Straight A’s And Not A Snowball’s Chance In Hell Of Making the A-List Online

Please play along with me. 

I promise it will be relatively painless.

I’m holding up a large flashcard that reads:

“A-List Bloggers”

Quick!!  Say the first name that comes to mind!

Oh, darn. 

It wasn’t ME, was it?

That’s okay.  I love you anyway. 

You’re here and you’re reading this.  That’s what matters to me.

Not sure I want to rub elbows with the A-Listers.  Whaaaa ??!!  That’s right. 

Know why?

It’s not because I lack confidence or creativity.  I’ve got plenty of both.  I’m bright, capable, and loaded for bear when it comes to great ideas and worthwhile messages to share.

It’s because …

Some of the A-List bloggers, online marketers, copy writers, coaches, consultants, etc., are truly awesome professionals BUT some are … well … in my book, not so awesome. 

Better stated, not so honorable. (If you’ve been online for longer than a day, I’m sure you know what I mean.)  I’ve witnessed my fair share of hypocrisy and I don’t care to invest another ounce of energy in that type of culture.

Let’s just say not all the folks sitting on the revered A-List are my cup of tea.

I much prefer to wrap my brain and my heart around Slow Marketing.

Do you remember the “Honor Roll” in school?

Now there’s a list I WANTED to make.  And it wasn’t exactly easy to earn that honor, either. 

But earn it, I did!  Many. Times. Over.

I put my nose in my textbooks, sacrificed a lot of weekend socializing, and burned the midnight oil to earn those straight A’s on my report card. 

I was exceedingly proud to have my name appear on the Honor Roll with all the other Butt Busters!

Making that particular A-List meant something.  It meant the kind of recognition that had a mound of respect attached.

And along with that respect …

Came the expectation of stellar, commendable behaviors and little incidentals like … uh … scruples.

Note to all you coveted A-Listers out there:

Some of you are doin’ it right and hittin’ the mark. 

You’re producing outrageously valuable content, collaborating with the little-known internet stars, and putting your (very) best foot forward to help others succeed. 

And you’re doing it with … drum roll, please … integrity!

Please don’t ever be swayed to shift to the other side.  Please.

And the rest of you on that list?

I don’t believe I saw your names on the Honor Roll.

Image Credit

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This post is part of the October Word Carnival; a monthly group blogging event specifically for small business owners.

It’s the most fun you’ll have all month!

Check out the rest of the fabulous Carney work here: Word Carnivals

Comments

  1. I am curious to know to whom you are referring when you mention the hypocrites…

    I know you’re not talking about me! LOL
    Lorraine Reguly recently posted..How Re-Uniting With My Son Impacted My Life

    • Melanie Kissell
      Twitter: melaniekissell
      says:

      Hey Lorraine — nice to connect with you via LinkedIn today and thanks a heap for visiting my blog! :)

      I’ll refrain from naming names but suffice to say …

      The biggest hypocrites I’ve encountered over many years of being online are twofold: Hype-y MLM-ers and alleged “experts” in online marketing. A ton of people are pushing products and programs (especially high-end, big-ticket offerings) that are nothing more than “what to do to make money online”. They conveniently leave out the “how to” part. A lot of what they sell is specific to what worked for them BUT every business is different. And they’re more than aware that what they’re peddling is not going to make you one thin dime.

      No!! I’m definitely not talking about “you” and, once again, I want to wish you success in publishing your book! Poetry has been a passion of mine since first grade. :)

      • Thanks for the good wishes!

        I know what you mean about the marketers. They always say they have the “secret” but yet they don’t share it. However, I have learned that the secret is to sell something to others, whether it is a book or a course or masterclass or something that’s basically useless (let’s be honest here) to the average person.

        The thing is that most people are not business-oriented, but want to make money. To earn money online you either have to create something people are willing to pay for and/or become part of a scam. I hate that.

        I’m an honest person and don’t like taking advantage of others, whether they are strangers or friends. I believe in the golden rule.

        The sad thing is that all the big name bloggers seem to friends with one another, supporting each other in WHATEVER they are selling/pushing. They won’t give you the time of day unless they have “sold to” you and make you one of them.

        Sorry, that’s not how I want to build a name for myself.

        I’ll stick to slogging through the tough times and make it on my own via my writing.

        It’s nice to connect with you, too, by the way.

        Even though I am a newbie blogger to some, this newbie’s post about her first blogging award is now number one on the search engines…for the Liebster Award. I now get hits on my blog daily due to this post!

        Yay for this little newbie, right?!

        See you around, Melanie!
        Lorraine Reguly recently posted..Do You Love or Fear the Number 13?

        • Melanie Kissell
          Twitter: melaniekissell
          says:

          A big bouquet of thanks for a repeat visit, Lorraine!

          If I hear or see the word, “secret”, just one more time in a sales pitch, I’m going to pop out of my skin! In the first doggone place, a secret is something you DON’T tell. Sheesh. :(

          “The sad thing is that all the big name bloggers seem to be friends with one another”
          Ah … didn’t take you long to figure THAT one out, did it?! And if you hang around the internet long enough, you’ll easily recognize “cliquish; clannish” groups who are bound together with super glue. It’s almost as if they can’t work or function independently of one another in their businesses. LOL!

          Remember the story of the tortoise and the hare? Well, we all know who won that race! You’re doing things right, Lorraine. Yes, it may take longer to reach your goals but so what? At least you’ll arrive there with your integrity intact! :)

          • Integrity is something I definitely have, and cherish. I don’t think the big A-listers know what that word means.

            Sad, but true.

            :)

            It’s great to make a new friend (you); someone who shares my views. :)
            Lorraine Reguly recently posted..How to Add Images to Your Sidebar

  2. Great topic, Melanie! I also think that the honor roll is a great metaphor.

  3. SandyMc
    Twitter: theclanmaker
    says:

    Integrity and hard work, and the desire to serve.

    The honour roll is a great analogy Melanie. We didn’t have an equivalent of an honour roll, but you knew who were the good eggs anyway. They were just decent, hard working and always willing to help others.

    I like to believe that what has happened online will soon become an anomaly and the so called ‘a-listers’ (with a small a!) will fade into insecurity.

    Is it time, do you think that we came up with another term to describe the “A-listers” who are good, decent honourable folk. It seems wrong that they are all lumped into the same pot.
    SandyMc recently posted..An appeal to you, the A-lister

    • Melanie Kissell
      Twitter: melaniekissell
      says:

      Hi Sandy and thanks for joining the conversation!

      I REALLY like your suggestion to come up with another term for the exemplary online marketers instead of lumping them in with all the rest of the so-called A-Listers. Do you have any ideas?

      Come to think of it, I’m growing a little tired of hearing terms like “maven”, “guru”, and I don’t know why, but I absolutely don’t like the term, “thought leader”. Maybe because it’s so overused.

      I’m with you here …
      “I like to believe that what has happened online will soon become an anomaly and the so called ‘a-listers’ (with a small a!) will fade into insecurity.” :)

  4. Maybe part of the problem is that we’re casting the net too wide when we name people as A-Listers. I was reading through Martha’s comment and I thought, there are definitely sleazy people in every industry. And it feels like there are an exceptional amount in the online/marketing/biz industry. But perhaps we’re defining it wrong. I mean, there are a small handful of top notch people and surely we know who they are. The rest of them don’t even belong on the list! Not the honor roll list, not the A list, not even the “oh, I know you…” list. That’s why the rest of us have to keep calling ‘em out! love your last point – do what you do with integrity. No matter where you are on the list!

    • Melanie Kissell
      Twitter: melaniekissell
      says:

      Agreed, Carol Lynn!

      ” … do what you do with integrity. No matter where you are on the list”

      The sleazy folks in every industry may never be weeded out …
      But at least the rest of us can sleep at night. :)

  5. I agree with Martha G on this one. My high school life involved being, at the same time, a jock, an honor roll student and a punk rock weirdo. Being who you are shines through, whether you walk the talk or you are a phone it in d-bag.

    Settle into yourself and be the best you that you know how to be. Mark actions, not popularity, as important and you’ll find yourself surrounded by other action takers and content sharing shakers that make a great circle of individuals.
    Mallie Hart recently posted..Facebook Friday Foibles

    • Melanie Kissell
      Twitter: melaniekissell
      says:

      Great thoughts, Mallie — thanks for swinging by!

      LOVE this …
      ” Mark actions, not popularity, as important” Gets my vote, for sure. :)

      And that’s the whole point of this post.
      Unfortunately, some alleged “experts” online are not exactly leading their followers/clients/customers down the primrose path. Instead, they’re leading them straight into a patch of thorny bushes.

  6. Martha Giffen
    Twitter: MarthaGiffen
    says:

    hmmmm. I have a mixed emotion on this one. Yes, I’ve seen the fakers. The not-so-honest. But, I truly think they aren’t the norm. And when you’re talking about REAL A-listers?? The big names that come to my mind are Problogger, Mari Smith, Mashable, Denise Wakeman, Liz Strauss, etc and they are totally above-board. Why get bogged down discussing the negative side? It’s not worth it. Put out good stuff, find your followers that resonate with you and you’ll be an A-lister to many. So what, you’re not recognized in Forbes. I’ll take my consistent loyal customers any day. Unfortunately, you’re beating a dead horse. There are sleazy folks in all industries and ours is no different.
    Martha Giffen recently posted..Hurricane #Sandy and the Power of Twitter

    • Melanie Kissell
      Twitter: melaniekissell
      says:

      One thing I love about you the MOST, Martha, is your positive outlook and mindset!

      Without hesitation, I would consider everyone you’ve named in your comment a really good egg. And we know a boatload of them, don’t we?

      I’m with ya here BIG TIME …
      “So what, you’re not recognized in Forbes. I’ll take my consistent loyal customers any day.” :)

      This month’s Word Carnival posts aren’t so much about negativity as “awareness”.

      It’s really easy, as you know, especially for those just coming online, to get sucked in to believing the “Make 6 figures in 6 months” B.S. that so-called experts are touting. In my opinion, that type of hype and sleazy behavior needs to end. Maybe it never will. But I don’t mind taking some responsibility to forewarn unsuspecting folks. Better yet, help to get them steered in the right direction.

      Always enjoy seeing your smiling face here!
      You’re an honest, above-board A-Lister in my book. :)

  7. Rich says:

    The problem with being on any A-list is that many of these individuals then feel the need to be on the very top of that list. This becomes their focus and they go to great lengths to achieve this. Completely forgetting what got them there in the first place. You could say, their Honor just Rolled away.

    Great post, my Mel.

    Rich
    143

    • Melanie Kissell
      Twitter: melaniekissell
      says:

      Ooh, I love this, Rich! …

      “You could say, their Honor just Rolled away.”

      SO many ways to make it to the top, right? And let’s face it … not all of those ways are something to be proud of.

      Great to see you on the blog again! :)
      143

  8. Dorien Morin-van Dam
    Twitter: moreinmedia
    says:

    Loved the post! Calling a spade a spade, eh?

    I agree, although it took me longer than a day to figure it out…! Will go check out the Word Carnival, too!
    Dorien Morin-van Dam recently posted..Creating Content: Convert A Powerful PowerPoint to SlideShare

    • Melanie Kissell
      Twitter: melaniekissell
      says:

      Hey Dorien — Ya got that right!

      I’m not only calling a “spade a spade” …
      I’m calling it a “shovel” cause that’s what it is!! ;)

      Took me MUCH longer than a couple of years to break through the fog, if you know what I mean.

      Thanks for taking a peek at the Word Carnival posts for this month — they’re FABBYTASTIC!!

  9. Couldn’t agree more, Melanie. It’s very frustrating to follow certain professionals and then witness nothing less than professional behavior. They talk the talk but when it comes to walking – well they are barely crawling! It’s do odd to me that they would do this in a “public” place (online) and expect that know one would notice. Am I right?!
    Thank you for your post! I hope more people start to realize what’s going on out there.

    • Melanie Kissell
      Twitter: melaniekissell
      says:

      Excellent point, Brooke, and right on the money! …

      ” It’s so odd to me that they would do this in a “public” place (online) and expect that know one would notice”
      I guess some of them think they can “hide” behind the curtain but, at some point, that curtain is going to get pulled back. … and they’re going to get exposed.

      If you’d like to hear what the rest of my fellow Carnies have to say on this topic (and they have LOTS AND LOTS to share!), be sure to visit the Word Carnival. :)

  10. Eugene Farber
    Twitter: eugenefarber
    says:

    Ah yes…the “honor roll.” I was on that bad boy. And admittedly I didn’t work as hard as I could have…or should have.

    The funny thing is, there’s a system to everything…including getting good grades. And if you figure that system out, things just get so much easier, don’t they?

    The problem lies in that first word…”honor.”

    Even if you have the system figured out, you should still treat your position in an honorable manner. Don’t rip people off. Unfortunately that tends to happen a lot.

    • Melanie Kissell
      Twitter: melaniekissell
      says:

      From one who’s been royally ripped off in the internet world, Eugene …
      I’m backing you up 100% on your observations and insights.

      This should be on a plaque …
      “Even if you have the system figured out, you should still treat your position in an honorable manner.”

      Thank you for knocking on my door today!

  11. Roz Bennetts
    Twitter: roz_bennetts
    says:

    Hi Melanie,

    “Success without honor is an unseasoned dish; it will satisfy your hunger, but it won’t taste good.”
    ~ Joe Paterno

    Your post brought to mind that quote which is one of my favourite ones, I truly believe there’s no point in cutting corners with your integrity and I also believe that anyone who indulges in that and thinks that’s the way to get ahead is either a not very happy person or it will come back to bite them. As they say, what goes around comes around.

    • Melanie Kissell
      Twitter: melaniekissell
      says:

      Roz! What a treat to see you here!

      Love that quote from Joe Paterno. Success without honor, in my estimation, tastes pretty darn bitter.

      I couldn’t agree more …
      ” … there’s no point in cutting corners with your integrity”
      There may be some really good ways to “cut corners’ when it comes to things like household chores or planning the family’s grocery budget. But cutting corners with your integrity will surely come back to haunt you.

      Thanks so much for joining the conversation! :)

  12. Yay! Melanie’s back at the Carnival! I think the mass of comments ahead of me pretty eloquently point out everything that’s oh-so-right with this post, and they’ve said it better than I could, so I’ll just add my big fat DITTO! to everything you and they just said.

    • Melanie Kissell
      Twitter: melaniekissell
      says:

      I love your big fat DITTO, Annie!! ;)

      And as an aside …
      I’m having the time of my life getting to know you and all the magic you bring to the world. I’m proud to be doing these carnivals with you. And I wish I possessed just half your courage and sticktoittiveness!
      You’re one spunky lady. :)

  13. Nicole Fende
    Twitter: NicoleAFende
    says:

    Yes the honor roll! I too was on it, and quite proud of the accomplishment. Interesting that seems to be a theme with the carnies?

    Here’s to embracing Slow Marketing and the A-Listers of the Word Carnival.
    Nicole Fende recently posted..The Grateful Dead’s Lessons for Future A-Lister’s

    • Melanie Kissell
      Twitter: melaniekissell
      says:

      Isn’t it interesting (if not amazing), Nicole, how like-minded bloggers sort of “magnetize” toward one another? In our case, of course, carnival bloggers.

      So I won’t say we’re “Birds of a feather”. Instead, I’ll say we’re …
      “Clowns of a costume” ;)

      Congrats on making the Honor Roll in school! And I’d bet your work ethics, standards, values, and morals haven’t changed a bit since then. :)

  14. Nick Armstrong
    Twitter: WTFMarketing
    says:

    That’s funny – I also had straight-A’s in high school – or as close as you could get. I graduated with a 4.16 and there were 15 people who had BETTER GPAs, if you can believe it.

    Our Valedictorian and Salutatorian graduated with as close to 5 as you can get (thanks to AP courses).

    They had a crazy amount of smarts, but they also were willing to grind that much harder than the other 14 of us…. if only by a few minutes or so.

    There were some snaky things along the list, like retooling entire schedules after the fact because one class yielded higher points than another (or one would override a previous 5 or something like that)… but overall you got the impression that these folks were committed to not being really smart, but being the top in the scale.

    It tends to grate on me when folks aim for the achievements rather than aiming for outstanding work.

    In any case, I learned to respect hard work for hard work’s sake. Those folks who get that are outstanding in my book :-)
    Nick Armstrong recently posted..You Can’t Automate Friendship

    • Melanie Kissell
      Twitter: melaniekissell
      says:

      Nick! Happy to see you here!

      And even happier to find out you’re a fellow Butt Buster. :)

      I get this big time …
      ” … aim for the achievements rather than aiming for outstanding work.”
      Kinda reminds me of (some) internet marketers who make the “grade” but not by doing outstanding work.

      I’m with you, Nick — I respect hard work for hard work’s sake.

      Guess what won’t surprise you a bit? All four of my daughters were 4.2 GPA students. A mom can brag a little, cant’ she?! LOL!

      Ooh … your most recent post looks intriguing. Heading over there now. Thanks a million for dropping in!

  15. Michelle
    Twitter: _chelleshock
    says:

    GREAT post, Melanie. I think the honor roll is a good metaphor – there’s people who got on there with hard work and integrity, and people who wound up there through a strange combination of luck, politics, and cheating. I’d definitely like to be in the first group!
    Michelle recently posted..We notice when you don’t do as you say.

    • Melanie Kissell
      Twitter: melaniekissell
      says:

      Hey there Michelle!

      Those sneaky little conniving cheaters may have found (unscrupulous) ways of making the Honor Roll …
      But I like to believe they didn’t get too far in life.

      People who take that approach are bound to dig a deep grave for themselves … they’re aptly due “comeuppance”. :)

      In my book, you’re a good egg, Michelle. You’re definitely in the “first group”.

  16. Janet says:

    nice angle on the carnival! I still get a bit of satisfaction for being able to say I knew a lot of A listers before they got big. And so I’m on their radar a bit more than most.. But still, I try to keep from idolizing any of them and try to stop the marketing buzz madness by remembering that I don’t WANT a blue print, to copy a template, that’s NOT why I signed up for being an entrepreneur. It’s exactly because I wanted to do things on my own, in my own terms!
    Janet recently posted..The Most Interesting Person in the World

    • Melanie Kissell
      Twitter: melaniekissell
      says:

      Ooh, Janet, I’m backing you up on this 100%!

      Your entrepreneurial head is screwed on straight …

      ” … stop the marketing buzz madness”
      ” … try to keep from idolizing any of them”
      ” … I don’t WANT a blue print, to copy a template, that’s NOT why I signed up for being an entrepreneur.”

      Thank you kindly for taking the time to knock on my door and share your thoughts. Enjoy the Word Carnival today! :)

  17. Sandi Amorim
    Twitter: SandiAmorim
    says:

    The Honour Roll – now there’s a list I remember well and you’re right, I had to work my butt off to get there. Why do we think it’s any different with our online businesses, buying into the idea that we can reach 6 figures in 6 months??? That’s the magic of the snake oil; it has us believe the false promises tossed out by the A-Listers who operate without integrity.

    The good news? People eventually wake up to the snake oil salesmen and get back to the business of doing the work! I’m right there in the Slow Movement with you!
    Sandi Amorim recently posted..The Truth About One-Size-Fits-All

    • Melanie Kissell
      Twitter: melaniekissell
      says:

      Hi fellow Butt Buster!

      You’re right, Sandi. There was no easy route, shortcut, or automated means of landing on the Honor Roll. Just like building your business, it required good old fashioned determination, motivation, and freakin’ hard work!

      I’ll leave you with this quote from Winston Churchill:

      “To build may have to be the slow and laborious task of years. To destroy can be the thoughtless act of a single day.”
      (A little something for the snake oil salesmen to drink in) :)

  18. Sharon Hurley Hall
    Twitter: shurleyhall
    says:

    Hope those others check themselves after reading this, Melanie – very succinct but with a wealth of good advice as always.
    Sharon Hurley Hall recently posted..10 Reasons Why I Spend Zero Time Thinking About A-Listers

    • Melanie Kissell
      Twitter: melaniekissell
      says:

      You know me, Sharon …
      The shorter the post, the better. ;)

      They don’t call me the “Princess of Pigeonhole Posts” for nothin’! LOL!

      Thanks for dropping in. Loved your carnival post — could read it a hundred times.

  19. Tea Silvestre, aka the Word Chef
    Twitter: teasilvestre
    says:

    SO glad to have you back at the Carnival, Melanie! We missed you. And this is a wonderful message you’ve got here. Yes! The honor roll. Definitely not the thing the “cool kids” coveted. I must admit, I did attempt to follow the cool kids during my last year of high school. And it got me…NO where. Sheesh! Lesson (finally) learned.
    Tea Silvestre, aka the Word Chef recently posted..Warning! May Be Hazardous to Your Business: Heroes, Gurus and Other A-Listers

    • Melanie Kissell
      Twitter: melaniekissell
      says:

      Excited to be back at the carnival, Tea!
      (I was starting to have cotton candy withdrawals) ;)

      The “cool kids” in high school were always fun to observe. At least they were for me.

      I could detect patterns in their behaviors and I would just sit back and wait for those ever lovin’ natural “consequences” to fall upon them. And they did. A few I kept a close eye on were expelled from school, one went to prison, and four of my really “cool” classmates didn’t attend graduation ceremonies due to pregnancy. Oops.

      Proud to know you exited the cool gang, Tea. Kudos to you! :)

      • Vernessa Taylor
        Twitter: CoachNotesBlog
        says:

        Hi Ladies,

        Don’t get mad at me …

        In our high school, a strange twist of fate: the cool kids WERE the smart kids! They were the ones on the honor (honour) roll … they were the ones excelling in sports (basketball, track, football, volleyball) … they were the ones on the debate team and making the moves in the talent show.

        They took every award, academic and copacetic!

        I guess you can say the smart kids took “cool” and showed ‘em how it should be done. LOL

        Haha. Now that’s poetic justice!
        Vernessa Taylor recently posted..Algie! Algy! (The Algorithm Poem)

        • Melanie Kissell
          Twitter: melaniekissell
          says:

          Vernessa, that’s the sweetest “poetic justice” I’ve ever heard!

          Oh, and no one is mad at you. LOL!!

          I honestly envy you and I think it was truly wonderful to have attended school in such an environment. Let’s just say an educational atmosphere where priorities were in order and people had their heads screwed on straight. Can’t beat that deal! :)

  20. Nick Armstrong
    Twitter: WTFMarketing
    says:

    All four!? That’s a hell of an accomplishment!!
    Nick Armstrong recently posted..You Can’t Automate Friendship

  21. Melanie Kissell
    Twitter: melaniekissell
    says:

    Thank you, Nick!

    Can you see me taking a bow? LOL! ;)

    Seriously, though, I REALLY lucked out with this bunch of (kid) coconuts. I am truly blessed.

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