Sunday, November 25, 2012

Peddlers of Optimism and Hope

"Dainty Diva" 24 x 20 OIL on Canvas

New apps and sites are popping up everywhere. Each one promises to do more for your business than the last. I’ve tried them all. Most of them are free, at least in the beginning. The success of the app seems to be in proportion to how much you are willing to spend on your dream.

Many social networks are selling something that will make them richer while depleting your budget. Few deliver what they promise. Many of the sites I’ve tried have already petered out; unsuccessful in their attempts to make “the sale.” There’s always a gimmick or a hook to reel you in, but not enough to permanently keep you.

"Flash Dance" 16 x 20 OIL on canvas
What they offer is optimism and hope. “Try us and we’ll bring you oodles of customers.” “Try our service for 60 days and we’ll bring you 1,000 new hits.” If your hope is still there after 60 days, there’s a charge; but you may be willing to fork out a few dollars per month to keep your dream alive.

Peddlers of hope tie into our gullibility. They, too, have a dream but they’re counting on you to make it come true. So we bite! We take the bait and run with it, hoping that eventually we’ll make up for our losses. After all, “it takes money to make money,” or so we’ve heard.

"With These Hands -- Hope" 16 x 20 OIL on Acrylic underpainting
Our insecurities add insult to injury. We begin to believe the network hype. We’ve bought into it before when we try a new product or test a new theory. We’re sold when our hopes and our vulnerabilities meet at the tipping point. It’s like a global game of chance. You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours. You follow me, I’ll follow you. You befriend me and I’ll befriend you. You look at my stuff and I’ll look at yours.

If we’re lucky, that rare interested person comes along and takes the time to look at our wares. They may even consider buying. A purchase here or there keeps our dreams alive, and we’re off chasing rainbows on the next latest and greatest app or social site.

"With These Hands -- Love" 24 x 18 OIL on canvas
Time is a valuable commodity. How we use it and where will determine our own personal success. Connecting with the appropriate online audience and with targeted customers is the key. 

We must be shrewd as well as friendly. We must learn to weigh the value of each opportunity. Otherwise we may end up spinning our wheels in a kaleidoscope of schemes and distractions.