I STAY doing the most y'all. I want to talk to you about the difference between PASSIONATE and EMOTIONAL, in regards to small business management. I have a perfect example to use too! This is gonna be a long read, and I'm sorry but I don't want anyone to say I'm misrepresenting anything so we are gonna do exact quotes.
Y'all remember the community over competition blog right? Well, I made a video about it on TikTok. On January 6th, a particularly cold and blustery day, I had to go to work early. I woke up at like 6 am to this woman on TikTok telling me that she went to my website and purchased my profit margin sheet because she thought I was stealing from her. I genuinely understood where she was coming from on the whole stealing thing, because I just had a graphic that said "Profit Margin" on the listing. So I wasted my few minute break screenshotting all the stuff I could, and posting a video basically defending myself, and letting her know that I didn't steal from her. I had, in fact, been selling the sheet for a year. (She only created hers in October of last year) She commented back, saying
"All good girl I guess great minds think a like cause I didn't know there was another one that's been out there" She also said someone recommended my sheet in another group and was curious.
Cool. No problem! She then stitched (made a video herself) of my original community over competition video, basically saying when she originally saw my video she was annoyed because she believes in Community over Competition, but after reading my blog about it she agreed and then she followed me on TikTok. Cool, no harm no foul right?! Well.....had we left it right there, I probably would be friends with her, and I probably would have collaborated with her. But that's not the whole story. Someone sent me a screenshot time stamped 4 hours before she stitched my video (you can see the video it's still up) saying the following:
"Apparently someone else out there has a tumbler coat spreadsheet and I just went and bought it to make sure they weren't selling mine *facepalm emoji*
Thankfully they are not but I can tell you for the SAME price - mine is so much better. Not to toot my own horn or anything. *insert sassy emoji with hand up*"
LET ME BE CLEAR. I don't have an issue with her feeling like her product was better than mine. I have a problem with her trashing my company in her professional business group and then telling me she thought I was thief. All while saying "I believe in community over competition!!!" I went back to TikTok where I had asked what group she had seen me in, and quickly followed up with "Oh nevermind. I saw your post. Thanks for the bash lovely!" and posted a video saying "that's very community over competition of you! Thank you for the input. I will 100% be updating my profit margin sheet!" with the audio "row row row your boat the fuck away from me."
Within seconds, she had deleted the stitch with my video agreeing with my stance on community over competition, and said "You're right that wasn't kind of me - and I apologize, sincerely." She went on to say "I think yours is great and I let my ego get the best of me. And I should not have put you or your hard work down, at all. I am truly sorry." She then blocked me. She also posted in her business group that same day saying anyone who takes a screenshot out will be removed. (which was not a group rule previously) A month later, on my alternate TikTok account, I found her asking small businesses to work with her, and I stitched her video letting people know that she has unprofessional business practices. She commented, saying
"I blocked you because you started commenting unnecessary things on my videos (first of all, I think I may have made ONE comment, on the video she stitched with me) . I apologized, I admitted I was wrong. You didn't accept. I can't make anyone accept an apology - nor control anyone else's actions. Therefore I moved on, but clearly you didn't. Please leave me alone, thanks" (and then blocked my alternative account)
So, why am I still addressing this? Because community over competition STAYS BEING CODE for a group of people that use it to feel morally superior over other creators and businesses, while simultaneously bullying, harassing, and dragging down those same people they say they don't see as competition. Why did I have an issue with what she did? It was brutally hypocritical. To this day, I don't understand the point of coming onto my own business page to inform me you don't agree with me, and you bought my product because you thought I was a thief.
Peer pressure is the catalyst for change more than anything else. I firmly believe that integrity is what you do when no one is watching. She didn't think I would ever see her post in her group, so she didn't see an issue with what she said. Where could I have handled this differently? Honestly, if I could go back in time, I wouldn't change ANYTHING about how I handled it, because it showed me two other companies I will NEVER do business with, based on their conversations with me personally regarding the issue. If you don't walk the walk, don't talk the talk. I have zero respect for companies that will flatter you to your face, while dragging you elsewhere. As businesses, we have a responsibility to hold each other accountable in our dealings with each other. If you are seeing this kind of toxic behavior, and you still promote them, and you still associate with them, you are part of the problem too.
My IDEAL outcome is this woman publicly addresses her choices and behaviors, and issues a statement to her group that I was not stealing and that she was unprofessional for her behavior. I want to see her use this situation as a learning opportunity and as an opportunity to talk about the very toxic behavior she's displayed and call it out. But like she said, I can't control someone else's behavior.
But Beka...she said sorry!!!!! Hmmmm. Yes and no. Here's how I know she's not sorry she said it, she is sorry she got caught.
- She deleted the video with me
- deleted the post without addressing it
- and then blocked me.
- She has never tried to have a single conversation with me personally.
NONE of those things are true signs that she's actually sorry, and none of them are taking accountability for her behavior. She continues to put the situation back on me, saying "well you just won't let it go" when in actuality, she is just trying to say what she thinks I want to hear, which in her initial apology was "I think yours is great! I let my ego get in the way" Look. This is equally as toxic. First: she doesn't think mine is great, she said as much in her post. (HELLO INTEGRITY, meet my friend, Honesty) Let me be clear...I DON'T THINK MINE WAS THAT GREAT EITHER.
I definitely needed to update my sheet, it was over a year old, and I wasn't advertising it BECAUSE I knew it needed to be better. She could have owned that stance I would have respected the hell out of her for it.
So: this is where Passion vs Emotional comes into play. I firmly believe that she blocked me out of EMOTION. She was caught, she was probably nervous, and she probably felt guilty. Honestly, if I'm being brutal, I think she originally found the recommendation for my sheet, bought it, (I know she didn't explore my site, and she came directly to the profit margin link because I researched her behavior on my site) realized that I was, in fact, not stealing from her. She probably was feeling super great about herself and her product, and she made the post in her group high on the ego boost and relief. She probably never expected me to see it. So when my video came up on her "For You Page" she was still high on her own ego, and she decided to make herself feel even better, by putting me down.
What I truly wish she would have done is just sent me an email or a DM, and let me know "Hey I also make a profit margin sheet, someone let me know you may have stolen mine, would you mind confirming for me when you released yours?" I would have respected her so much more. In fact, similar things have happened to me. I don't mind those emails. But instead, we just keep doubling down on this issue. It's great for me, it was motivating and now I've updated my profit margin sheet. I genuinely don't give a single fuck that she blocked me, and I genuinely wish her all the best in her endeavors.
So, in conclusion...I don't even have an issue with her actual actions... I have a fucking problem with her doing all this....WHILE SAYING SHE BELIEVES IN COMMUNITY OVER COMPETITION. Like...girl...You can't say you're community over competition and behave like this....This is what absolutely burns my biscuits, chaps my ass, and grinds my gears. Take some accountability. If you can publicly act a fool...You can publicly say "Hey. I was wrong." If you ever catch me out here acting a fool...you let me know and I will take public responsibility.
Love, light and all that shit,