Have you ever heard the expression – don’t judge a book by it’s cover? I’m sure you have.
The poor guy’s ears must have been ringing non-stop lately.
I mean I don’t even know the guy, and who am I to speak badly of him?
I’m sure he could care less, but I was not even close to being pro-Chris Brogan.
That was until the Inbound Marketing Summit and spending five minutes with the him.
A Little Background
I have to be honest, in my eighteen months of inbound marketing and spending time on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin, I had not really heard of “The Almighty One”.
I’m sure his name came up during that time, actually many times, and like many things, I was completely oblivious to the fact.
I mean, why should I have heard of him? It’s not like he’s the biggest blogger and social media aficionado on the planet, right? Okay, maybe he is….
So as you can see, I’m really clueless as to why I hadn’t come across Chris’s name earlier, but perhaps it was meant to be?
It was only about three or four months ago that those faint impressions started to become more prevalent. Like any terrific inbound marketing strategy, all those little content magnets out there got me to notice…and notice I did.
I noticed that Chris was one heck of a big deal in the online world. Two best selling books, over 190,000 twitter followers, a keynote speaker. Not too bad.
Now I’m not sure if it was jealousy or my competitive nature, but something was not sitting right with me, I had no reason to dislike the guy.
The Final Straws!
The first recent event that got under my skin was the announcement of his upcoming book Google+ for Business: How Google’s Social Network Changes Everything. Chris is all over Google+, and if anyone could write a book about the fledgling social site, it would be Chris.
Somehow, the whole idea of someone writing a book about a service that isn’t even available yet seemed to get me worked up. Google+ isn’t allowing businesses (in mass) onto El Plus yet, so how could he write a book on it?
Once again, even though I know many books are written before a service, product or entertainment launch, it still bothered me.
The second event that shook my world was Chris’s deletion of everyone he was following on twitter. “Who does he think he is?” I thought to myself, not even taking the time to read the explanation of it on his blog.
It’s amazing how our own insecurities can lead to disliking someone. Should I really dislike someone I hardly even know, especially without taking the time to investigate? Of course not! After all, I was somewhat intrigued by Chris, and knew it wasn’t right.
Joanne and I recently attended the Inbound Marketing Summit and Hubspot Users conference in Boston. Both were fantastic events, and I look forward to their continued growth!
We actually weren’t able to make the event’s first day (when Chris was speaking), but caught all of the second. On that morning, Guy Kawasaki gave a wonderful presentation on enchanting customers. Afterward he was nice enough to take pictures with excited fans, and standing there off to the side was “Mr. Man I didn’t know, but was awfully good at judging”.
Joanne and I walked up to Chris, and before we could even open our mouths, he greeted us and made us both feel completely at ease.
After introductions he even joked about my last name, which is common. Apparently there is a ambulance chasing attorney in the Boston area with the same last name, who advertises all the time! Funny, but no relation!
I asked Chris about his twitter experiment and for the next few minutes, a terrific conversation ensued.
It was a pleasure meeting Chris Brogan, and it completely changed my perception of him. Could that be completely possible in 5 minutes with him? I can’t say for sure, but I was really happy to put my ill feelings aside and take the time to say hi.
I was judging a book by its cover, and in this case, I was judging Chris and his forthcoming book by it’s cover.
I had turned to Joanne soon after our fortunate meeting, and told her I was wrong about Chris, and I was.
The rest of the day and the other events were terrific. Much more was learned about inbound marketing, and a few life lessons along the way.
Thank you Chris.
Is there anyone well known or famous that you have judged without knowing the entire story? Was there ever a time whereupon meeting that person your perception changed? Lastly, do we really need to meet the people we are judging to change our feelings, or should we just be more open minded? How do you think this could help us in our business and personal lives?
I’d really would love to know your thoughts! Please share in the comments.
image credit – Professional One Franchising