It has been a couple of days since my post now, and I wanted to respond to a couple of things.
I received an overwhelming amount of support, so thank you for that! All told, there have only been two real detractors so far, each for a very different reason. I’m not sure if/when I’ll reply to one of them publicly, but I thought the other deserved a thorough response.
This whole idea of “It’s not personal, it’s business:” I was told that it wasn’t fair to say that, that it IS personal, and that it was just an excuse to make myself feel better about how I handled it.
In this day and age of the internet, blogs, and social media, personal and professional lines are blurred all over the place. This much is true. Save for a few dollars here and there for advertising, I don’t make money off my blog. It’s all personal. Generally speaking, I’m a pretty boring person… but I’ve shared warts. I’ve shared mistakes. I’ve shared regrets. They’re here for the taking. I know how it feels to have those personal words taken and shared and twisted. It does feel personal, and it does feel hurtful.
But it’s part of sharing yourself publicly, and I get that. An unpleasant part for sure, but it comes with the territory. And because I’ve chosen to share my life with whoever cares to read about it, I feel it would be disingenuous not to be transparent and authentic about it (which is why I try never to delete blog posts)
Here’s the caveat. Once money changes hands, it becomes a business relationship, regardless of what you may know about me personally. And as such, there’s a certain amount of reasonably expected professional behavior at play. You should be able to expect me to conduct myself in a certain way. You should be able to expect that I’ll treat you fairly. You should be able to expect that I’ll treat you courteously. You should be able to expect that I’ll honor my words to you. You should be able to expect that I won’t make the interaction personal, because it is in fact business.
In a couple of months, I’ll be opening up registration for my conference.. the first time I have ever taken any money for anything unschooling-related. I consider many of you personal friends, but once you give me your money, I’ll also consider you a customer. And as a customer, I would assume – no, I would expect – that if you feel I treat you unprofessionally or unfairly in any way that you would tell me! I’d also expect that if, once you told me, I didn’t make it right, that you would tell others.
That transparency I mentioned up above? That goes doubly for a business transaction. It’s the way businesses work. We’re happy, we tell people. We’re dissatisfied, we tell people. As consumers we look for and appreciate and need these reviews from people who’ve come before us, so that we can make informed decisions.
If I behave badly in a business related capacity, you have every right to share that with others. It’s not personal, it’s business.