Suck it Up, Buttercup: The World Does Not Owe You a Like or a ReTweet

by Mack Collier

“I won’t write those types of posts, they are beneath me”

“I don’t have all day to spend on Twitter, I have a real job”

“There’s no way he writes his own posts, can’t be”

“Did you hear what she charges to keynote? No way she deserves that much!”

“Yeah if I didn’t have any work to do I could probably spend all day on Facebook too”


The last four months of 2011 were my busiest ever since I started consulting on social media marketing in 2006.  I spoke at several major events, and did three Live #Blogchats in September alone.  In addition, I had regular consulting work for my clients plus a few other projects that were ongoing.

I was hella busy, but it was also the happiest I’ve been in years.  But around August of last year I made a choice which I now regret greatly.  I knew the last few months of the year were going to be insanely busy, so I decided to spend more time on my work and presentations, and less time on my blog and Twitter.

Big mistake.  While my work and speaking was very well received, not posting as often here or on Twitter meant my visibility suffered.  Referrals shrank, as did speaking and other opportunities.

But it was my choice.  Even if it was the wrong one, I have to own it and learn from it.  So after things calmed down a bit after Blog World last November, I began to realize that things were calming down TOO much.  That was when I decided that I needed to rededicate myself to my blogging efforts and time spent on Twitter in 2012.

So I got back in the swing of things in January then really kicked it up a notch last month.  Now, traffic is up, and I’m getting more referrals and work requests, even interviews.

The truth is, if I had my way I wouldn’t blog here everyday.  I’d write maybe a post a week, if that.  It wouldn’t be ‘5 Steps to….’ or ‘3 Reasons why…’, it would likely be ‘here’s what I think’.

But I don’t do that because I know that this blog is a tool I am using to build my business.  We are all responsible for our own actions.  This blog was in a bit of a tailspin in late 2011, and I own that, just as I am responsible for why it’s now doing better.

My point is that there comes a time when we all need to stop worrying about what everyone else is doing or saying, and accept that we are the masters of our own path.  ‘I don’t have time for that…’ is an excuse.  You have the same 24 hours in this day that I do.  We both decide WHAT we will spend our time on, and we both own the results.  Whether they be good or bad.

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” – Thomas Edison

If you don’t have as many blog readers or Twitter followers or BUSINESS as you want, you can either find a scapegoat, or you can roll up your sleeves and do something about it.

UPDATE: I had some fun with my pal Chris Brogan in the picture above, so I wanted to include one of his videos which really ties into the theme of this post:

Chris Craft March 15, 2012 at 8:34 am

Good post Mack. I’m reading a good book related to this topic… ‘Excuses Begone’ by Dr. Wayne Dyer. One of the biggest helps to gaining outside support for my firm’s blog is by forming a tribe of other up and coming bloggers like Fabrice Calando. We support each other. Keep up the good work sir.

Rick Manelius March 15, 2012 at 8:53 am

So do you never write “this is what I think” type content here or anywhere else? I realize that you’ll benefit by writing to your niche, but do you ever find that other writing gives you a creatively outlet that would otherwise benefit your business?

Mack Collier March 15, 2012 at 9:00 am

Rick there’s always benefits to writing and expressing yourself, in my opinion. My point was that if I had my rathers, I’d rather NOT be blogging here 6-8 times a week, and would instead be devoting more time to my actual work. But I do so because I know that blogging more leads to…more actual work.

Last year at SXSW I was sitting in the Hilton’s lounge area at right before midnight on a Saturday night with several people, including Valeria Maltoni (Conversation Agent). We were all tired and ready to go to bed, when Valeria whips out her Macbook and I ask her what she’s doing. She says ‘I need to do some research for a blog post that I have to finish to publish tomorrow morning’. Out of the group of 6 or so of us, Valeria was the only one working on the next day’s post at midnight.

Sometimes you have to put in a bit of extra work to get extra rewards.

Rick Manelius March 15, 2012 at 9:03 am

Gotcha… I didn’t know if you were implying that you always had to stay on message over and over again without taking a little side journey here and there.

I agree about the discipline portion. It’s that little extra effort that keeps you in the game.

Mack Collier March 15, 2012 at 9:05 am

Oh no, as a blogger I think you NEED to take those side journeys sometimes, hell today’s post is a ‘here’s what I think’.

Amie Marse March 15, 2012 at 8:54 am

Good flipping call! I’m blown away by the audacity of some people. The most frustrating lesson in business is sometimes it is a matter of staying in the game.

Discipline, dedication, consistency… these are not fun words but guess what, they are also the answer to pretty much everything.

Mack Collier March 15, 2012 at 9:02 am

Thanks Amie. It seems ‘The Blame Game’ is too easy to play and too many people are worried with shifting blame to someone else rather than looking in the mirror.

J's Everyday Fashion March 15, 2012 at 10:17 am

So much great wisdom in this article! There really is no substitute for hard work!

Dean March 15, 2012 at 12:26 pm


I grew up in the military. They build you down and then build you up again to be self sufficient. Having said that, the military is a team sport: writing is not.

Blogging, speaking, and networking takes a community but writing is a solitary act that requires you to draw deeply upon yourself. It’s a bit lonely but it’s the core of the “Net.” You can be a bright light on the network or a dim bulb in a dark room. The bad news? It’s all because of you. The good news? It’s all because of you :-)

Look forward to reading more! Thanks!

Making Better Blogs

“It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.”

Tammy March 15, 2012 at 12:39 pm

“If you build it, they will come” only works in Kevin Costner films!

Thank you for pointing out the role of personal responsibility in … well, everything! Just showing up in life is rarely rewarded.

Jennifer Kent March 15, 2012 at 1:15 pm

Another great post this week Mack! You may not feel like blogging every day, but it doesn’t show. Each of your posts have made me really think about what I doing and where I am heading. Please don’t stop! I am looking forward to tomorrow’s post and wondering what you will have me contemplating next.

Mack Collier March 15, 2012 at 3:36 pm

Thank you Jennifer, very nice of you to say!

Jim Ducharme March 15, 2012 at 1:17 pm

It’s easier to rationalize and make excuses than it is to take action – most of us have fallen into this trap at one time or another. I’m certainly not the first but here’s an old post about why social media doesn’t owe you a thing (least of all followers or fans).


Susan Giurleo March 15, 2012 at 2:45 pm

Love the picture and caption at the top!! When in doubt, blame Chris Brogan.. : )

Hard work isn’t an easy sell, yet it is the ONLY way to succeed.
More effort never leads to failure….

susanborst March 15, 2012 at 3:14 pm

Hey Buttercup, I’ll RT you any time because you know I like your POV!
Signed – A non-blogger who seems to know a lot of bloggers!
– Now back to work I go!

Mack Collier March 15, 2012 at 3:37 pm

Thanks, rockstar 😉

sfuern March 15, 2012 at 3:28 pm

This line “…accept that we are the masters of our own path” says it all. Thanks for the post!

Brent Poihlman March 15, 2012 at 3:35 pm


One of the best posts you have ever written. I really appreciate the way you talked about your personal setbacks and why it is important to evaluate your own progress and take responsibility for making your own changes.

Great Stuff!


Mack Collier March 15, 2012 at 3:38 pm

Thanks Brent! Long-time readers here have picked up on when I write posts like this, I am also using them as a reminder to MYSELF.

Nancy Cawley Jean March 15, 2012 at 5:17 pm

Mack, I love this post for so many reasons. The headline just cracks me up but it’s so true. No one does owe us a thing… But if we’re friendly and social it all comes back around. If we work hard it will pay off. And if we don’t take responsibility for our own actions, what’s the point? Thanks for yet another great post.

Mack Collier March 15, 2012 at 6:03 pm

Thank you Nancy! I think there’s so many people in this space that question whether someone ‘deserves’ the attention or the book deal or the speaking they get. And yet, roll the clock back 5 years: How ‘big’ was Jay Baer? Jason Falls? Amber Naslund? These people aren’t well-known and successful now by accident.

And 5 years from now there will be a few people that are a ‘really big deal’ in this space that no one has heard of today. Their success won’t happen by accident either.

Marissa Loewen March 15, 2012 at 5:22 pm

I am a first time reader but this post definitely hits home. *shakes fist at Chris Brogan* Thank you for the reminder. I would enjoy more posts like this :)

Mack Collier March 15, 2012 at 5:59 pm

LOL! Thank you Marissa, glad you are here! I’ll do my best to write more posts like this!

Jane Boyd March 18, 2012 at 2:19 am

Mack, so much about this made me smile. So many truths. Investing in ourselves, our ongoing efforts and our own voice is what will get us to the places we want to go. I have always thought this video of Chris was great – because he is right and it is real. True success comes from getting on with the work and being most concerned with staying on the path that we want for ourselves. Accountability starts with looking in the mirror, not over the fence at our colleagues. Thank you for sharing your own learnings with all of us. People like you and Chris help me to be so much better at being both accountable and intentional and I really appreciate that.

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