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How Your Selfishness is Hurting Your Online Business and What You Can Do to Fix It!

Updated on March 18, 2015

Are you being too selfish?

Selfishness Will Hold Your Business Back...

What is selfishness? What does it mean to be selfish?

It means being fixated on oneself; having or showing concern only for oneself and not for the needs or feelings or successes of others; acting in a way that is beneficial only to one's self; and of course, thinking "ME ME ME!!!"

Or as the Dictionary states...


1 : concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself : seeking or concentrating on one's own advantage, pleasure, or well-being without regard for others

2 : arising from concern with one's own welfare or advantage in disregard of others

Definition: Merriam Webster Online (See Links)

Being selfish may not be something that you're TRYING to do in your online business, but sometimes people get so caught up in their own worlds, their own needs, & their own deadlines that they forget about others and just focus on themselves. In some aspects, this can be helpful, as it allows you to focus on key areas that need improvement and gives you the time to work on them, but in the online world, selfishness can hurt your business. So whether you are making a conscious effort to focus only on yourself, your business, & your needs or whether you have accidentally slipped into this trap of selfishness, I'm here to help!

I'm here to help you help yourself (and others!)

Selfishness... An Often Ugly Truth... But PonchoMeg is here to Help!

Selfishness is not something we always want to live up to. But sometimes being selfish ISN'T a bad thing! When it comes to living how you want, taking time to care for yourself, and spoiling yourself from time to time, selfishness can be good - powerful even. But when it comes to your business, your brand, & wanting people to spread the word about what you do or sell or write or paint... selfishness will hurt you.

Don't think you're selfish in your online business marketing & social media experiences? Don't be so sure...

In this hub, I will explain how selfishness is hurting your online business and give you some advice and resources to fix things. Improve your brand, increase your reach, get better results through social media, and have a more fulfilling online experience to boot.

Let's get started!

How Your Selfishness is Hurting Your Online Business

  • You're Losing Your Audience
  • Nobody is Promoting Your Work or Products
  • You're Not Selling
  • You're Not Being Productive
  • Your Brand is Losing Appeal

Are any of these YOUR problems?

If you are experiencing any of these setbacks, which one is troubling you most?

See results

No audience?


What's going on and How to fix it...

You're Losing Your Audience

Sometimes we get so focused on our own interests that we start to lose an understanding of what our audience wants or expects from us. When this happens, sometimes we need to make adjustments in ourselves or our businesses' marketing strategies, and sometimes we have to make adjustments in our audiences. Either way, we have to take the focus off of our selfish interests and big picture dreams and break down the situation, often from an outsider's point of view if we can, to get the best results.

So stop feeling sorry for yourself when you lose followers on social media or when your blog isn't getting traffic. Don't get so caught up in the "Why don't they like me?" cycle of destruction. Believe it or not, that is selfish too, and it will hurt your business just as much as losing your audience does.

Instead, start taking steps to retain the audience you have, increase the size of your audience, bring old members of your audience back, and build loyalty for your brand and your business.

Start by doing some research. On your social networks like Twitter, find out what kinds of posts your followers are sharing, retweeting, favoriting, & responding to the most and compare those with your tweets. Are your tweets on similar subject matter? Are your tweets as well written or as catchy? Do you have genuine interest in the tweets that they share? Are you finding more in common with yourself and your followers or are you seeing more of a gap in your shared interests? Are you posting on serious matters while your fans retweet fun, silly things (like cat pictures) all day?

These questions can help you to decide if you need to adjust YOUR strategy (Add more cat pictures) or adjust your audience (Add more people to your network - followers, fans, influencers, etc. who have similar interests & slowly build a bigger audience that is interested in predominantly the same things you are.)

No matter what you do though, try to avoid burning bridges! It's fine to adjust your content, social media strategy, marketing ideas, etc. but be careful not to alienate people in the process. It's okay to have people VERY different from you in your network or audience. Sometimes they will change throughout their interaction with you, and sometimes they provide you with a means of expanding your audience in ways you never imagined. So keep those bridges built!

More great things to do to help you stop losing your audience:





REAL Social Media Interaction

Use these methods to pick your audiences' brains and allow them to truly feel like you care what they want and like! Because, you do! Or you should!

Where do you think traffic comes from? How do you think sales happen? How do you think "Gigs" get purchased? You have to have an active audience (fans, followers, friends, family, etc.)

So use these tools to ask them what they want, to get their feedback, to make them feel special and to make adjustments to your business, brand, social media accounts, online marketing strategies, etc. in order to succeed.

Listening to your audience is SO important. If you don't listen... you will lose them.

Nobody is Promoting Your Work or Products

Selfish businesses promote their own work or products, almost to the point of spamming, without paying much consideration to the fine work and/or products of others in their network or audience.

Writers have a major tendency to do this on social media sites like Twitter and then be shocked when their traffic isn't through the roof. "Why WOULDN'T someone want to read MY work? It's so great it should be clicked on immediately when I spam share it to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Tumblr, LinkedIn, etc. I don't get it!"

The simple answer is this: nobody is promoting your work because you are being selfish!

If your promotion of high quality content and/or cool, useful products is limited only to your own, not only do you not see the other amazing stuff out there, but you alienate people and make it so that no one wants to promote you. Why?

Well, if all YOU ever did was help others and they NEVER helped you, wouldn't you get tired of it too? That's how it goes on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. You have to show appreciation for the work and products of others and HELP them if you want them to show appreciation for your work and/or products and help YOU.

So what you need to do is this: share quality content that fits your niche, share quality content that is universally interesting, entertaining, inspiring, or helpful, share products that relate to your products and/or niche but do not compete with yours, share content that is specifically geared towards your target market, and share neat photos, quotes, blogs, etc.

You will be amazed at how much more of what you want shared actually GETS shared when you yourself start the sharing process.

You're Not Selling

You have products, referral programs, crafts, Fiverr Gigs, or whatever... but they're not selling. You promote them on social media! You write blogs about them or make websites about them! You have mailing lists! What's going wrong?

Well, ask yourself this: When is the last time that YOU bought something online? Not something you needed, but something you just wanted. Or something you specifically wanted in order to help someone. Or something you didn't really want but you got anyway to help a lovely person in your network. When?

If you answered "Never," then maybe you don't deserve to have people buy your products and buy into your programs. Why should they? Are you really THAT great that people just want what you have to offer no matter what? Maybe if you're a big company with a world famous name, you are that great, but I assume most people and small businesses reading this are in no position to rest on years of fabulous branding.

Be humble. Be giving. Give and you will receive.

Can't afford to buy some of the amazing things you want to buy to support your friends, followers, etc.? Then give them FREE promotion! Write a blog piece about their work, retweet them on Twitter, share links to their products with your family and friends, favorite their Etsy store, allow them to post affiliate links in your blog comments, etc.

Support others in business and they will support you!

You're Not Being Productive

Selfish individuals (and businesses) often obsess over details that don't matter, overly admire their own work, try to calculate their influence on social media constantly, Google themselves a lot, post their content everywhere in an almost spammy manner, and stare at their own work for hours and hours without ever really getting much done. It is a bit self-obsessive, narcissistic, and yes, selfish!

So how can you fix this? Refocus that selfishness. BE selfish, but for positive reasons. Allow yourself to have uninterrupted time to read, observe, and understand other peoples' work (and share the great ones!), brainstorm ideas, and work, but at your own leisure.

If you slow down and take some time to enjoy the work of others, get inspired, learn, and grow instead of constantly obsessing over yourself and your business, you will waste much less time.

(Even if you get immersed in reading and your whole work schedule gets pushed back, you may not be working... but you won't be wasting time either.)

Your Brand is Losing Appeal

You're stuck. People are bored and sick of your tired routine. You're no longer "fresh" for some reason...

Maybe you're not showing appreciation and love for all that everyone does for you...

Maybe you're not proving that you are a real person (or real people) with a heart (or hearts)...

Maybe you're being selfish...

and your brand is losing appeal.

So how do you add some APPEAL back into your brand? I have a few ideas for you:

-Have giveaways, provide coupons and/or contests, start a referral program, give away a free gift on your website or blog (like an e-book), etc.

-Have legitimate, REAL conversations with people in your social media networks.

-Share peoples' quality work and products

-Hire a professional to help you run your online marketing and social media marketing if you can, that way you can connect with others but also spend most of your time on your actual business.

-Read books on branding, social media marketing, internet marketing, small business, promotion, advertising, etc. and apply what you learn.

-Simply show appreciation every day through what you share online- whether it be Facebook posts, poems, pictures, a smile, or some other meaningful gesture.

Not sure about all these social media things? Here are some resources for you!

Whether you need complete help with social media marketing or you just need a little help, these resources will definitely assist you in being less selfish, helping others, and helping yourself and your online business.

Here are some photos and quotes to share in order to connect with your network.

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Was this Helpful to You?

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Comments/Questions/Concerns - Feel free to share your take on how selfishness affects online business.

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    • sherrituck profile image

      Sherri Tuck 2 years ago from Virginia

      Great hub!