All Good Things Inevitably End.
I Thought There Were Good Things...
...and there were! 7.5 months ago, I found this platform. It didn't take me more than mere minutes to decide that becoming a premium member was the best decision for me. Wealthy Affiliate training has changed me from knowing nothing to wanting to learn more each day. I had no idea what it took to build a website, create quality content, and I had never in my life heard of PPC or SEO. Thanks to this platform, I have gained opportunities I never dreamed possible and friends who I consider family.
Thanks also to this platform, I have learned about many of you. I know I'm not alone in saying that building personal relationships with some of you has been one of the best benefits I could have gained here. I could go on and on about those of you whom have left such a powerful impact on me, but I'd likely bore you all. The truth is, you know who you are. Thank you for shaping me into who I've become since stepping into this world of WA.
Beginning at the start of my journey and until very recently, my experience has been 98% positive. My decision to pay for a yearly membership took no convincing. I'm here for the long haul. The hosting and the training paired with genuine people make for the perfect recipe for success. Many of you know this, which is why you're also here.
Changes Aren't Always Good
We've all heard the phrase, 'Change IS Good'. However, if we're honest, we can all think of times when we've been thrown into change and it just wasn't the best outcome. It happens, right? Of course, it does! I normally correct those who say that phrase with, 'Change CAN Be Good'. Perhaps you'd agree with my own take on the common phrase.
There is no denying that this world is changing and what we knew of it will never be the same when this crisis becomes less of that and levels out. Have you noticed the changes that have taken place within Wealthy Affiliate? I'm not even suggesting that the two events are outcomes of the other, but we'd be fools to think it wasn't a possibility. I mean, we're all online more now than we were 3 months ago. We have more time to think, and thus, stir the proverbial pot (that's already full to its brim).
Is It Worth The Anxiety?
In recent weeks, I've witnessed things written within blog posts that have made me wonder what really makes WA a valuable asset to my business. I've searched my soul for the answer to that question and a few days ago, it became quite clear. I've known all along that anything I've learned about how to build an online business has come from nowhere other than the training found at WA. But that's not what is keeping me here.
I have continued to build my business while learning so much from many of you. And guess what? I don't care that not every single post relates to WA or business building! 99% of you don't either! We have been given a very unclear (in my opinion) set of guidelines to use as a road map.
Dare I say that things have been tossed around by some of our members that have given me reason to 'unfollow' or 'ignore'? Have I bit my tongue in anger because some friends were being treated so poorly? Am I deciding to step away from the social bit of WA? Yep! Yes. You guessed it! This is likely my last WA post for a while...
What Makes You Right & Others Wrong?
To those of you who think WA posts need to be ALL ABOUT BUSINESS, let me ask you this: Who gave you the permission to decide what is relevant or not regarding WA post content? Of course, we all know by now that politics and religion are no-no's. But to be so degrading of content that expresses one's feelings or thoughts about anything else? To insinuate that one's post is not relevant to your learning just makes you hypocritical. I mean, surely the post you wrote expressing that opinion goes against everything you're trying to argue.
You're blasting these unclear guidelines around like you have the authority to do so. 'On-topic' is a phrase I've seen you write about. Let's play the devil's advocate for a spell. Might that mean that one should just see to it that his post is on topic throughout it? Does it really mean that each post MUST relate to WA and building the business?
I've read several posts written by some new members and experts alike. Some of the best posts talk about life and circumstance, but it isn't until the end where we learn about the connection to WA. Other times, we read about honest thoughts and situations of others. Then, there are specific posts discussing small gains in the platform and other posts outlining business success. Are they on-topic? Indeed they ALL are! Who are we to 'police' what one wants to say? No one made y'all the boss, Applesauce. No one likes a know-it-all or smartie pants. Let's leave the policing to K&C, shall we?
When In Doubt...Don't!
(Thank you, Christine, for reminding us to cool our jets!) To a very small few of you, your argument is that you pay to be a part of this platform and come here to learn. We all do. If there's something you'd like to read, read it. If there's something that doesn't tickle your fancy, don't read it. It's really quite simple. You have the option to pick and choose how you spend your time (and your membership).
To me and millions of others, we use the platform to learn, connect, and grow. Many of us use the blogging option to work on perfecting our writing and to figure out our writer's voice. It is comments from others that encourage us to do better. Personally, I have several people to thank for my growing passion to write. Without WA, I wouldn't be writing right now.
I've written before about just keeping negativity out of WA. The term, 'bullying' has been discussed recently. Having been a teacher, I know all about the word. Because of that, I'm not one to downplay it. Is it happening here? You bet it is! Is it wrong? ALWAYS! Just don't engage if you have nothing nice to say!
What happens when we feel wronged or confused about rules or regulations? We ask questions, right? We should feel safe in doing so. But then, often times, we're answered with snooty remarks that lower us into the ground or force us into a corner wearing a dunce hat. Again, the rudeness comes into play and we're made to feel stupid. Many of you have reached out to me saying that you've been so belittled and treated like garbage. Why would anyone feel safe asking a question in this kind of environment?
Have You Been Wronged?
But there's more! Let's step back to those 'clear as mud' guidelines (that usually get taken out of context). No doubt there are rules buried in the archives that we have no idea about. At what point, though, do morals and ethics come into play? Perhaps someone could shed some light on this scenario (I may or may not be asking for a friend...):
A few weeks ago, I noticed some of my words, my WA testimony (AND my image) on a WA member's web page. At first, I was flattered. Why wouldn't I be? Someone thought my story was worthy of telling and is using it to promote Wealthy Affiliate... the catch? I wasn't asked about it or even told that it was done. I found it on my own. Imagine my surprise!
No harm, no foul, right? That's what I thought. But opinions from friends had me thinking this was a some kind of breach of privacy. Kindly, I reached out to this WA member and asked that perhaps a link to my business page could be put into the article. I wasn't upset that it had been written, but wished I had been at least informed that I was being used in such a way.
Do you know what happened? Nothing. Crickets. Zero response. The web page still stands and my requested link to my business site is not present. So? Perhaps you'll be interested in finding out that this WA member is an Ambassador on our platform. (Yeah, I'm shocked, too!) I remain disappointed in what has happened to me. Yes, Kyle has been made aware, as I wanted to know if this kind of thing was allowed. More crickets. I'm getting used to that sound, unfortunately.
The Label Of An Ambassador
Is not one that I have taken lightly. There is a stigma surrounding it, though, and I'd like to offer some insight. Many people think that our ambassadors are the ones making loads of money. (Some do!) Many also think that WA ambassadors are very knowledgeable about affiliate marketing and can answer any question asked. (Many are!) It's my opinion also, that the ambassadors do so much and work to keep the peace among the platform. (Absolute truth!) So much so, that it appears as though the ambassadors are the glue keeping many parts of WA up and running.
It's because of this 'view' of ambassadors that I have decided to step away. I am not making bank and I do not know all the answers. Quite frankly, there is a lot of work that goes into keeping this status and it's not paying the bills. You've read other members discuss this same thing. I thought for months that I could keep up doing what I was doing on the WA platform AND put in the required time to work on my business. I was wrong and I'm not afraid to admit it.
I hoped that at some point, I wouldn't have to choose what to give up. The time has come, unfortunately, and my status here will suffer. It's okay, though! I'm not the 'ideal' ambassador anyway and others are far more deserving than I. To be frank, it's not worth the stress, anxiety, or time anymore. Something has to give.
Ciao For Now
My plan is to do much less within the community. In doing so, my rank will plummet. I cannot continue to spend time in a place that has so quickly turned negative. In a time when we need the support and encouragement from others the most (thanks, pandemic), others step up to the plate hoping to hit a home run with bullying, negativity, and cruelty. Please don't suggest that I (or anyone else) grow a thicker skin. That's not what this place should require. It is also not the reason I or thousands others have signed up for WA. (How is it that we let a few bad apples upset the apple cart?) It's not too much to ask for kindness, is it?
As for me and my decision to step away - it's all good! There is a silver lining to this. It's a choice I'm choosing to make for myself, my family, and my business ventures. All I have learned from WA is beyond priceless. Also, I could never place a price tag on the friendships and relationships I've gained thus far - BECAUSE OF WEALTHY AFFILIATE! I have no bee in my bonnet. All that has happened is experience. Am I disappointed in some of you? You bet. But that doesn't allow me any more rights to be rude or unkind.
I'll still be reading posts written by many of you. (Some of you inspire me more than you will ever know!) I will just be doing far less commenting. Many of you have found me via social media, and you're also more than welcome to send me a PM. Relationships made via WA have by far been the real asset to me. I intend on keeping those of you around whom have so richly blessed my life (and YES, business)!
To those of you who are new to WA, welcome! You should know that the majority of things presented here at WA are true and right and MOST people are kind. Don't be put off by the attitudes of others. (Chances are, they're just unhappy folk in general.) To those of you who can't say anything kind, please find another place to host your thoughts and negativity; you're turning many great members away from WA.
Many thanks to those of you whom have helped me see the success I'm experiencing. You will never know the depth of my sincere gratitude. I'm also appreciative that some of you have also shown us your true colors and in doing so, have made some of us focus less in the community and more on our business. I guess we all win in the end! This butterfly is choosing to fly higher and higher... sprinkling pixie dust to all my lovelies!
To your success today and every day!
Hugs (to those accepting them)!