I have a story to tell you. I’ve waited a few weeks before telling you this because I wanted to make sure I didn’t do it out of bad feelings.
Before I start, I’d like to ask that if you know of anyone during all these years that I’ve been doing podcasts and videos that I have asked to pay to be interviewed, to come forward and leave a comment (including the character in this story whom I interviewed years ago during the release of their book,) and if anyone was ever approached by me or Nash during an event where we were not speakers and was asked to purchase anything from us, please come forward too. To my knowledge this never happened and if it did it is time I go running to get my brain checked because there is something wrong here.
These were exactly the things we were accused of doing in a recent event we attended.
We had a very busy last quarter, travelling from one event to another to speak. It was fun but by the end of November we were ready to stop. We got an invitation from a speaker to attend his/her event. It meant a 7 hour drive, hotels and meals but because I used to admire this person, wanted to have a stronger relationship and would be coming back from another event and had to cross the state where the event would be happening, I decided to say yes. That was my first mistake. The second mistake was to invite a client of mine to attend the same event.
The first day was pretty uneventful. We were tired and didn’t spoke to anyone. Mostly my client, her husband and some of the speakers. After lunch we did an interview with a colleague of mine whom we knew would also be at this event and with whom we wanted to do an interview about a charity project he had been working on. He was leaving that day so we could not miss the opportunity.
Second day started much better and I was excited about the day. We watched the speaker and went with client and a group of new found friends to lunch. During lunch we talked about fried chicken, when asked I said what I did for a living and we talked about trivia.
We arrived late for the second speaker because the restaurant took forever to bring the food. We were carrying, as always, camera and tripod with us. It had been raining for 2 days non stop and we were waiting for the light to get better so we could tape our show as we do every time.
After the speaker ended the event manager came to me and asked us both to go outside with her. Outside she told us that it came to her attention that we were interviewing people and charging for the interviews. We said that such a thing never happened in 8 years. She said we had interviewed someone the day before.
We said we interviewed a friend and a colleague, outside the event premises. She went on asking us the reason why he had left and we said that was not for us to tell.
Not satisfied, she then accused us of approaching people during breaks and asking them to buy our products. I told her this was not true, I never did this and the price point of our products and services is very unlikely we could sell them during a bathroom break. Plus, we work with a very limited number of beginner solopreneurs, which was the audience in that event. Plus we were in the room the whole time before lunch.
She was on a mission to find something wrong so she wanted to know everyone I had talked to and when. I told her that I talked to the people I had lunch with, and then to one lady I met during breakfast who I did ask for an interview for our health show (which I don’t even have sponsors for and no money is made in anyway with this new podcast) and that one speaker had approached me to be interviewed. But at that point no one had be interviewed because we were busy having lunch and the rest of the time we were inside the room.
Since nothing would stop her she asked how we got into the event- we were invited by the host- and said she didn’t want to have to ask us to leave the event to which I said she wouldn’t have to, I would be more than happy to arrive home early.
Went inside, had to explain to my client what was going on. Fortunately she had been with us the whole time and knew these accusations were preposterous, and we left.
I’ve passed this weird event in my mind many times to see what we possibly could have done for such a thing to happen. After all I’ve been a professional speaker for over 25 years and never was accused of anything, much more being unethical.
I know no one said anything to this lady because at that point we had spoken to a very small number of people, had been in the room the whole time and nothing unusual had happened. So my conclusion is that the host saw us walking around with a tripod and a camera and made some assumptions.
We did look for the host after this happened but she/he was not around. Frankly I had nothing to explain and was quite offended.
Now if our behavior in any way raised some questions, the host could have come and asked us instead of sending an amateur to do her job. After all we know each other, this pseudo event manager woman had her mind set in accusing us and I bet the version of the story she told back to the host is probably not correct.
I never rant about things, promoters or other professionals but my reputation and ethics were questioned and I don’t know how these people behave and I don’t know how far they can take their fantasy of what was going on. All I know is that I take my profession very seriously and am very proud of what we have accomplished so far and we never take a position of trying to get other people’s clients, if anything we take our clients to see a different perspective on marketing. Every time there is an event in a town where we have clients, we are happy to invite them.
I come from a mindset that there is enough to all of us and we can find a win-win situation instead of a win-lose situation any time. I’m not desperate to find clients and do not need to attend someone’s event to get them.
So, I wasted a lot of sleep over this and need an outlet to let this go forever. Therefore this post.
Nash thinks we should have chased the host more, should have written an e-mail and I think I never did anything wrong, was wrongly accused, never heard from the host and I don’t send messengers to do my job when I care about a relationship.
What would you have done? Please tell me, I really want to know.