Rejecting Enemies

So we've covered the first four elements of NICER marketing: Nurturing dreams, Inhibiting fears, Confirming suspicions, and Excusing failures. That takes us up to the end of it, Rejecting enemies.

If you'll recall, Blair Warren said to throw rocks at enemies. What people really want is for you to join them in the assault - to attack those enemies and bring them down. But I've sat around thinking about this a lot, and there's an element of this which isn't considered.

See, when you throw a rock at Bob to make Harry like you, Harry will remember that time you helped him throw rocks at Bob for a while - but Bob will remember it forever.

Brad Gosse said something that I quote a lot, namely "Never be afraid to make people hate you." But there are some qualifiers to that. Never be afraid to say what you think, even if people hate you. Never be afraid to take a stance on an issue, even if people hate you. But as a general rule, simply saying or doing things because it makes people hate you... generally a bad policy.

You don't need to throw a rock at Bob. You can simply reject Bob's values. If Bob gave Harry bad coaching and charged $2,500 of which Harry has recouped $13, you don't have to yell "well, fuck Bob in particular!" - and you're better off not doing that. You're better off yelling "fuck bad coaches who charge high prices and deliver little or no result!" because you just rejected an entire class of enemies.

Now you don't just score points with Harry, but with people you've never met who don't even know Bob. Throwing rocks at Bob wouldn't have mattered to them. Maybe Bob has only done a little coaching and isn't very good at it, so rejecting Bob only scores you points with a half-dozen people.

But what Bob did stems from an attitude or behaviour of Bob's that extends across multiple people. So if you take your stance against Bob's bullshit behaviour, it can feel like you threw rocks at everybody... perhaps an entire industry, like internet marketing or the "Make Money Online" crowd... without ever actually throwing a rock or making anyone think "that fucker threw rocks at me."

Case in point, the industry that promotes internet marketing (IM) and making money online (MMO) crowd likes to pretend these are a business. It's not productive to point at a particular person and say "that guy thinks these are a business," because for one thing, he might change his position on it. Then he can point at you and say "that guy is wrong and doesn't know what he's talking about." But if you say "these are not a business and I reject that on principle," then when Bob walks away from that industry, you can be his friend.

You can't do that if you threw rocks at Bob. He'll be all like "fuck you, those rocks fucking hurt." And maybe he'll spend the rest of his career throwing SHIT at you and trying to ruin your business. People take it kind of personally when you call them out by name.

And let's not forget that throwing rocks is just like throwing SHIT. You can either scrape the SHIT of "the IM/MMO crowd is full of SHIT" off yourself and throw it back at them, or you can say "look at this SHIT" and just drop it.

And that's the NICER part. That's where we get kind of hippie-hippie-fag-fag about it and go "throwing rocks at people's enemies will only prevent those enemies from realising their own badassery in their own way." Aww, isn't that sweet of me, wanting even the world's dickheads to have their fair shot at badassery. Flowers and puppies and rainbows and shit. Have a cookie.

Except it's mostly about the innocent people you hit. There are always those who are misled. They look around and see people caked in SHIT who have carved little happy-faces in themselves and said "this isn't all SHIT, you know, we hide our money in here."

And all of us enter any new endeavour a little naïve and stupid, so maybe we join them and say "hey, let's try it," and then along comes someone throwing SHIT in that direction. "Those people are lying! Look at those people! They're full of SHIT!"

You don't stop and think about it, you just go "well, fuck you too!" and start throwing SHIT back. It's a never-ending cycle. Sooner or later, someone has to say "you know, this is just SHIT" and drop it on the ground.

Stop throwing the SHIT and the flow of it in your direction tends to drop off rather dramatically, too. Which is really less about that industry realising their badassery, and more about you keeping yours. Still a SLIM Jim "Selfish" tactic, really, even if it is a FAT Jack "Friendly" one on the surface.

So you're looking for behaviours to condemn, not people. "See this SHIT? This SHIT came from people who believe XYZ. It's SHIT. You don't need it." People will recognise the face of their enemy in the belief.

It also doesn't matter if the enemy really did that. That's the sneaky bit. If you don't say "Bob sucks because he lies and steals your money," Bob can't get mad at you. But when you talk to Bob's ex-students and say "people who lie and steal your money suck," they'll know you mean Bob. You don't have to say his name. And if Bob never did that, but they THINK he did, you get all the credit without ever having to make accusations.