great gatsby stop trying to please everyone

You know how it goes, things are complicated, too much on my plate right now, we met at strange times in our lives.

Wait, what’s happening? Am I breaking up with you?

Well, yes and no. I’m explaining why I’m not right for you and how that’s perfectly fine.

Most common paths that bring readers to The Inner Dolphin and expectations/reality

Depending on the route that brought you to The Inner Dolphin, you may have had some expectations or an idea of what you would find here.

Real life acquaintances

Since almost all of my content lately has been about what I do/write, people who follow me because they know me in real life might feel curious or compelled to come here.

Instagram friends

A lot of people come here from my Instagram community. Plenty of people came here after I posted “Things we need to stop doing to kids“; plenty of others when BKF University reposted my latest article.

Most of the people that follow me, though, do not know me “in real life.” They just found something on my page that resonated with them, and decided to hit that follow button.

Google searches

Besides my Instagram peeps, a lot of people arrive at The Inner Dolphin website after searching “psychology major,” “benefits of a psychology major,” or similar inquiries, and seeing “Choosing a Major, the Pros and Cons, Usages, Realizations, and Regret?” in the results.

I celebrated this win a while ago on an Instagram post: “The most visited page on The Inner Dolphin after the homepage itself is my psychology degree article, my “Choosing a Major, the Pros and Cons, Usages, Realizations, and Regret?” pride and joy!!!⁣ With 0 marketing or cash spend to attract readers, it’s simply read by a lot of people looking for answers regarding psychology majors. ⁣⁣
⁣⁣⁣
It was seen in search results 15173 times and it was read hundreds of times, just the past 2 months. That whole 5 part series on education and careers contains such an integral and important part of my story — I’m ecstatic to see it reach and resonate with thousands of people.⁣⁣”

Many others end up here after searching “halo effect,” “how appearances affect us,” or similar inquiries, and seeing “The Halo Effect: A Study on How Appearances Affect Our Views” in the results.

Whoever you are, whatever path brought you here, we need to talk

Whether you’re visiting because a Google search brought you here, whether it’s because you saw my name and this blog mentioned somewhere (in the CreativeMornings Newsletter; in the front page of Imprint; on the page of the company I work for; or on Pocket Recommendations- I don’t know who they are, but they brought hundreds of people to The Inner Dolphin), whether you’re here because you read these every week (I love you!), or whether you’re wondering what this is about, we need to talk. 

Am I right for you?

The more I write, the more comfortable I get speaking my mind.

“The next time someone tells you you need to pick a lane/industry remember that Rihanna exists.” 

Kaylar Will

We contain multitudes. There are so many things I still haven’t written about, many stories left to tell when the time is right.

Digital careers and why numbers don’t matter sometimes

I’ve been working at the intersection of tech and psych and writing for almost three years now. Understandably, I’ve developed an interest in technology, digital careers, ethical online businesses, digital products, branding, strategy. Recently, I was able to put into words something that had been on my mind. Having a huge audience is still not enough.

It doesn’t matter how many people follow me, or how many people end up on my page. An impressive number is trivial if they’re not there for what I have to offer.

For example, it’s a given in the digital world that accounts involving people (instead of tips/information) do better. That’s why it has become an increasingly popular practice to create fake social media accounts of hot women and then sell them when they reach thousands of followers.

Hey, I love sexy pics! What I don’t love is how we continue to shame women profiting off their own looks and attractiveness, while men have been making money with the same method for decades.

When people buy followers or an account with many of them, they have to take into account who these people are. Most of them are bots or horny teenage guys.

tweet from From Nigerian social content creator Toni Tone comment trying to please everyone
From Nigerian social content creator Toni Tone

If you want to be a mommy blogger and your audience signed up for hot pics, then buying an account with thousands of followers might not be the best investment. Same if you want to collaborate with brands or make any sort of impact with your online work.

It would be easier for me (and anyone) to have a bigger reach and more followers if I invested in weekly photo shoots (most influencers do), carefully curated looks and outfits, if I posted pics of my face or body, if I invested in shady SEO practices, or if I was clout chasing in comments (yes, I’m deep into this, I know all the terms and stuff), but how hard would it be for me to convert those people into The Inner Dolphin readers or freelance writing clients? Most of them would have absolutely no desire.

And that is okay!

It’s not me Delfina, it’s you

You may love reading and enjoy all the topics I cover. Yet, you may be reading this like: “What the fuck? I hate this! Why does she speak like that? I just wasted a minute of my life, and I want my money back!!!”

I might say: “Well, maybe you need to give another article a try, maybe then you will see it? And, umm, you haven’t paid for anything.”

Then, you might say: “This is the third article I’ve read! I tried giving you a chance, but I just don’t get the hype. I hate the comparisons you make, I’m not at all comfortable with how vulnerable you get at times, plus I can’t wrap my head around the fact you said The Great Gatsby was the worst $4 you’ve ever spent?!”

The climax

Now we’re at the core of the point I wanted to make. Thank you if you got this far (which I will make sure you do, with subtle, purposeful use of headings).

It’s not me; it’s you. Or, it’s not you, it’s me. Well, it’s neither of us.

I stopped trying to please everyone.

If you’ve been so kind as to share my articles with a friend or colleague, and you were surprised to hear them say, “Honestly, I can’t see it! I don’t like her articles.,” I’m not for everyone, and that’s okay. I do not hope to be the right writer for every reader that lands here. Also, I don’t wish to be the right writer for every client looking to hire.

That is not my intention because being liked by everyone=being loved by no one. I’d have to dilute the fuck out of my message. I’d have to add generalizations and all kinds of filler words to make sure no one gets offended or feels called out. Fuck brutal honesty, but yeah, I’ll choose a positive change in people’s lives over an ego trip of mine any day. My Grammarly editor just told me this paragraph has “tone issues,” but honestly, fuck that! It’s Grammarly, not Grammarfly. Okay, okay, stop booing!

These past few months have been some of the most learning-focused months of my life. One of my favorite writers, David from Raptitude, experiments and learns something new every year. I’m not at that point yet, but I have been devouring resources on subjects that interest me.

Niche et al

The world of digital creators, branding, strategy, ethical online businesses, digital products, is a topic I’ve become increasingly interested in. Since that’s the case, I talked a little bit about that earlier, using terms like: audiences; followers; clout chasing, that might raise some eyebrows.

Maybe the beginning of this piece was too niche, too specific for some of you to care. But last week, I said:

Your job shouldn’t be pleasing everyone or attracting every possible customer. Being the right person for every romantic prospect isn’t what should be on your mind. Professionally, romantically, humanely, you should be you, as distinctly as possible. That’s how you attract your “tribe.” The right friends, partner, customers will then gravitate towards you.

After sharing last week’s article, I received this comment on “A Trip Back in Time, Stats, Action Bias: How to Find the Perfect Job for You“:

Thank you, Aryonia.

If I want to practice what I preach, I need to remember that I’m not supposed to please everyone, just “my tribe.”

I can pinpoint what clients and companies can’t find in me.

For example, I will not work with/for:

  • tobacco companies
  • any kind of animal product (leather, meat)
  • “diet teas,” “weight loss pills,” and anything claiming weight loss is the cure to happiness
  • Forex trading/MLM schemes
  • Companies highlighting clients’ insecurities to get them to buy something
  • Companies profiting of their clients’ lack of information

When it comes to readers, though, I can’t pinpoint it- I know you come from different sources, and that you’re here for various reasons.

You might never like me

Some of you will never like what I have to say, the adverbs I use, the topics I tackle in unorthodox ways, and the way I write in general.

If you’re wondering how the hell people like this when there are hundreds of more talented and more articulate writers, it’s because while that’s undoubtedly true, there is no one who has my story and my experiences, and there are hundreds of people who like exactly that, the way I write and what I have to share. 

For better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish.

Too much? For some. For others, just right.

Fuck Gatsby.

Comments

Great article! With a clear message. People pleasing is a never ending chase. Weed out the energy sucking leeches before they attach with no good intentions. I personally relate to your statement of having so many stories to tell. The right time with the right audience is the goal?

“You might never like me”.
I make your articles my monday motivation and this was just what I wanted to read/hear. Thank you!
xoxo

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