The last few days I’ve been challenged by a “friend” on Facebook. This person has deleted their profile and left Facebook multiple times over the last few years. I know her because she went to high school with my husband.
She gets fed up with drama or politics or people and leaves Facebook with a flourish and instructions to email her if you want to stay in touch. I shrug and she goes away. And then she comes back.
Her latest round of coming back, just a few days ago, has consisted of posting a link to a GoFundMe campaign, in which she and her family are raising money to start a business. They’re asking for $30,000 to fund a weekend BBQ business and need the money for a truck/trailer combo that they plan to take to festivals and weekend events to sell BBQ. If you fund them, you’ll get some combination of BBQ sandwiches, ribs, a tshirt or a pen with their logo and of course undying gratitude.
Something about it bothers me so much. I’d never ask for money in that way. Gift me to start my business, I’ll give you a sandwich. No.
And then she tags my husband and I on Facebook about websites, because that’s what we do. It’s what I do. And she’s asking for free website help and consulting. I don’t and cannot work for free, I also don’t barter.
So instead of offering to do her up a website for free, I pointed her to low cost, yet professional tools that would allow her to invest the time in her business and create a website that could be used to grow their business.
Some of her first responses were, that she’s not good with technology and when I pointed her to tutorials, she told me she wasn’t good at that either and didn’t much like it. Just a bunch of excuses.
What the hell is this entitled mindset?
It’s one that will guarantee failure of the business, that’s for sure. Why did she think that creating and running a business was all about fun, all the time? We told her as much, excuses won’t get you far and you’ll find yourself having to do many things that you don’t want to do, in the course of running a business. Someone has to do them and when you’re in start up mode, that person is probably you, whether you like it or not.
Then today she’s posting that she’s gotten a free Wix website set up but then she’s posting questions about WordPress, the .com and .org and what is the difference between a web host and blog host and how she wants to blog to make money.
So I answer her and tell her she needs her own self-hosted blog, and the differences between the two WordPress sites: one’s a service, one’s the software. And she gets her questions answered, I was a sucker. Another gal entered the conversation and she was only just more informed than Ms. Gimme. So Ms. Gimme says, hey you’re close to me, maybe you can come show me how to do this stuff. And Gal says, I don’t know I never did my domain working. Blind leading the blind.
And why does that bother me so much? Probably because I make a living helping businesses build their website and do their marketing and here she is all donate, please, help me for free.
And I have trouble even asking for a share or retweet or link.
And for my whole life, when I needed to learn something, I have rolled up my sleeves and dug in, I’ve pulled myself up without help, stubbornly and over and over. It seems to me that is the way of success, that’s how you get places, it’s how you create something.
To expect others to do that for you and to expect them to do it for free – I guess that’s the problem. I wouldn’t ask them to cater for free. Hey you know how to make BBQ, would you come and cook up a meal and serve my family for free? Just a few ribs, some brisket, oh and potato salad, you do it all the time, you know?
And later on in the Facebook thread she posts about how she needed it explained in regular words not computer mumbo jumbo. Well, I’d counter and say that the so-called computer mumbo jumbo will serve her better by learning something instead of whining about how hard it is to understand. I guess I was too mumbo-jumbo for her. It’s not making me feel warm and fuzzy, I have half a mind to call her out on her idiocy.
Ugh! I went back to the post on Facebook, and the dude she tagged as an afterthought just chimed in (after over 30 comments) and said “Call me and I will clear all this up for you and make your life easy!” Oh how fricken nice, as if the information offered by those actually participating in the conversation wasn’t valid. It was, I just wasn’t willing to give her a website or huge amounts of time for free and I expected her to invest time and energy in making an effort to understand and do the homework.
Update: I didn’t go back but wrote this instead and it sat in Evernote for a few years before I posted it and back dated it and removed actual names.