Get Rich Quick Schemes, Instant Fame, And Other Lies From The Internet


Recently, I was speaking at a conference in Canada and the event planner said she was surprised nobody had ever heard of me. I wasn’t. Most people have no idea who I am, and that’s okay.

The Internet has ruined us for humility. Because of social media metrics, we assume that people have heard of us. We believe we are bigger deal than we really are. Internet fame is a funny thing.

I didn’t always understand this. After first starting a blog, I wanted people to notice me in public. I thought because I had a Twitter handle, that somehow made me an important person.

The safest assumption to make.

Just as I was about to give one of the biggest speeches of my life, my friend Jon Acuff said:

Don’t forget, most people have never heard of you. Always assume the audience doesn’t know who you are.

That’s a wonderful thought, isn’t it? What if instead of introducing ourselves with “If you haven’t heard of me…” we said, “You probably have no idea who I am…”?

This is just one of a few fights I want to pick with the world of Internet marketing and other lies you and I have been fed recently.

Tired of the lies? Me too…

“Marketers ruin everything.” — Gary Vaynerchuk

If your Facebook feed and email inbox look anything like mine, you are constantly inundated with promises that seem too good to be true.

So let me just tell you: they are.

The promise that you can build a website in 48 hours and start earning a passive income without having to lift a finger? Too good to be true.

The guarantee that if you buy this product you’ll lose 100 pounds in 8 minutes? It’s too good to be true.

The commitment to teach you everything you need to know to become a millionaire in a month? You guessed it.

You and I have been sold a pack of lies that is doing us more harm than good. The Internet is an amazing tool, something that has literally changed my life. But too many marketers are using it to manipulate people and leave them high and dry.

Frankly, it’s time someone told the truth.

The truth nobody wants to tell you.

You can think of this series as an anti-marketing message. I’m distilling everything I’ve learned in the past decade as a marketer, even the slimy stuff nobody wants to tell you, and sharing what I’ve been teaching Tribe Writers for three years.

In a nutshell, here’s the truth:

  • Success isn’t easy. It takes hard work, but is worth it in the end.
  • Nobody cares about you. Of course, your mom and Aunt Phyllis care about you. But the random person on the Internet doesn’t know you or care about you — until you give them a reason to. Influence isn’t a given; it’s something you earn.
  • The world doesn’t owe you anything. You aren’t guaranteed success. But you are given a chance. And those who add the most value get their reward.

So how’s that for under-promising?