What Good Are You If You Aren’t Making Me Any Money?

I understand that the economy is harsh but it still saddens me to see people use relatives and friends to self-promote. These are folks who have gotten so deep into the “transform yourself into a brand” philosophy that they can’t stop selling themselves even during family reunions or friends’ parties.

The funny thing is that nobody has so many relatives and friends that their purchasing power would be enough to make a business successful. This makes me think that selling oneself to the people who are close is not as much about making an actual profit as it is about the pernicious belief that the only value of human relationships lies in how much practical, quantifiable use you can get out of them.

A plethora of self-help books, articles and websites exhorts people to “use the resources you already have” for self-promotion. And you know what they often have in mind when they refer to these resources? People. People one knows and is close to. There’s got to be something wrong with a world-view where friends and relatives become nothing but potential money-making resources.

8 thoughts on “What Good Are You If You Aren’t Making Me Any Money?”

  1. “A plethora of self-help books, articles and websites exhorts people to “use the resources you already have” for self-promotion”

    So … I should do porn?

    Like

  2. Clarissa, are these people out of work or looking to change jobs? I think this is emphasized because sadly job opportunities for many are dependent on their connections and there’s so much competition that even qualified people who respond to ads have almost no chance.

    I have an allergy to this type of “self promotion”. I don’t know whether it’s the family I grew up in or my personality. My family is very much against ego inflation. My parents would tell me and my brother how to spin my job/school/brother’s job because it wasn’t good enough for the larger extended family (which precludes this type of self promotion because you have to say you’re looking for something before you can “network”.) My grandparents would send me faxes asking, “Why is your birthday about you and not about your family?” I hated selling stuff door to door. I feel handicapped in this arena of life, honestly.

    Like

  3. Shakti :
    I feel handicapped in this arena of life, honestly.

    Me, too. I feel very embarrassed at the idea of using people to self-promote.

    And I totally understand the struggle of those people who are in a difficult financial situation. I think it’s perfectly fine to ask once. But to become a person who endlessly drones on ad on and on about their business and can’t have a 2-minute conversation with you without trying to put you to good use is just not on.

    Seriously, when you get to a point where you say to your friend, “My co-worker Lisa told me the funniest story today. . .” And they immediately interrupt with, “Oh, might she be interested in my product? Can you take same samples to show her?” – that gets too much.

    Or you say, “Finally, I have finished my midpoint dossier!” And instead of saying, “Congratulations!”, the person says, “So now you will finally have time to make those phone calls on my behalf?”

    OK, I just needed to vent. 🙂

    Like

  4. “This makes me think that selling oneself to the people who are close is not as much about making an actual profit as it is about the pernicious belief that the only value of human relationships lies in how much practical, quantifiable use you can get out of them.”

    A good many people operate this way in life–out to use and exploit people. The fact is they don’t just act that way for business purposes, but do so in many other ways. For a time the only truely friendly people I ever met were out to sell me something in some way or those people whose motivation was in trying to get me to do something for them, otherwise they couldn’t be bothered.

    I went to my hair-stylist for a trim the other day and she asked me how I was doing and then used what info I gave her about some health challenges to try to sell me some alternative health care, claimining it would cure me. She masks concern about my well-being into an opportunity to sell me something. I’ve noticed that this tends to happen frequently, and not just when the economy isn’t doing well.

    Like

  5. How timely. Just last week an old friend called me, ostensibly to catch up, and just as I started to get excited, I realized it was a sales pitch. It was very disappointing.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.