articles on a blog that my former client works at. I know I shouldn’t – Glenn at yells at me when I do, because they are a major trigger
In September 2010, in preparation for his first industry conference, we spoke on the phone and he told me his networking plans. I just about threw up and said, verbatim, “Those people are f***ing sharks, Dave.”
Now, let me be clear. I love this guy. I loved him then, I love him now. We’re like yin yang twins, impossible to separate and seriously codependent. I would and have walked through some pretty fiery stuff for him.
But we honestly just about broke up over this. I take my professional associations pretty seriously, and Dave or no Dave, I was not going to be associated with that crowd. He could blithely and naively say, “They’re not bad people!” as much as he wanted, but he wasn’t going to do that with my name on his book.
We got together at the conference and he apologized for being an ass and we spent the rest of the conference hanging out and making development plans that did not involve sleeping with the enemy.
They can’t deal with success – not because they are crazy people, but because finally “making it” can be a brain breaker. They can’t handle the stress and the changes. Often their peers who haven’t “made it” become resentful and so they’ve just lost their social circle.
They didn’t expect the other side to have downsides, and they go nuts. This is a big reason that we withdrew from the industry a few years ago. Some of our peers became sharks, and some of our peers went off the rails. The sharks changed their brands to ones that weren’t compatible with ours. The ones that went of the rails became people we just wanted to stay away from.
The first left me fuming because that is my work they were referring to. I was his networking assistant/VA. The networking stuff made me feel icky but I did it anyway because he was pushing for me to connect, even when I told them it wouldn’t be successful for him other then name association.
(I quickly realized that my work wasn’t actually being criticized. I was fantastic in the lead up to Blogworld.)
The second automatically made me think they were referring to me. Because I publicly went off the rails and people still stay away from me. Which is beneficial, as that industry was starting to get bullshit.
Everytime I visit the Ittybiz blog I’m paranoid there will a mention of me and how I struggled to cope in 2011. I am very, very grateful that they haven’t brought me into it, even when I was outspoken about their actions. I disagree with what went down back then but I can respect that.
My breakdown wasn’t planned. I was struggling to cope before I started working with Dave and ‘became famous’. I had never been properly treated for anxiety – I hadn’t seen a proper psychiatrist to work out long term issues. It wasn’t a case of going off the rails. It’s that I was never quite on the rails to begin with. This is something that has triggered a lot of shame.
I’m glad this happened because the industry would have eaten me alive and made me worse. I may be broke and a bit of a recluse, but I’m glad I took the path I did. I may not know what that path is, yet, but I’d rather make mistakes during my 20′s then ignore my recovery. The latter would probably end in suicide or greater madness; at least this way, I know I will produce great work at some point later in my life.
In regards to Dave/Naomi
I believe that a lot of their work is quality, despite how I feel about it. Despite how they are rewording past events. Much of their advice can be quite useful to certain types of businesses.
I still dislike Naomi, but I believe Dave has good in him.
I can understand why Dave left his family. It was wrong, but I am understanding the commitment required to do truly great work. The true dedication and commitment. I wouldn’t do that and he hurt so many people.
Some of their former friends in the industry have gone on to do brilliant work, so shouldn’t be tarred with the same brush.