A Very Bad Example

A very bad example “It’s inconceivable to me that anyone continues to read your drudge. Vulgar language is confused for wit, a little-girl-lost routine mistaken for relevancy and a column named after a violent gesture that I can only guess you feel is tough love. Do you think you’re setting a good example? I’m here to speak for all those who won’t and tell you you’re not. You’re a very bad example. Bad for businesspeople who take what they do seriously. Bad for anyone who comes looking to learn just to get smacked down. Bad for college students who think you hold some sort of key to success in the real world. Do us a favor and quit while you’re behind. We could use fewer bad examples cluttering up the airways.”

The above is the verbatim text of an email that landed in my inbox on late Saturday evening via my website’s contact form. The email address was, naturally, invalid, but the words very real.

You’re a very bad example.

And so I got to thinking – maybe this person is right. Am I?

Yeah. I am.

What kind of fucked-up realization is that to come to over a weekend? Six different kinds of fucked with a side of bacon, that’s what that is. So I sat down and put together all of the ways I’m a bad example. Apparently, it’s time to clean-up my act.

I’m a bad example of a business owner. In less than two years, I went from being an investor in a startup to dead broke to having multiple contractors and making a six-figure salary. My taxes are current, I hold all of the proper business licenses for my locale and I just hired a payroll company, a new CPA and a bookkeeper. I have no idea why I bother with all of this when it would be so much easier to go back to the way things were, a predictable paycheck every week from a job I don’t enjoy where I get paid less to do what I’m able to do for full-rate.

I’m a bad example of good advertising. Why? Because I don’t do any. If I had the balls to go out and post some ads, maybe I wouldn’t have to rely on the fact that 80% of my business comes from referrals from happy clients and agencies and the other 20% comes from direct inquiry over the contact form on my website.

I’m a bad example of successful relationships. Two divorces, an ex-fiancé and some other relationships that didn’t end with my hair tumbling out of a tower so Prince Charming could climb on up. At 38, it becomes more clear to me each and every day who and what I want and consider myself blessed to have found three men in my life who I wanted to give a go at forever with. And the best gift of my 37th year? Seeing that what I thought was love was a very bad example of it and in its wake, discovering what it truly looks (and feels) like.

I’m a bad example of how to build an audience. Since the launch of RedheadWriting in its first incarnation in 2006, I’ve not only put the blog through massive changes in look, feel and tone, but I’ve found a voice that rings true. When I write, it’s me, not what I think people want to read. My readers call me out on it when I phone it in and there’s no mistaking that this is a place that anyone can voice their opinions. In other words, I’m a really horrible example of what happens when a writer listens to her readers, appreciates what THEY bring to the table and realizes each day that she wouldn’t be able to do what she loves without them.

I’m a bad example of literary prowess. There are legions of people who would never dare eke an f-bomb, and y’know what? I don’t think the f-bomb is funny. I think it IS. It’s a part of who I am, how I speak and sometimes there are times in life where there’s nothing you can really say except “fuck.” It’s like the lame attempt to dub a CeLo Green song into “Forget You.” It just ain’t the same. Some might think it’s lazy, but I know fancy words like philander and fornicate are just pulling punches when you need the bling-bling an f-gem.

I’m a bad example of a good student. I’m what happens to National Honor Society, Who’s Who Among American High School Students and high school and college honor graduates when they don’t get the right job. I piss away a college education, only to become a business owner and (heavy) taxpayer who provides jobs in a challenging economy. That, my friends, is The Suck, and a frightening example of what can happen to a good student.

I’m a bad example of being happy. Everyone knows that in order to be happy, you have to be like everyone else. You have to fit in and do what everyone else is doing. I went astray somewhere and decided that the motion sickness I was getting from riding that train wasn’t worth it. So I got off. Funny thing is, that train I was on wasn’t bound for Happyville. It was bound for someone else’s destination. It sucks to wake up every morning and realize again and again that you’re living your dream. That is, one that YOU were meant to live. I might have days where I am truly a “little girl lost,” but those days are becoming fewer and I always see a way out. Learning to live with them and understanding they are the exception as opposed to the rule? Pretty damn nifty. I guess most people are unhappy since I’m a bad example of happiness.

And finally…

I’m a bad example of what can happen to you. You should be frightened. Scared out of your drawers, actually. You could end up like me. One day, you could wake up and realize that everything in life you’ve ever wanted is within your grasp. That happiness isn’t dependent on people, things or geography. It’s not about the car you drive or the money in the bank. It’s completely terrifying to think that you’re the one who controls how you journey through life, because it’s easier to blame other people for the shit that rolls down your hill.  Life’s pretty shitty when you finally realize that you’re accountable for your actions and when you step up to slap others for their potential missteps, that you’d best have slapped yourself first. Each day, you could commit to compassion and try to help someone new or you could just push along in your every-man-for-himself routine and step on as many as you can on the way to the top.

But here’s the thing: there’s nothing waiting at the top because you’ve pushed everyone else off the ladder.

So, dear Anonymous Reader who said I was a bad example…I think you’re right. Lock up the women and children because I’m here to corrupt this bitch of a thing we call Life. And while I do it, you can get back on the train I got off of years ago. We won’t miss you when the train pulls out, but I hope you’ll stop by every now and again when that train keeps circling back around. We always need reminders of how we don’t measure up to everyone else’s standards (and why we simply don’t care).

Everyone who’s ever taken a shower has an idea. It’s the person who gets out of the shower, dries off and does something about it who makes a difference.

~Nolan Bushnell

167 replies
  1. John Falchetto
    John Falchetto says:

    Great post- never understood why people sent hate mail to bloggers, who exactly is forcing you to read Erika’s blog? Seriously if you don’t think she is a good example stop going to her blog and reading her. I love these hatters. The anonymous ones are even better.
    They come and complain and wine like you impose your views, and writing on them.

    Deep down they just enjoy reading you and it pisses them off to see how well you are doing week after week. So you know what? Just keep writing and being a living example.

    Reply
  2. Sandi Amorim
    Sandi Amorim says:

    Wow! My girl crush on you just intensified! As business owner, as woman, as human being…you’ve inspired me on a day that I’m feeling a bit down. Having been on the self-employed train almost 10 years, some days I look longingly at the stability of a job, forgetting how it sucked the life out of me!

    So, I’m picking myself up and taking your words and spirit with me today as I get back to the job of being the best ME I can.

    Thanks Red! (and fuck you Anonymous! I never liked your name anyway!)

    Reply
  3. Isabella
    Isabella says:

    Girl…… your response to this email you received just made me do the happy dance..
    god help people who live in some la la land that perpetuates expectations of great choices right out of the box, perfect decisions, and if mistakes have been made for god’s sake don’t admit them or try to learn from them. Much less acknowledge that we are all walking wounded in this life and the journey is so much easier when we join hands together, accept each other and have a fucking sense of humor.

    Reply
  4. gcmandrake
    gcmandrake says:

    Great article, had me smiling the entire time I was reading. What was it that Winston Churchill said, “You have enemies? Good. That means you have stood up for something, sometime in your life.”

    Reply
  5. JosephRatliff
    JosephRatliff says:

    Holy-hell Batwoman! You mean that if I don’t like how you approach business, writing, life etc… I can unsubscribe from you?

    Why is it that some people think that just because they don’t like someone or something in particular…that everyone else thinks the same way? Last time I checked, I was a human being with feelings and aspirations of my own, with my own way of accomplishing those aspirations…and I’m not a fucking android.

    I absolutely love how you framed this gem Erika. Bravo.

    Reply
  6. TravelnLass
    TravelnLass says:

    Shame on you, young lady! And welcome to the Very Bad Example Club. Now repeat the VBE oath after me:

    “Hi there. I’m a Wretch and I’m here tonight to declare openly that I’m a supremely Bad Example. It’s been 2 weeks, 5 hours, 3 minutes and 14 seconds since I had my last sip of Good Example. And with any Luck, I’ll never touch a drop of Peachy-Keen Okey-Dokey Good Example ever again!”

    Reply
  7. kate
    kate says:

    Brilliant, on multiple levels. If only the trolls realized how much fun it is to read your responses to their stupidity.

    I *heart* your writing!

    Reply
  8. Melissa
    Melissa says:

    I don’t like the f-word and I don’t use it. Yeah for personal choices!

    But I like you and I know first-hand that you’re a sweetheart, you’re talented, and you’re one smart cookie. I’ve even hired you for your expertise a couple of times (thank you very much). You’re a good example of smart marketing, whatever the language. By the way, I got a nasty hateful comment the other day in response to my writing on food. Food. Geez. Same “anonymous” person. He/she needs to get a life.
    Keep up the good work.

    Reply
  9. @keithprivette
    @keithprivette says:

    Someday I hope to be a BAD EXAMPLE! Now see this is how you constructively address ANONYMOUS email addresses’ers that think they are doing EVERYONE else a favor. Whoever wrote this email to you should stop and worry about sticking up for everyone and worry about themselves (they probably have plenty of work to do there….ummmm ok)

    Erika were you asked to speak at http://confab2011.com? If not you should have been! Maybe there is time! Or will you be swinging through MSP? If so, I owe you a lunch or something along those lines for setting such a Bad Example for me, that i want to buy you lunch.

    Your email’er would never understand that!

    Reply
  10. Cherry Woodburn
    Cherry Woodburn says:

    I’m with John Falchetto. If s/he doesn’t like your work then don’t read it. If s/he wants to be taken seriously and not just spout off then put your name on your email. People like that make me weary and wary.
    Admittedly I have a tough time with the amount of f-bombs and some of your other sayings (although impressively creative) but if it’s too much for me on a given day, I just don’t choose to read the post. Except for that, and that’s my individual taste & choice, I enjoy your writing, knowledge and insights. So that emailer can go you-know-what him or herself. Cherry

    Reply
  11. MegCarpen
    MegCarpen says:

    Screw all that. I love that you’re a bad example. I love that whether I’m having a good day, a bad days, or just one of “those” days, I can come here and find someone that get’s it. I can find someone that challenges me to be myself. If I wanted someone with perfect etiquette, that doesn’t cuss, and that only shares “happy thoughts” there are about 5,000 blogs that do that. And yeah, some are on my reader, but your’s is there because you are real. You share your joy and pain, you don’t put up a false facade. Do I always agree, no. And that’s awesome. If I wanted someone that agreed with everything, or that I agreed with everything coming out of their mouth, I’d go to my blog and talk to myself.
    Screw the trolls. They won’t change, won’t grow, and hate that others take that chance.

    Reply
    • The Redhead
      The Redhead says:

      Truer words never spoken: “f I wanted someone that agreed with everything, or that I agreed with everything coming out of their mouth, I’d go to my blog and talk to myself.”

      Reply
  12. D.T. Pennington
    D.T. Pennington says:

    On top of everything else, you have the nerve to call my email INVALID! Lady, it’s not invalid, it’s just shy.

    I’m not sure people would know a good example if it hit them in the face. I read headlines about how Miley Cyrus is a bad example for your kids because of the video where she’s doing bong rips. Frankly, I didn’t think the daughter of a country singer knew how to do anything else.

    If you’re the kind of person who thinks they need a good example to follow, then you’ve got a lot longer walk than you think.

    Reply
  13. tgrbaby@gmail.com
    tgrbaby@gmail.com says:

    Amen Red =) Another thought provoking and just plain fantastic read. I’ve always admitted to being a bad example myself, it’s nice to know I’m not the only one….can I be you if I ever decide to grow up? =P

    Reply
  14. S Moore333
    S Moore333 says:

    I agree and Congrats you on all that you have said in response to this anonymous reader who said you are a bad example. I give you props for standing your ground and not being afraid to drop the f-bomb! Keep rocking this world Red! I will be reading as you continue your journey of life!

    Reply
  15. Danny Brown
    Danny Brown says:

    Has Tipper Gore taken to writing emails to people now? Guess the gal’s gotta keep busy… 😉

    Meh. Whoever the author of the email is – male or female – they’d be better off reading something like Oprah. Fuck ’em.

    Reply
  16. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    When are people going to realize that we are in the era of the “new professional?” Most of the public WANTS a real person instead of a suit. I’d completely understand the e-mail if you were like, some high ranking ethics lawyer or whatever, but you’re not. You’re an entrepreneur who defines her own business. Last I checked, you haven’t killed any puppies or strangled a unicorn. OR HAVE YOU.

    The thing is, you’re real, and some people are threatened by authenticity.

    Reply
  17. Mary
    Mary says:

    Loved the post. Anonymous has a lot to learn. I liked how you circled back to the fact that we all have control over our own lives. Obviously ‘Anonymous’ has no control over their own life if they think your blog is ruining it. They think they have to protect the world from your blog…which is absolutely delusional.

    Reply
    • Nothanks, again
      Nothanks, again says:

      How did anonymous say this blog ruins her life? Good grief, have you ever heard of feedback? Criticism? Why are these suddenly “illegal”?

      If any of you are adults, you’ll recognize that criticism and feedback are, you know, important. It’s impossible to grow as a human being if you limit yourself to only hearing positive feedback. Hence the great popularity of facebook; it’s just solid admiration, day in, day out. No one questions the mighty page owner; and no one questions the mighty blogger.

      “You’re right! You’re great! Everything you say is genius! Nothing you do or say is ever questionable! Everyone who disagrees is a loser!”

      Wow this comments section is getting really predictable.

      Reply
      • The Redhead
        The Redhead says:

        As I said before – if you spent some time going through the blog, you’d find quite a bit of disagreement. This just happens to be a post that’s rang true with a great many of my readers. So can you let them have it instead of stabbing them for it? Heavens.

        Reply
      • @keithprivette
        @keithprivette says:

        Did you not understand the point of the blog post. It was a rebuttal to criticism. Is according to you “The Almighty Blogger” not allowed to make constructive counterpoints to the feedback? Erika probably did evaluate the emailers comments, she quite often expresses successes and failures professionally and personally. She then decided to drop some knowledge!

        But in this case the emailer is speaking for a whole group of folks, that I do not believe exist. So No, Erika did not point out that the emailer was a loser or the fact that he or she disagreed. She pointed out the facts about “being a bad example” has led to some pretty incredible results. She has also advocated on several occasions to find your own path with maybe some of the techniques she uses, but she always first and foremost encourages people to have the bravery and courage to find their own path and she will be their to either kick them in the pants when we get a weee bit whiny or high five them when they win big. Mark of a fine person if I may add!

        I wish I could be half of the bad example Erika is!

        NoThanks I do find it interesting you do not have the courage to show your face and name and stand by your statements…..takes way more balls to put your name and face next to comments then hiding behind a troll like behavior account. But who am I kidding you can take the troll out from under the bridge, but you can not take the troll out of a troll! Bet you don’t have the balls to do that!

        Reply
      • Zoe Lewis
        Zoe Lewis says:

        It is one thing to disagree, it is another thing to be completely disparaging (and condescending) based on little fact and nothing more than your own opinion.

        Erika called your bluff, through and through.

        There are actually MANY comments here that utilize a term you seem to have misplaced amongst your vapid bitterness– constructive criticism.

        You chose to expend your thoughts so ungraciously, and now you are being taken for a brat.

        That was your own choice. If you had chosen to convey your thoughts differently, you would have used a real name. You would have welcomed the criticism you received back, that you so readily dealt yourself.

        Now you are just another contrary person Erika has overcome, instead of the many other efficacious things you could have been.

        Reply
  18. Meredithe
    Meredithe says:

    Thank you! Thank you for being you and not conforming to others expectations. Thank you for being a grown up honest Uppity Woman in all her glory! Thank you for calling bullshit and the weekly bitch slap and y’know what Fuck the anonymous poster! Jerkitis is alive and well!!!!!!

    Reply
  19. Kate Leibsle
    Kate Leibsle says:

    I used your website and blog last week as a good example in the blogging/website world. Oy. What does that say about me?

    Reply
  20. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    I’m glad you are a bad example. Thank the gods for it too.

    I’m working hard to be a bad example and I hope to get badder as I go.

    Reply
  21. Michelle Fox
    Michelle Fox says:

    LOVE IT! & congratulations on all of your success!! This entry was a fantastic reminder (to us overachievers) to pause for a minute and celebrate the good. I have no doubt that life for you is only going to get (even) better! All my best!

    Reply
  22. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    Anonymous should be illegal. You put yourself out there every day and make things happen. I wouldn’t expect everyone to agree with you (or me, or anyone else, for that matter) all of the time, but if you’d like to take issue and make a point, sign your name or shut the hell up. Period.

    The world would be a boring and pretty horrible place without different approaches. Stay different, my friend.

    Reply
    • Nothanks
      Nothanks says:

      You better update the Internet with your new rules. I’m sure everyone will go along with you if only they knew your preferences.

      Reply
      • Anonymous
        Anonymous says:

        Hi, my name is Doyle. I have a name and an opinion and I’m happy to marry the two online. Work for you… wait, didn’t catch your name.

        Yes, I do believe that with very rare exceptions, message boards, comment streams, etc., would be better without anonymous comments. I think it allows people to act in a rude and ridiculous manner in far too many cases and does little to foster true discussion and debate. Too often, it’s just a haven for trolls. Want to disagree? Of course! Bring it! But stand up and own your point.

        Regarding your comment to mine, I guess you missed my point… wait, what was your name again? I clearly said we don’t need to agree, but anonymous comments bring out the worst. And, I’ll say it… anonymous emails are just plain chickenshit. Are there exceptions? Of course, but in general, anonymous is not necessary and, in my opinion (still Doyle here) detrimental to the process.

        Thanks for the discussion, wait… your name again? Oh, you didn’t include one, but left a number of comments. No contact info, no ID… maybe your handle is spot on: no thanks. Drop me a line if your spine grows all the way in someday.

        Reply
  23. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    When Net Neutrality gets turned into a law, can they grandfather your blog in so that it gets hyper-fast delivery nationwide? Thanks.

    Reply
  24. Joel MacCollam
    Joel MacCollam says:

    A few “naughty” words won’t stop me from sucking up every ounce of encouragement and wisdom I gain from your brain and heart. But I still don’t understand the link between puppies, bunnies and unicorns, except they all eat, drink and poop. But so do you and I, yes ???

    Reply
  25. Sylvamc
    Sylvamc says:

    There are those that take the bull by the horns and fuck it.
    There are those who wake up one day and realize they’re only good for being fucked with.
    Guess which category anonymous falls into. And which he/she/it envies. Sad, really.
    On the flip side, women have now realized they too can fuck – and still be loving, loved, lovable and lovely. Guess which category you fall into.
    Keep ranting and everything associated with it 🙂

    Reply
  26. Michael Beckwith
    Michael Beckwith says:

    FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!

    Thanks Erika for providing a place that allows me to vent a little bit without being looked down on for it.

    Reply
  27. cindy
    cindy says:

    Thank you for having the brass to say what’s on your mind…and ours. Your words often scrape back the goo on my brain to expose the me I used to be. I’m getting back there and IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT! Don’t stop!

    Reply
  28. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    Some might consider you a “bad example.” But, you are still a daily inspiration to me. The world needs more people like you, who aren’t afraid to take a stand and find a way to be happy in work and in life. Cheers to you!

    Reply
  29. Susi Schuele
    Susi Schuele says:

    Fantastic. That’s all I can say. And as for the love thing – it took me 53 years but I found him. And my dad met the love of his life at 63. As my stepmom says – I’d rather have 10 years with a good man than 50 with a bad one. Rock on girl.

    Reply
  30. Sarah
    Sarah says:

    What’s this about examples, good or bad? I certainly learn a lot from you (and other people too), but I don’t want to imitate you or be you! If I’m not myself, who will do the job? 🙂

    Whoever Mr. or Ms. Anonymous is, I think it’s very sad that he or she is going around looking for an example to reproduce.

    Reply
  31. PragmaticMom
    PragmaticMom says:

    I think it’s brave of you to reveal so much of what you are feeling and going through, particularly in terms of your personal relationships … though sometimes it makes me uncomfortable that you are revealing too much. Not so much for myself, but for you. And in terms of foul language, when it is overused it loses its impact. You could lose some f-bombs. I’m a mom. Children might be reading you.

    Reply
  32. Marian Schembari
    Marian Schembari says:

    I love this. I love everything about this effing post and I’m so glad you said something. It drives me crazy pants when people say to “just ignore the haters” because if we all did that we wouldn’t get supremely awesome posts like these!!!

    HIGH FIVE.

    Reply
  33. Terri Orlowski
    Terri Orlowski says:

    I was drawn to you at first because of the way that you write. By the fact that you don’t pull any punches and pretend to be or write like someone you are not. So, to the anonymous reader I say that you don’t know what you’re talking about, and you need to come out from under your shell and enjoy the real world. You might, dear anonymous reader, discover the real you in the process.

    And thank you, Erica, for being real.

    Reply
    • Nothanks
      Nothanks says:

      These are the ones I like, in a predictable, kind of pathetic way. The evil horrible loser who disagrees is villified endlessly by the rah-rah team. So the person didn’t like the web site; she’s/he’s entitled to that. There’s no evidence that this person doesn’t know themselves or needs to know themselves.

      But oh! Evil anonymous must be punished for daring to present a POV different from that of the rah-rah team.

      Reply
      • The Redhead
        The Redhead says:

        And here you come, using words like pathetic. Terri’s a long-time reader and entitled to her words of support just as you are yours of dissent. And simply because someone offers words of support doesn’t mean they’re part of any “rah rah” team. If you stopped by with any regularity, you’d see words of support here mixed with different words from the same readers as the subjects vary. Do some digging. You might be surprised 😉

        Reply
  34. Leon Noone
    Leon Noone says:

    G’Day Erika,
    That idiot was absolutely correct. You’re about the best example of bad example that I’ve ever run into. I’ve met plenty of people who’ve tried desperately hard to be bad examples. They failed to do it with the panache, polish and unmitigated professionalism that you display.

    By the way: I absolutely abhor cowards who don’t put their name to what they write.

    What a silly bugger he she or it is. Have they never read oscar Wilde? “My own business always bores me to death. I prefer other people’s.”

    Bitch slap away Erika: and don’t spare the horses!

    Regards

    Leon

    Reply
    • The Redhead
      The Redhead says:

      Ah, Leon – methinks you and Marian Schembari need to find a way to say hello since she’s a Kiwi now – I think you’d hit it off swimmingly! Always great to see you.

      Reply
  35. Nothanks
    Nothanks says:

    It’s weird how bloggers always go on the attack whenever someone happens to disagree with them. There is always a “rah rah you’re the best they’s just HATERS!” team in the comments too.

    It’s a whole phenomenon.

    Reply
  36. Eileencook1
    Eileencook1 says:

    FUCK that asshole that wrote that. It’s obvious they don’t have the balls to even put their own name on the email. pUSSy!! Fucking asshole. Lol
    I look forward to your writtings. Your life. Your inspirations. Your downs and how you get up every morning after it and continue to breath. You are a strong woman and know who you are. Most of us can’t say that and most go through life not knowing what their purpose is.
    YOU. Mz. RED, keep doing what you do and be who you are. People like Fuck-tard Anonymous only wish to be like you and have the following and support you have!!
    I LOVE YOU! Xoxoxo

    Reply
  37. Wendie Has Thoughts
    Wendie Has Thoughts says:

    Ah haha! This is fantastic! Although I find it odd that someone calls a blogger a bad example but leaves out specifics other than HS students might read your blog. When I think of everything on the Internet that can utterly F up young’uns and your blog ends up in Anonymous email accusations as one of them, it made me actually laugh out loud. Most of your blogs, F bomb or not, are so insightful and hilarious and include all sorts of real life sharing that HS students SHOULD read (maybe save them some heartache of their own). And let’s face it, most of us adults used the F-bomb more in HS than we do now in our old age. Anyway, my dear, sweet, amazing friend who is currently painting my bathroom since I can’t while I’m pregnant – I will take your example any day. Good, bad, ugly, or those days where you simply make everybody uncomfortable with your brash, out-spoken ways that tap dance on the lines of our comfort zones so brazenly I can taste it. And speaking of “comfort zones” – I think Anonymous and “No Thanks” are the same person. Just a guess – but pregnant people are usually psychic, so….

    Reply
  38. Jackie Lee
    Jackie Lee says:

    WOW. Oh hell yeah, is what was going through my head as I read this. Not that you were giving your anonymous reader the what for, but that YOUR example is exactly what I want for my life. You rock ~ F bombs and all. 🙂 I also love that quote at the end…

    Reply
  39. Dana Reeves
    Dana Reeves says:

    Erika, you are spot on.

    And Anonymous, really? One of the three definitions dictionary.com uses to describe you is “lacking individuality, unique character, or distinction.” My definition of “anonymous”? COWARD.

    Reply
  40. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    I’m not much like you, but I like you and your writing, Erika. To Anonymous: I’m a grownup and although I sometimes need advice and encouragement, I don’t need an online “role model.” And we don’t have to talk, walk, act, write, or work alike to learn from each other. In fact, the last time I checked, I found that people learn more from those who don’t think exactly like they do. I mean, that’s the point! Unless you love your own rut, follow people who are different. And if you get tired of them, check out quietly, please. We don’t need your hate.

    Reply
  41. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    To use one of my favorite, stolen-from-Erika words, this guy is a douchecanoe.

    My friend, I love you a lot, but not enough to read all 127 comments. BUT, my fingers are crossed that Anonymous reads this post *and* your comments and learns (at least) one thing: have the fucking balls to stand up and own your opinion or sit down and STFU.

    Reply
  42. Michelle Mangen
    Michelle Mangen says:

    Erika —– the fact that you can elicit feelings like that out of someone literally makes me smile. When I think of authentic people you are one of the first that immediately comes to mind. And really —- how boring is it to be everyone’e “cup of tea”? I have no idea what your web traffic is on a monthly basis but I’m guessing it’s pretty damn good….we all keep coming back and to those that don’t…..F them. (I don’t like to swear in writing…yet)

    Reply
  43. Aaron54de
    Aaron54de says:

    I think you’ve got a lot to say that a lot of people really need to hear, and I agree that the f-bomb can have great effect. However, I do think you use it too much. Not because it offends me (I use it too much, too), but because in writing, it loses its power if not used sparsely. No matter how righteous your anger, you lose some credibility (and some potential readers who may really need what you have to offer) because it makes you seem out of control. You can rant and help a few fans–a few Yes-men who comment with nothing but blind devotion–or you can rant and help a lot more people. Toning down the swearing without getting rid of it altogether would actually strengthen your viewpoint.

    Reply
      • Aaron54de
        Aaron54de says:

        Cool by me. Just wanted to give you my perspective, from an editorial viewpoint. I’m kind of surprised you saw it as Christian. That’s about the farthest thing from me…or so I thought.

        Reply
  44. XS
    XS says:

    great post! i read your blog because i enjoy your honesty… and reading some of the comments left me with a desperate desire to say fuck! just coz i can…. grown up i know… 🙂

    Reply
  45. Ingrid Abboud
    Ingrid Abboud says:

    Hey Erika,

    Ha! I’m kinda grateful to the “IT” (cause it’s anonymous) that wrote this email to ya – cause saying how much I loved reading your brilliant reply would still not do it justice.

    And by the way – thanks for being the BADass example that you are – cause me and everyone else here enjoy reading every fuckin’ word of yours.

    My best guess is that “IT” is still reading your blog.

    I’m sorry for the “hate” mail. I suppose to each his own – and that’s fine too. But just look at all the “love” comments ;).

    Cheers and keep rockin’ it Erika

    Reply
  46. Charles Bivona
    Charles Bivona says:

    “…really horrible example…a writer listens to her readers [and] appreciates what THEY bring to the table…” YES!!! I may have to send you a fucking hallmark card for this article. What a pleasure to read you!

    Reply
  47. Scott Wild
    Scott Wild says:

    Wow…if I had something like that directed at me, my first response would have been “damn…when did MOM figure out how to blog?…”

    I always say “consider the source…then drive on”.

    You gotta love it when the “do-gooders” of the world feel it necessary to dump poison into the water to take care of the problem. React or Respond. Only one requires thought.

    Loved your response.

    Reply
  48. Nick Rapson
    Nick Rapson says:

    I think people like that should be given typewriters and told to post on-line with them. That would certainly make for “fewer bad examples cluttering up the airways.” wouldn’t it?

    It’s refreshing to see somebody so honest and open about themselves. Consider me subscribed to your blog!

    Reply
  49. StephanieTeal
    StephanieTeal says:

    I love this article. Many successful, happy, people don’t fit the mold and they are ostracized because of it. I am a small business owner in a small town, and just piss everyone off because I won’t play the political games. I drink every day, I am never having kids, I stare at people in restaurants and love every minute of it. It works because I am confident and smile about it. Thanks for being an inspiration.

    Reply
  50. PrincessBridal3
    PrincessBridal3 says:

    I am not Anonymous but I do wish you could use the f-bomb less because I love your writing & would like to share it with my Mother & others who would be offended & couldn’t look past that word. I am always intrigued by the things you say & learn, broaden my mind & most of the time totally agree. So I just want to say Thanks for being you! You are a great writer & a lot of times you say what we would like to say but more eloquently.

    Reply
    • The Redhead
      The Redhead says:

      Well, perhaps you can paraphrase a bit 🙂 I thank you for stopping by to read and for appreciating the “me” I bring to the table. Without readers like you, none of this really matters…

      Reply
  51. Angela Morsa
    Angela Morsa says:

    LOVE IT. I have gone through what you’ve gone through (little different – lost my job resulting in brokeness, rather than a bad investment) and the whole thing has made me better and happy. Everything happens for a reason and I never would have started Active Integrated Marketing had that not happen. Fortunately I was open enough to see it right away. It’ll be 8 years tomorrow. Bravo for telling Ms. Anonymous where to stick it. She’s just jealous she doesn’t have the balls to do the same.

    Reply
  52. SinnerElla DeVille
    SinnerElla DeVille says:

    Your candor is greatly appreciated by many. Your individuality and honesty in your writing is what has people reading your posts. Who is this “Anonymous” to say you’re a bad example? I really hope that this person is not a parent, because the very last thing this world needs is more sheeple and robots. Corporate America has produced and drawn in more than we can afford and continues to reshape those that come along to their own gratification and ever expanding wallets.
    I make sure to have my [skull print] galoshes pretty close at all times to wade through the bullshit that people have to lay in front of me every day. I just hope to be proud enough of myself (and teach my children the same) to see it coming far enough away to put them on before the storm hits, cause no matter how you split it, it still smells.
    Thank you, corporate robot “Anonymous” for spewing your crap and allowing us to read an entertaining and enlightening response to your “virtual verbal beat down” you are officially awarded the useless email reprimand of the week prize. Asshat.

    Reply
  53. Pat Koenig
    Pat Koenig says:

    Your kind of bad example is what I want to be when I grow up Erica.  That email was obviously someone who hasn’t spent any time reading what you write, like beyond the fbombs.

    Reply
  54. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    I don’t get why people who don’t like what you write don’t just stop reading. They actually think you should change what you do in order to please them. Blows my mind.

    Reply
  55. Jack Outhier
    Jack Outhier says:

    Erika, I believe this is my first posted comment on your blog though I’ve penned a number in my mind.

    Excellent response to reader whose personal preferences control her. I can say that because my personal preferences are very much like hers regarding the profanity. However, I recognized a brilliance to your candor, style, integrity and willingness to share that has caused me to read everything you write.

    One of my realizations was that if you were to change just to become more palatable to others’ sensibilities, you would ultimately become just another panderers of bland drivel that fills the net but profits little.

    Stay yourself!

    Reply

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