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You Are What You Think: Pride, Business And The Danger Of Negativity

By June 29, 2015October 29th, 2017Podcast, Ralph and Carol Lynn
You Are What You Think: Pride, Business And The Danger Of Negativity

Today’s Episode Is Handsome And Delicious

It’s our first official podcast roadshow! This weekend we were in Nowhereville… er, Connecticut… visiting Mike Brooks (the Handsome and Delicious) for some mojitos and business. In between we recorded a couple of podcasts – the Nuclear Chowder podcast coming out in a few weeks, so stay tuned – and this one.

It was great fun for us and we hope you’ll enjoy this, too.

We Love Connecticut, Really

There are just so many tall things… roads and trees and stuff. Coming from our condo in New Jersey, it’s a whole lot of suburban.

But more than Connecticut, we love Mike Brooks because he cooked us some amazing carnita dinner plus guacamole and a shrimp and chorizo appetizer that I may have eaten most of.

SuperFreds Of The Week

Ralph starts out calling them Superheroes of the week but I decide that is not prestigious enough. So here they are.

Traci The Kitchen Girl (I hear she has an amazing recipe for Brussels Sprouts on her site and in spite of all his cringing and complaining, Ralph agrees to try them if I use her recipe!)

Tina McAllister, Mila Araujo, the folks at Simplexity and Bob Dunn, the WordPress genius behind the BobWP website.

Thank you for your conversation and sharing! If you’d like to connect with them too, you can find their links below.

Alisa Meredith Mails Us A Brussels Sprout

I’ll leave it at that. And that’s why I love her.

Ian Anderson Gray Is On Notice

Since we can’t help ourselves, we continue to talk about food – or in this case beverage – because Mike is a super tea lover and he made us a lovely pot of fresh tea.

He calls it English-style, which is putting the loose tea leaves into a pot, letting it steep and then straining it into your mug.

So we want to know: Ian, as the official British guy of the Web.Search.Social Podcast, is this true? Or are we just doing another Americanized version of the real thing?


This past week was a big one here in the United States. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality and we’re happy to celebrate with our friends and family who have long waited for this moment.

We also name SuperFred Tammie Rampley our Chief Executive Web.Search.Social Pride Officer.

She wants double pay but considering the amazing bags she is constantly sending us, we agree. Also, it makes it easy that zero times two is still zero… ahem.

Tammie’s new job entails ensuring that the Web.Search.Social Podcast is FABULOUS!

PS: Are you voting for Tammie to win a commercial in the Super Bowl? SuperFred in the Super Bowl FTW!

And The Confederate Flag

This was another big deal this past week as racial tensions over a recent shooting boiled up. And while we’re not here to talk politics, Ralph found a great video with some historical context about the flag that is worth learning from.

Plus all these controversial current events lay the groundwork for our next conversation which is about…

Negativity. Ugh.

I’m not the “I will block you” type when it comes to social media, even if you say things I don’t like. But for the first time ever, this week I started blocking, unfollowing and deleting people from my life.

Two things happened to drive me to this point.

First, I read a post that Mike wrote about how a lot of people like to complain about how bad the economy is, how terrible things are in our country and how everything is going to hell in a handbasket. Taxes and business problems and WHHAAAAA!

Mike says: stop your bitchin’.

Or maybe I said that. But what Mike really said is that there are opportunities if you stop focusing on the negative. You have to go out and find opportunities if you want them instead of sitting around complaining about what you lack. If you fill your head with things that are terrible and bad and engage in constantly pessimistic talk then that’s what you will focus on.

You’ve heard people say, “You are what you eat”?

Well, Mike says, “You are what you think.”

As he has studied what makes people successful, he’s found that they all share an optimism that transcends the petty complaints so many people spew every day.

Fast Forward…

Mike’s post was the first catalyst. The second was everything that happened this past week as a result of current events.

And the things that have happened have been emotional and caused a lot of emotional reactions.

And that’s ok – but where it’s not ok is when it becomes everything.

It’s not ok when opinions become hateful and vitriolic. When conversation and debate break down and become name calling, complaining and negativity.

There’s a difference between disagreeing and spewing negativity.

If that’s you, if you are in a perpetual state of negativity and complaining – consider yourself blocked!

But more importantly…

You Don’t Have To Watch The Train Wreck

The 24 hour news cycle is great at keeping the negativity front and center.

But a constant barrage of that can really take its toll on you.

Ralph reminds us of Lena West – speaker, author and social media consultant – who spoke at an event we attended and said that she is focused on building her business, not on crimes, wars, problems and disasters she can’t do anything about.

The point is simple but clear: if you fill your brain with all the bad stuff, there won’t be any room for the good.

You don’t have to listen to it, read it, participate in it or acknowledge it.

Being part of a culture of negativity is incredibly draining. It will suck out your energy, your creativity, your passion, drive and enthusiasm.

And you can opt out.

Constant Optimism Is Draining, Too

We’re human and nobody can be positive all the time. Being real is important and that means the good and the bad.

So we’re not being idealistic here – we know people (including us!) have our moments of bad days, bad moods and complaints.

So we’re not advocating for perpetual optimism, but we do think that when things start to turn down, you have to find your way back to the light or your life and business could be in danger.

Social Media: All The Stuff You Would Never Say In Real Life

It seems like people have developed a sort of social Tourettes when they post online. They say extreme things in hateful ways that they would not say in a room full of people.

I could go on all day on this topic but if you’re really interested in joining the debate then I encourage you to listen to our conversation on this podcast.

We all struggle a little bit with where to draw lines and what’s ok and not ok when it comes to business (Should you bring your controversial stance into your business? Should you talk politics or religion or [insert delicate topic here] and be willing to alienate people or should you leave it for you personal life?) but it’s something worth exploring so you can understand where you stand and take ownership of your position.

Whatever you choose, do it purposefully and without hate.

We Can Disagree Rationally

We disagree with our families. We disagree with our friends. We disagree with clients. Sometimes they are small things but sometimes they’re big issues. And yet we don’t kick those people out of our lives and we don’t expect to change their minds.

We’re not saying you have to agree with everything everyone says in order to maintain a relationship but you can disagree with integrity.

Conversation, debate and a willingness to listen contribute to a civil world where we can disagree, we can have passionate beliefs on any side of the equation, and we can still get along.

Your Marketing Action Item

From Mike: Put positive stuff into your head. “Your attitude, not your aptitude, determines your altitude.” That’s a quote by Zig Ziglar, so go listen to him. Go listen to someone who has a positive influence on your life and let them inspire you. Read something positive, talk with someone encouraging and fill your head with things that give you good energy to be creative and successfully run your business.

From Carol Lynn: Clean up your social streams, especially your Facebook page where it’s too easy to read all the mean, complaining, negative things people say. You don’t have to make a big deal out of it, just remove those people from your sphere of attention. You don’t need to kick them out of your life but you don’t need to read or listen to their nonstop downer conversation all the time. Make room for the people who will bring you up instead of dragging you down.

From Ralph: Find a podcast in your niche and then talk to the host about being a guest. You don’t have to host your own podcast to take advantage of the audience a podcast can afford you. If you share your ideas and the things that make you unique on other podcasts then you can tap into a lot of potential.

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Join the discussion 36 Comments

  • What an awesome Episode…. I love Mike’s advice.. How very true that is.. I made a calculated decision to refrain from major political discussions on Social Media when I started my business.. If you go back a few years, you will find some STUFF… I know very well that there are people that do not agree with me and my beliefs and that is ok, I still want their business, and their money. They can still be great customers, I can still make them amazing bags. I don’t think it changes our relationship at all.

    I think that I must be doing a really good job of insulating myself from super negative or anti gay people specifically. Everyone has been posting about blocking people or talking about it. I have honestly not seen that on my feed. I have seen a few posts about God, and one saying that they didn’t think the White House should be lit up like a rainbow, which I was surprised to find out wasn’t done with photoshop, which was my first impression. I really only saw support, encouragement and a TON of allies. I didn’t see one gay person doing any defending. It was all Gay allies going nuts on the haters.

    As far as the exposure to negativity. In the past few years, I have done this in life as well as on social. Not everyone is happy about it, because some of them are related. I chose to take those, Energy Monsters, and remove them from my daily life. If I want my life to move forward, I cannot allow other people’s crap and drama to hold me back. The funny thing is, now, the minute someone starts that complaining and garbage, I can physically feel it and I have to get away from it. Either hang up the phone or leave the room. I just cannot deal with it anymore. I have learned to recognize what is productive processing and what is just idle bitching that isn’t going anywhere. Not that people aren’t allowed to bitch, but damn, when that is all you do, give me a break, I am building an Empire here, do you really think I have time for that.. Oh btw, someone put me on a Twitter list this week… Fashion Empires… I think I might have actually jumped up and down…

    I want someone to send me the link to the “lost episode”…

    • Woot! You deserve to be on the “Fashion Empires” list, Tammie. Do the happy dance! 🙂

      True confession time …

      I shy away from confrontation. I don’t like it. It makes me feel icky and uncomfortable. So I’m with you. I prefer to tune out the negativity and naysayers, walk away from that kind of ugliness, or simply ignore bad or hurtful behaviors. Life is far too precious and far too short.

      • Krithika Rangarajan says:

        Well…these eloquent women have said all that I wanted to say – and better. #MuaahLadies

        As for negativity, my Facebook feed has been surprisingly clean, although I follow some news Pages just to check out the often-amusing debates! lol

        By the way, my one way of decluttering my mind – search AARON RODGERS on Facebook today…that dude looks damn hot TRYING to sword-fight with his girlfriend (He can sword-fight with me anytime, and I will let him win 😛 );)

        Honestly, my heartthrob should stick to football, but who cares so long as those dimples are flashed *sigh*

        Okay – Kitto out..I am just rambling anyway! 😉 (hopefully, you smiled at my silliness 😛 )

        LOVE YOU all

        Group HUGSSSSSSSSSs

      • You know, I love a good debate. I don’t mind “confrontation” if there is any hope of a rational outcome. And I don’t mind rocking the boat. But most times people just go deeper into their negativity and ignorance and refuse to talk or reason or think. That’s the kind of stuff nobody needs.

        • It’s the sheer “ignorance” that gets my goat. I don’t like dealing with folks who are too ignorant to know when to zip their lips or when to kindly measure their words.

          I’ve given up trying to parent other adults.

          • Removing our capes is one of the hardest tasks to ever do. Especially when we began wearing them at young ages. I said years ago that I don’t have relationships, I raise my partners, then send them off into the world to have normal lives…lol

        • I am a big debater. Nowadays, people don’t understand that. They immediately mistake passion for anger. If I have statistical data to back up what I am talking about, I will debate you to the death. I will not get angry, I will not fight with you and if I know you are getting angry, I will end the conversation. Being right isn’t worth that much to me, or worth damaging a relationship. But, a good debate is a blast for me. I am unfortunately surrounded by people most of the time that take my passion as anger. I just get realllly excited about things I believe in.

      • Awww thanks Melanie… I am the same way.. I spent years on the front line fighting for gay rights. Rallying, picketing, lobbying, working the angel line at funerals. At a certain point, I had to take a long hard look at myself and my life and realize what being surrounded by all of that negativity day and and day out was doing to me. I stepped back into the non profit sector and began working inside of HIV/AIDS organizations and doing what I could there, in the background. I learned to right grants years ago and found out that I can do that and make a huge difference without having to ever deal with the screaming and yelling and being called a monster and told how I was ruining my child’s life. It is hard enough nowadays, why expose yourself to those things. Once I took myself out of that publicly, I started to realize that I also had it going on in my private life, and I had to eliminate it there. I even removed a few family members. People who didn’t believe in me, weren’t supportive, always had some nasty thing to say. Ironically, they still blame me, to this day.

        Funny story, almost a year ago, I decided that maybe it was time to grow up and mend fences with that part of my family. I made a phone call. It lasted about an hour or so. In the course of said phone call, a conversation was repeated to me. That part of my family has been following me on social media. They have been wondering where I buy the bags that I sell. None of them believe that I am actually capable of making them myself. You could have picked me up off the floor. That was the last phone call…

        • SERIOUSLY? The whole “where are you buying the bags” thing, I mean. Making that the last phone call was probably a smart idea.

          • Yeah.. I don’t think anyone in my family ever really expected much of me. They seem shocked when someone else says I am great at something. I just kind of look at them dumbfounded, I always knew it. I didn’t let the fact that your baggage didn’t let you believe it bother me… Sometimes being great at something takes overcoming the negativity you inherit at birth….

        • What can I say after I say I’m sorry, Tammie? Except to say I’m ashamed of those in your family who don’t believe in you. I said this to a good friend earlier today: “It’s their loss, NOT yours.”

          I’ll never understand why the people who are supposed to love us (UNCONDITIONALLY) are the same people capable of so much hurtfulness. Makes no sense but I see it happening all the time. 🙁

          I agree with Carol Lynn. Making that the LAST phone call was a smart idea. After all, Tammie, if you don’t take care of your own well being, who will?

          • I agree completely. I see it happen to people all the time. They have this undying loyalty based on blood. Sometimes, that blood can be tainted with poison. You HAVE to be your own champion. You have to decide that you ARE important, that you DO deserve more. Thanks Melanie… I think my daughter getting older and not wanting to pass all of that crap on to her made me see that if I didn’t do something, I was going to keep it going. I won’t let them hurt her the way they did me..

    • Ok, first of all you do NOT want to hear the lost episode 🙂 Calling it a train wreck would do a disservice to trains everywhere. Plus when you put two boys in a room with alcohol, microphones and technology, that is a lot of disaster waiting to happen. I’m not going to say I spent a lot of time trying to get a word in past the bots or getting a sentence out at all, but the word “shrill” would not be unfair to use when listening to me.

      Having said that… it’s awesome that you have an empire! Or at least that someone else has recognized it as such.

      And as for the rest of the story… negativity and such, it’s the kind of thing that is kind of always there, like background noise. Then one day something makes you notice it and all you can hear is THAT NOISE!!! And it drives you nuts and you have to get rid of it.

      That was last week for me. And it continues because every time someone says something stupid they are going to get a big fat unfollow. I’m sure they don’t care but that’s not the point. The point is I don’t want that in my HEAD.

      Today I un-joined a local town group on Facebook because the ignorant nonsense that gets posted there used to be kind of fascinating in that train wreck kind of way but now it’s just so shrill that I can’t bear another moment of it.

      Like I tried to say in the podcast, it’s not that I don’t want to hear people disagree, it’s that I don’t want to hear people be mean, stupid, ignorant and vile.

      So things have been a lot better in my social streams over the last few days. Not sure what I’ll find to complain about next 🙂

      • ” … it’s not that I don’t want to hear people disagree, it’s that I don’t want to hear people be mean, stupid, ignorant and vile.” My sentiments, precisely. My tent is pitched in the camp of “Let’s agree to disagree .. and leave it at that.” Some of the crap I see online amounts to personal attacks, which I want NO part of.

  • In my book, any podcast coupled with Tea Time is a classy production. After all, Mike Brooks is a class act. 🙂

    Negative Nellies, be gone! They’re bad for your health and their tudes need a massive tune-up. Let’s face it, they SUCK … and they suck the life right out of you! (Wait. Was that too negative a remark?) 😉

    I’m stealing this from uniquely creative wordsmith, Carol Lynn: “Bubblefy” and “Bubblefied” LOVE the way those hit my ears.

    Why does Tammie get a second SuperFred title and I only get one? Keep up this blatant preferential treatment and I swear I’ll block you and unfriend you on social media! I’m teetering on unsubscribing from your podcast. You’re talking about “equality” on this broadcast? Yeah, right. So this is how you treat the Web.Search.Social “family”?! I’m steamed. Tell you what, I don’t want a stupid second title — just double my salary and all is forgiven. (That was fun. Can you tell I really stink at being negative? But I just had to give it a shot.) LOL!!

    Seriously now … Congrats to Tammie, Chief Executive Pride Officer! The title fits like a glove. (Or maybe I should say it fits like a customized handcrafted bag!) 🙂

    • Melanie I LOLed reading about you trying to be all mad and snarky. HA! That fits you like…. a glove that has had all the fingers cut off and then stretched to fit over a fence post and sat there for a while until a bunch of birds nested in it then pulled all the threads loose so they scattered across the yard…

      I would give you another title if I could find one that would be prestigious enough to connote your brilliance and humor but words just fall short. I’ll TRIPLE your salary!

  • “Mike’s Fight Song”

    Put the positive stuff in your mind
    It’s your attitude, not your aptitude
    Block all the nasty negative people
    Spend time and energy on gratitude

    No one wants to hear your gripes
    Don’t act like you’re full of hot air
    Allow no room for the naysayers
    Show respectful people you care

    The most successful people around
    Display and share an admirable trait
    They don’t hang out with complainers
    They refuse to bite the negativity bait

    In the social media space, positivity trumps moaning, griping, and groaning. I’m all for healthy debates … but not commentary laced with disgrace.