You Have To Break A Few Eggs To Make An Omelet

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During Hurricane Sandy, Reddit sent my blog over 1000 visitors. The few who posted comments on Reddit were aggressively critical, and vulgar. The main point was that it was cruel and selfish of me to “make” a guy deliver sushi to me during Hurricane Sandy. My post was actually more about praising this delivery guy, and not focused on my ordering sushi. Regardless, it begged the question, was it a good thing that I supported the economy by enabling someone who was working until the last safe second to work, or was it cruel and selfish of me to make him shlepp out in the rain and wind. Does this make me a bad person, or a good person. I can see defensible positions for both. Personally, we know where I stand, as I did indeed order sushi, and I certainly felt no guilt for enabling someone who made the choice to work until the last possible moment to meet my market demand with his supply.

While nothing in life is that black and white, and every individual has their own filter and perspective of how they view the world and is entitled to their freedom of expression, there is usually a moral compass that draws a line in the sand somewhere. For example, is price gouging gas at the pumps to victims of the storm a terrible injustice, or is it a function of a free market functioning on the natural laws of supply and demand. A strong argument can be made for the gas station owner who many times loses money, breaks even or operates on the slimmest margins due to massive competition and this market anomaly is his fiscal obligation to his shareholders (and customers as well see in a moment) to maximize his profits in every single situation? After all, as a business you are creating value, and if you can’t stay in business or dont make the margins to give exceptional service, you end up shortchanging your customers on quality and service. The way I feel about this issue is hardly relevant, but the way I feel is that as a business you have to stand by the laws of nature and reality, but as a human being you can be generous and kind with your own resources… So, if the owner wants to give hurricane victims a break, that is very kind of him, but in reality it should come from his own choice, and with a recognition that it may not be in the best interest of his company. (To be fair, goodwill can go a long way, and most businesses that are going beyond the call of duty right now, will benefit in spades in the long run…) The issue is obviously very gray area, and everyone is subject to their own perspective. (Personally, I think cruel and hurtful comments on a public forum are worse than patronizing a business that decided to stay open…)

When you really think about it, America is a divided nation. With a pending election so close no one knows who can win, you have to recognize something i learned the hard way, when you talk politics, odds are half the people in the room disagree with you.

Like many others, I don’t particularly like criticism, and it is always hurtful when people call you names, bully you, etc… In fact, most people when emotionally hurt, remember all the other times they were hurt, and it drags up painful emotions. Over time, I have gotten better at recognizing that what other people say, and how it makes me feel are hardly connected. Most people aren’t very good at walking in your shoes and caring or recognizing how something they say or do affects you. At work especially, I have learned the hard way that people might betray your trust, stab you in the back, or hurt you verbally, and odds are if you took a step back you would realize, it wasn’t really personal. They just weren’t thinking. It wasn’t meant to hurt you, it was a byproduct of them thinking about themselves.

As the saying goes, “If you are wondering what someone thinks about you, odds are, they aren’t thinking about you, and if they are… they are wondering what you are thinking about them!”

Most of us live in our own worlds, and our own heads, so someone who resented me ordering sushi during a hurricane was probably not thinking about me at all, but rather was thinking about how he would feel trudging through the hurricane delivering sushi, or how bad it would be if his boss made him work as the hurricane was approaching. Also, considering the barrier of bashing someone on a forum like reddit with anonymity, and it being super simple to create a fake username, I am suprised of 1000 visitors, only 7 wrote something negative, and 1 wrote a defense to the position.

I was tempted to reply in a witty way, with the line, “What does this commenter have in common with congress? They both vote on things, and bash them without reading them…” After all, reddit is very politically charged although it is decidedly liberal, and if the commenter read my post, it was pretty defensible. I of course refrained from responding as nothing good comes from arguing with people.

Trying to change someone’s mind is a waste of time. All the Bing commercials trying to convince me their results are preferred over google wont change the fact that google owns the category search in peoples minds… No one is running around saying, “Just bing it.” Why, because the human mind is like wet cement, once an impression is made it is almost impossible to change it. The only real¬† shot at changing it is to convince someone you are in a completely different category… Like Bing claiming we are a DECISION ENGINE not a SEARCH ENGINE… a great campaign which begs the question why they are running their current blind test commercials… A fatal branding flaw is not just incongruity, but trying to convince someone you have a better product when their mind is made up.

So, I guess the real lesson is recognizing that we don’t have to all agree, in fact, most of us, most of the time won’t agree, it is nothing personal, it is not a reflection of who we are and our self worth, it is simply the reality that we are a product of a different set of experiences and genetics.

Same thing goes for your company or industry… if there is a black eye on it, you are better off embracing it, or convincing people you are in a different category… but just saying you are better just wont work… Even proving it will be difficult…

So, in life you need to put yourself out there and learn to take the fact that you wont please all the people all the time, and recognize that To Succeed in Life, YOU HAVE TO BREAK A FEW EGGS TO MAKE AN OMELET.

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About David Melamed

David Melamed is the Founder of Tenfold Traffic, a search and content marketing agency with over $50,000,000 of paid search experience and battle tested results in content development, premium content promotion and distribution, Link Profile Analysis, Multinational/Multilingual PPC and SEO, and Direct Response Copywriting.


  1. Marianna Elizabeth Beavis says

    I feel like the title of this post relates directly to my life at the moment, not so much in relation to business but to a personal issue. And it’s very true; if you want to succeed in life you do actually have to break a few things, do things that might not be truly desirable for you or a third party so that you can get where you want to go. It’s a fact of life and I get there are times where other people might find how you go about it to be offensive, but people hardly get anywhere by sitting down idly and waiting for things to come to them. This phrase really helped me justify a decision I made to take an opportunity interstate today, and while the benefits gave me no reason not to do it, members of my family sure as hell did, but I think that in this case, I will be better off ‘breaking their eggs’ and making the choice I’ve made.

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