Tell The Truth
I purposely say, “I don’t want to,” or “That’s not how I prefer to do it,” when I don’t want to do something. I don’t waste energy making up some less confrontational reason.
When fellow entrepreneurs come to me with a sticky client situation and ask me for advice, I always tell them to start with the truth—
“I don’t feel right about proceeding in this way.”
“This isn’t an ethical marketing practice.”
“I need to extend our timeline because I’m burned out.”
“I’m not available via text anymore.”
I know this breaks a lot of “rules” about how we’re supposed to act in business—stoic, robotic, leave you emotions and drama at the door, keep everyone at a safe distance, don’t show any vulnerability or you’ll get taken advantage of / no one will take you seriously, etc.
Ugh. I’m so tired of it all.
You think that because I tell the truth, that gives you leverage over me? Well, you’re wrong. I’m pretty unfuckwithable, and I’m older than most people think I am, and I trust & respect myself, and I listen to my intuition, and I’ve dealt with enough gaslighters and misogynists and narcissists to spot the signs pretty early.
I’m not scared to tell you the truth. You’re scared to hear the truth.
I once dealt with a Director of Operations who would always compliment me on my “directness,” but it always kinda felt like he was laughing at me… like, hahaha isn’t she so cute. 🙄
I had the distinct feeling that he was threatened by it, and in response he would double down on his SNL-parody corporate jargon speak. Nothing ever got done.
See, I’ve got a mischievous streak. 😈 I like to watch male mediocrity squirm in the face of an uncomfortable truth or a direct question. I relish the awkward surprise that falls over a zoom meeting when my “share” includes things like how my anxiety is doing today, or how stressed I am about climate change.
I realize this may not be the healthiest, most mature way to introduce more truth into how we do business.
But hey, I’m only human.
And we have to make our own fun sometimes.
Samantha Pollack writes creative copy (mostly emails) for feminist companies and/or thought leaders who are working to build a fairer, more connected culture. She’s also the founder of The Highly Sensitive Entrepreneur, a 6-week course that helps HSP business owners create healthier, more sustainable systems in their work.
She publishes frequent essays on feminism, privilege, pop culture, entrepreneurship, the creative process, and more on her website, cultofpersonality.co. She currently lives in Asheville, NC, and while she can *technically* work from anywhere, she prefers her adventures laptop-free.
Emails for cult thought leaders.
Want to learn how to craft emails that inspire action and engagement WITHOUT the “tried and true” (cough: patriarchal) norms we’ve all been taught?
I’m doing it, and I can show you how to do it, too.
(But sometimes, I also like to write about the books I’m reading, or the creative process, or the entrepreneurial experience, or why I hate Steve Jobs, or how I met my BFF. I’ll send you emails like that, too.)
*Just kidding. It’s only an email list.
Books. Cats. Rants. Drawrings.
(and every couple months or so, an unexplained absence 🤷🏻)