What Wrong Means

If I was smart, I would have more advertisers on my podcast. I’ve been using the same two for a while, and that has no doubt diminished my money-making opportunities.

Further, it’d be a good idea to start having guests on the show because, then, when a new episode comes out, the guests will share it with their audience, greatly increasing the number of new people who listen to it each week.

For the blog, it wouldn’t hurt to have a pop-up, or maybe one of those little sign up forms that cover the bottom of the screen to snag more newsletter subscribers. Having such forms have been shown to increase those numbers.

But you know what? I hate pop-ups. I loathe them. They ruin my experience when I visit a page that has them. Even more so those little bottom-of-the-screen-covering sign up forms.

And I don’t want to have guests on my show: I like the essay format I use. I like being able to take an hour and talk through a topic without interrupting it or forcing banter. I like that I can make my show at home, by myself, so that I’m able to produce it without anyone else’s priorities or schedules getting in the way.

I also like that I have advertisers I actually use and enjoy — there are only a few of them at the moment, but I’d rather build up slowly and make less money than promote things or companies I don’t believe in.

By most measurements, I’m doing a lot of things wrong. In business, and in life, too. Some of these things I’m doing wrong for the standard reason: because I don’t know any better. But many of them are intentional choices. The wrongness that I’m allowing is the result of a conscious decision to adhere to different metrics from other people.

I could get more readers for this newsletter by foisting subscription forms in front of people’s faces, but the value of those readers would be reduced because they’d been gained in a way I don’t consider to be moral. I would have gained them by doing unto others that which I don’t wish to have done unto me.

It’s an easy argument to make that staking out such positions, that drawing such lines in the sand, is a fool’s errand. And in some cases that may absolutely be the case. But identifying and adhering to your personal values, in not just life and relationships and your philosophical pursuits, but also in business, in how you make money, is important if sometimes seemingly quixotic. It allows you to know that you aren’t ceasing to be yourself as soon as money enters the mix. It allows you to feel proud to have you name on things that you’ve made, and to feel confident that you are consistent in your beliefs, rather than adhering to them when it’s convenient but discarding them as soon as you have the opportunity to make a few extra bucks.

Wrong means something very different to each of us, but the point is not coming to a collective agreement as to what’s wrong and what’s right, but rather knowing what these words mean to us, then following their lead as we pursue individual happiness.

This approach doesn’t help a person wring every last dollar out of every business opportunity, but I’ve yet to find a better approach if your goal is to make things you’re proud of and to sleep well at night.


My new book, Becoming Who We Need To Be, is available for pre-order starting today (that’s the Amazon link, but pre-orders are also available on Gumroad, Kobo, Google Play, and iBooks).

This book is about context, personal growth, and how our intentions and actions as individuals scale up to influence our societies. It will hit shelves and e-shelves on May 1.

If you’re familiar with my other work, I’d say this new book is the love-child of my book Considerations and my podcast Let’s Know Things.