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10 December 2014 @ 12:23 pm
Seeking Attention  
I was listening to a podcast a couple of weeks ago, and they were talking about the phenomenon of social structure that a hundred years ago, most of the self-help books of the day were about building character, while today, many of them are about being an influencer. They said this is evidence of a shift in our culture from agricultural (where diligence and honesty are more important) to consumer (where being able to sell things and ideas is the way to get ahead).
I have noticed this predominance of importance placed on sales skills in many of my jobs and in the dating world. Charisma, not character, is what a lot of people are looking for, not just in a mate, but as a prerequisite for even entering the dating arena. If you're shy, many people don't consider you worthy of finding love at all. If you don't believe me, visit singles forum sites. You'll see that many people think a person who is not assertive enough to approach someone (especially men approaching women) is doomed to a solitary life and, in fact, will be the subject of harsh derision.
And that bothers me, not just because I suffer from a deplorable lack of the flashy sort of charisma that is so valued in today's culture. I think it's terrible that we've replaced character with charisma, begging to be influenced by people who may not have our best interests at heart, or who may not be competent to serve the interests of those around them, simply because they have a silver tongue.

But I wanted to talk today about my problem: I'm not a salesman. I'm not good at getting attention. I'm good at many other things, but none of that seems to matter in the society that surrounds me.
I'm struggling in my business. I'll be perfectly frank about that. The people who have used my services have all been pleased with them, but I am constantly finding evidence that most people in my town don't know I'm offering those services. I've passed out business cards and asked my circle of acquaintance to do the same. I've talked about my business to others and asked others to tell their friends about me, but I'm not getting phone calls. I've put up a Web site and done social media campaigns, but I'm just not getting any traction. I really need the help of someone who knows marketing, but I can't afford to contract with a firm that specializes in this. I am, after all, a sole proprietor business with no employees beyond myself.
I'm struggling in my romantic life. I don't go to places where I meet many new people. I'm not into the bar scene. I don't have a lot of money. And I don't think more than a couple of my old acquaintances are interested in me. No one introduces me to new people. At least, not often. I don't recall anyone trying to set me up with someone. I haven't gotten more than one or two responses from anyone to my question about what I should put on my profile. Actually, I don't remember anyone responding, but forgive me if my memory has failed to recall you if you did.
I've been thinking about doing a podcast, but I can't get any response from people in my social sphere about what they'd find interesting.
I'm struggling in my social life. I put a lot of thought into most of what I post on social media. Yet only a handful of my contacts respond on anything approaching a regular basis. I don't even know if most of my contacts see anything I post. I ask questions, but it feels sometimes like I'm querying into the void.

I'm not saying all this to make anyone feel bad or to inspire pity. I want to improve. I know I'll never be a great salesman; my talents lie elsewhere. But I am hopeful that I can get some suggestions from you (yes, you. If you're reading this, I want to hear what you have to say) about ways I can improve things.
I don't really want more attention. I'm not one of those people who thinks everyone should be paying attention to me. I'm much more interested in being a man of character who works in the background to make the lives of others better. But I need some attention to make a living at my business. I need clients. And I do want to meet one more person: my wife. So, as far as I can tell, the route to those things is getting a little more attention.
But I don't know how to do that. I'm not sure I can do that for myself. But if I can, I want to get enough attention to make a living. And if not, I hope someone else can point enough clients my way for my business to be profitable.
What should I do?
 
 
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The Reluctant Hermitskreyola on July 15th, 2016 06:23 pm (UTC)
Re: I hear you
:)