Bottom Line Inc

My Really Bad Mood…Deconstructed


This is the second blog I am writing today. Why? Because my first one was bad. Well, I really liked it, but the people I trust to review my blogs thought that I was pushing the boundaries of the messages I should be providing. In other words, I was writing about something best left to social commentators. Even though it was written in my own brilliantly fluid and fascinating style…and I spent the weekend reading a book that had inspired me on the topic…and I spent virtually my entire President’s Day holiday working on it—none of that matters. It’s not right, so it won’t be published.

Do I sound like I’m pouting? The truth is, I am really disappointed. I liked the message, and I liked the writing. I am proud and competitive, and it’s not in my nature to accept the word “no” easily. Just ask my mother. But I have trusted advisers for a reason, and so I must defer to their judgment.

People have to deal with disappointment every day. That’s just a fact of life.

Sometimes the answer is “yes,” and sometimes it is “no.” The big challenge is how you deal with life’s disappointments.

In this case, I spent a few minutes trying to convince my advisers that I was right. I didn’t bother trying to tell them that they were wrong because I know that strategy never works. Did you ever notice that it’s really hard to get someone to change her mind when she is set in a position? Especially when it’s on a topic that is controversial and full of debate?

That’s why I tried to make my case for the sound rationale for my writing. How could they not see that this is an important topic and that I have an entirely unique spin on the common wisdom? They didn’t, so I did not continue with that line for very long, because as family business consultant Fredda Herz Brown told me many years ago, if you hear the same negative feedback from two people you know and trust, then you need to consider that it is true.

Next step…

Once I realized that I couldn’t convince them, I spent five to 10 minutes being hurt and embarrassed. After all, even the boss has feelings. I had worked hard on this blog, and I was passionate about the message. How could they not see that? How could they not see the importance of it and that, in typical Sarah Hiner fashion, I was seeing a common issue with a unique and slightly twisted perspective that the world wasn’t seeing?


Add some self-pity. I wondered why I write these things anyway, since audience engagement isn’t what I dream it to be.

I pondered getting mad at someone. There must be someone to blame other than myself. So what that I am relatively new to both blogging and social-media posting. Every other blogger out there has a following. I—and my advisers—must be doing something wrong, and I (in total childish mode) am going to make them feel really bad about it.

Wallow some more.

Then I sent a text to my chief content officer questioning whether we need to review the strategy and messaging for my blog as well as the plan for promoting it. Besides, I say, I can’t keep repeating the same message of self-empowerment every week. It will become tired and boring. (The blame has started—ha!)

I considered never writing another blog again. I’ll show them.

And then, just as I am scraping bottom, ready to quit and blame and bow my head in shame, a familiar feeling came over me. That thing called resilience. It’s what has kept me going through Bottom Line’s transformation. It is what has allowed my children to bounce back from their assorted teen-hood dramas and traumas. It is what allows so many people to re-engage in life after they have been knocked down. The knock-down hurts…but once you work through all those feelings of anger and pity and embarrassment, you’re left with a clean palette to start fresh.

So, an hour and 50 minutes after receiving the first round of rejection, I’m baaaaack.

As for that other blog—if you want to see it, message me and I will be more than happy to share with the brave souls who dare to tread in my curious mind.

Source: Sarah Hiner is president and chief executive officer of Stamford, Connecticut–based Bottom Line Inc., which publishes books and the consumer newsletters Bottom Line Health and Bottom Line Personal.
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