Turning 35 this past week was both satisfying and humbling. The former because I realised that I have friends and family who really care about me and want to see me succeed. Humbling because I realised that while I’m engaged in a handful of projects that are significant to my values and mission in life, I haven’t felt a sense of progress in any of them. What would happen if I just drop dead tomorrow?
That kind of thinking shakes up real bad. Fortunately, it forced me to reflect and focus on the aspects that are in my control. I reprioritised some of them and created a new plan that could add a yard of pace or two to the overall momentum.
Besides planning and reflecting, I spent quality time with both my friends and family. Had hundreds of messages across my phone, Facebook and LinkedIn and I took out time to respond to each of them. Including one by a person I deeply admire.
He sent me a message wishing me the best and asked for my email address saying that he would like to send me something special. I was starstruck and just shared my email address. A minute later this message hits my inbox and I’m shocked beyond wonder. It’s a fucking sales message for one of his products! Really?
Two things happened right after that:
- I removed him from LinkedIn and Facebook.
- Marked his message as spam on my Gmail.
And I have absolutely no regrets doing that. Yes, I may have overreacted but if you’re a sales professional (and he is one) you should know better. When you’re reaching out to a prospect, you don’t send them a birthday message and then pitch them on your product. That’s both insincere and unscrupulous.
Building a relationship takes time. Even if it’s with your biggest fan.