Why Is Everyone Busting On A-Listers?

There seems to be something new going around these days. I call it the “build yourself up by busting on someone else” syndrome. Frankly, unless you have a good reason for busting on someone in particular, I find it distasteful. However, when the only reason you’re busting on someone is because they happen to be successful, you look petty.

via Flickr

In this case I’m going to talk about the concept of A-list people. On the internet we know who these people are; Chris Brogan, Darren Rowse, Matt Cutts, John Chow, on and on and on. These are people that have and are making pretty good money online, get invited to speak here and there, and end up talking about how they make money and the like. Okay, maybe Matt Cutts doesn’t belong on the list for that reason, but I’ve seen people saying things about him that aren’t all that nice either.

In the book Secrets of the Millionaire Mindicon by T. Harv Eker, he talks about how people perceive those who seem to have made it as stuck up and only into themselves and how the hatred eventually comes to them, and how he used to think the same way until he started seeing things in a much different light. He saw how many of these people were really generous with their time and their money and saw how just because someone had money and success and influence (did I use that word again?) and it didn’t necessarily make them bad, and there wasn’t anything wrong with them actively trying to pursue these things. By the way, that’s an affiliate link to a book I highly recommend you check out; it’ll illuminate your mind.

What got me initially thinking about this was a guest post on Danny Brown’s blog titled Why The A-list Conversation Hurts Us that I totally disagreed with. In essence, the author stated that we the people should just stay away from these guys and break them down so everyone else has a chance at some kind of success. I totally disagreed with the premise because in my mind if these folks fall someone else will eventually become the A-listers and then another person will come along and say we should beat these people down as well. It’s a cycle I hate, one that I not only refuse to be a part of, but in a perfect scenario I know that most of us, if given the chance, would love to have the opportunity to get there.

Yeah, I know, I hear all of you now saying “oh no, I wouldn’t want that.” Please, let’s be truthful. We write because we want our words out there. We want someone to read them and react to them. We’d love to have more and more people see what we have to say, agree with what we have to say, lament because we don’t say enough of it, and then start throwing money and accolades our way to get us to write more, give them more, and let them love us. Okay, a bit extreme, but you know what I mean. I’m not saying everyone wants this, but I know the majority certainly do.

We want to share our knowledge, do it the old fashioned way. We want to be honest with our message, whether we entertain or pontificate or garner support or whatever it is we do. We want to get there on our words and our passion… just like the A-listers did. We want to be of the people, but we want the people to elevate us… just like the A-listers did.

Just so you know, this isn’t a new thought of mine. Our friend Sire wrote a post back in 2009, the most visited post of his blog ever, titled Why I No Longer Link To The Likes Of ProBlogger And John Chow, where he stated that those folks get enough love from others so he’s not going to give them any, and I stated (first comment actually) that I would be continuing to follow those blog because they gave good information, and they occasionally respond to people as well. As a matter of fact, on that post Sire had a nice conversation with Darren Rowse, which I thought was pretty classy of Darren to show up. Sire actually promoted my blog on that post, which was also cool, but he also had to deal with a few people who thought he was using the other people’s names just to raise his own profile, which may not have been fair but man, it definitely worked as his blog took off from there.

And see, that’s one of the points here. I know it’s not what Sire did on purpose, but it’s my belief that so many other people are really just trying to drag someone else down by going after them to inflate themselves. In my mind, if they can do it to those people, they could come back and do it to me. And I don’t want it done to me I don’t know that I could stand on the sidelines and take it without griping to a degree; I’m like that. lol

But maybe I’m just the sensitive type, so I’ll ask you these three questions; this will prove who reads and who just posts drive-by comments and moves on. One, if you were on the fast track to being an A-lister, would you turn it down, shut down your blog and never write again? Two, would you go out of your way to beat someone else down just to build yourself up, no matter what? And three, if you were succeeding at something that you’d worked for, would you like it if someone came along and suddenly started putting you down mainly because you’ve made it, even if they said it was something else (trust me, you’d know)?

34 thoughts on “Why Is Everyone Busting On A-Listers?”

  1. Hey Mitch, you know when I wrote that post the last thing I expected was for Darren to show up. That was so cool, and yet I’ve kept to my word and haven’t left a comment on his blog since.

    I’m not sure I get the first question, I would never do the second and no I wouldn’t like it but I would expect it and it wouldn’t bother me that much.

    I don’t think I have ever bagged the big boys other than the fact I don’t believe they are doing their commentators justice.

    1. Sire, the first question is easy. What if suddenly you woke up one day and you were the A-lister. Would you say “oh no, I’m what I’ve been busting on and I don’t want to be that” and give up your blogs and go do something else, or would you continue blogging, enjoying the fruits of being a top dog? It’s not a question of whether you’d do it differently than how you see everyone else doing it; it’s a question of whether, if you ended up being considered by the masses as such would you try to turn it down or go with it?

      Darren wasn’t the only one who showed up on that post from what I remember. Still, you have to admit that post really made your blog jump pretty high in the rankings, even if it wasn’t intentional. That’s the other point; busting on top guys gets you juice, even if it’s not necessarily fair all the time.

      1. OH, in that case I would continue blogging and replying to my commentators, because if I was an A lister I would have more time on my hands. 😉

        You know, since that post I’ve made it a point not to mention any of those guys by name. Someone actually accused me of doing it on purpose just to get noticed and that wasn’t the case.

        Still, it’s out there now and I stand by everything I said.

      2. I remember that they did and I came to your defense on that point, but I knew later what they meant once things took off with your blog. The thing is most people will never get where they hope to be if they say or think they don’t want it, and if they do end up getting there they’ll sabotage it because they weren’t mentally prepared for it. Happens all the time, and it’s scary. That’s why I prepare my mind for ultimate success, to be rich and influential, and I have plans for how I’d like to help.

        Just got to get there first. 😉

  2. Hell, no to all three questions. The green monster (aka jealousy) is a tough animal to rid if you have him on your shoulder. I can not say I am not jealous of these people but why waste my time and energy belittling them for their success? No, I would rather learn from them which is the best way to find one’s own success.

    1. Great stuff Scott; I’m with you. If I don’t like how they got there then hopefully I do it a different way, but yes, I do want to be there.

  3. I just touched on this topic in a soon to be released collaboration ebook. I think if you’re surrounding yourself online with people who are hating on the successful people out in the blogging world, it’s only going to hinder your own success.

    There’s so many positive bloggers out there who are trying to make the best of blogging and business, and instead of hating on the successful people, they are looking at how they do things and applying the best parts of those strategies to their own.

    The best part is, when you meet these bloggers, they’re not going to hate you if you start to become successful – they’re going to cheer for you just like you’ll want to cheer for them. Those are the kinds of bloggers you want to be around – not the ones that are constantly pushing negativity.

    1. Great stuff Kristi. I don’t hate on anyone that gets successful in any type of endeavor. I might hate on people who are jerks, which occasionally happens of course. As I stated, by reading that book I learned that if you hate what you really hope to become then you’re just sabotaging yourself; I never want to do that. And many of them seem like genuinely nice people; nope, no hate from me.

  4. Now I don’t “hate” on A-listers just to hate on them. I hate on the A-listers that don’t practice what they preach. I don’t follow A-listers that don’t respond to me when I send them messages via social media. These are the same people that say “Engage, Engage, Engage” and then don’t engage. Now do I eventually want to be an A lister? No not really. However, if it does eventually happen, I’ll keep blogging and try to keep interacting with as many people as I can. I hope I answered your question, Mitch.

    1. You did to a degree DeAnna, but let me ask you why you don’t want to become an A-lister. Don’t you really want to be successful in life? I mean, I may specifically be talking blogging or social media for the moment, but wouldn’t you ever want to be in a position where you totally get to make all life decisions for yourself because you have money overflowing, influence beyond belief, and all dreams you never imagined possible?

      I guess I’m in a spot where, unless someone grew up with money (which means they never really had to learn the struggle when they were younger), one could say they wouldn’t want unlimited wealth and influence so they not only could leave the other life behind, but could then help others as much as they wanted to and get others to help as well.

  5. Hating people who are successful is, in my opinion, quite hateful in itself. It’s like people who think that celebrities, underneath it all, aren’t human. People are people.

    1. I’m with you Val. Kind of like all these people who hate Justin Bieber just because he’s a kid that a lot of young girls love to listen to and whose records they buy. From all I’ve heard he’s always been a nice kid, and he didn’t cheat anyone out of their money. It might not be my cup of tea but there’s nothing to hate there in my opinion.

    1. You think so Rummuser, but you’re at least a B-lister in many people’s eyes. 😉

  6. I will agree and disagree, Mitch. First, when it is related to blogging and business, the system for making money depends on the blogger only. About Matt Cutts, he was used by Google as a black station giving a lot misleading information until 2011, sure there are few top SEO companies that will agree with this, right now only useful info and videos. John Chow, no comment, I don’t think that there have been anything useful on his blog, the money he made come from the huge mail lists.

    Your 3 questions are going in very delicate situation and it depends on level of success, for sure there are many things beyond blogging.

    1. Carl, I’m going to challenge you a little bit on the 3 questions because you dodged them. lol One, they’re not only about blogging, though that’s the context I started the question in. Two, there are no levels of success in the question; you only get to be a top dog or scratching hard to make a living; no other choices in the questions. Come on, give it up. 🙂

      1. Haha, Mitch you are right I dodge the questions, all right, if I am in blogging and I am too successful, I won’t close my blog, but probably will hire writers which I can supervise. The second one, depends there is high probability. Regarding the 3rd one, I have been in business for so many years, this is inevitable, many people and companies have try it.

        About your comment, to make living from internet isn’t difficult and definitely it is not just for big players and again it depends where you live.

      2. Glad you came back to respond, Carl. lol On that last point, though, I think it really is difficult making a living from the internet for the overwhelming majority of people, and that’s no matter where they live. Some folks will always stand out from the crowd; I’m not one of them… yet.

  7. Hi Mitch,

    Thanks for continuing the conversation, sir, appreciate it.

    In fairness to Geoff, I don’t think he was “busting on the A-listers” as much as he was offering practical advice to the folks that were.

    My take on the post was that hating benefited no-one so, instead, stop wasting energy on folks you have no interest in and remove them from your streams.

    I also feel there’s a difference between “hating” on someone – and trust me, I hate the “haters gonna hate” mentality – and questioning someone who says one thing, and does a 180. Many people now that may be seen as A-listers seem to be cashing in on the quick buck, and this goes against all they preached about as little as 12 months ago.

    Of course, it could all be a moot point, since someone’s only an A-lister if they’re relevant to your needs. Otherwise, they’re probably invisible… 😉

    1. Hi Danny, and thanks for your opinion. I do believe that people who don’t live what they preach are probably phonies, and I remember my friend whose link I posted here said his problem with some of these folks was that early on they all said people should respond to comments on their blogs, and suddenly none of them do that anymore. I agree with that, and yet I’m still not ready to jump on the bandwagon for the beat down.

      The way I see it is those folks got there, and now it’s up to me to do what I can do to get there and hopefully replace those that have lost their vision, and then hopefully keep the vision I’ve set for myself. I don’t only relegate this to blogging, though. There are A-list people in all fields, and they’ll remain A-list to those people who care about that field. I’ll get on someone who’s shown overall stupidity and, well, has just shown themselves to be bad for whatever reason (Trump), but I will never get on anyone because they’ve been perceived as an A-lister; to me, that’s jealousy, pure and simple.

  8. As the author of the post you called out, I have to disagree with you. The pedastal you have created for your heroes is lovely, but it is not in the spirit of free information.

    Further, and I love some of these voices, they earn their content being shared. But protecting them while putting others down to protect market share — which is an activity some of the folks you listed do participate in — is unacceptable They don’t deserve where they are, and they deserve to be delisted by the steps in the post — which are mindful — and not attacking. Rather they simply prescribe not participating and withdrawal from communities when you become dissatisfied.

    Finally, we are all entitled to our opinions. I respect yours to protect your friends. You need to respect the right of others to say no thank you and walk away. Otherwise, this is not a conversation. It’s plain old dogma.

    1. Hi Geoff; welcome to the conversation on my blog, and I thank you for giving me something to write about.

      It’s interesting that your first statement is a personal attack, so I’ll deflect it this way. The only hero I’ve ever had is my dad; anyone else I mentioned is because they’re names to use in the discussion. Just so we’re clear.

      Next, anyone can disassociate themselves from anyone else for whatever reason they feel is necessary. I’ve never read anything that suggests at least half of the people I mentioned has gone out of their way to keep anyone else down. Darren Rowse, who studied for the seminary, not only has never put anyone down but allows extensive guest posts; that’s putting people down? Who gets to decide who deserves to be where? I always thought it was the people who got to decide, not folks like you. Sure, you get to write your opinion about it, castigate and condemn whomever you’d like, but accept that not everyone sees it your way. It’s kind of like hearing a song you hate and wondering why so many people have bought it so that it’s gone to #1. I can hate it, complain about it, but in the end it’s still a number one song.

      On your last point, attacking once again (my friends), you need to learn to be what you’re griping about me here. Everyone has their rights; you had the right to write what you had to say on Danny’s blog, I have the right to write what I want to say on my blog. You also need to respect the rights of people that happen to want to visit these folks and consider them top dogs in the industry. If it’s not what you want for yourself then why make it your mission to destroy? Either offer something constructive, help to uplift, or overthrow in your own fashion without the personal attacks and move on with life.

      Or not. Here’s the best thing about blogging. We all get to have our say, our disagreements, our points of view. We each will have someone agree or disagree. Now, how personal it gets depends on how personal either party wants to make it. If you’d like to get more personal we can take it there, or we can have a pure discussion on the merits of either route and go from there. If you don’t think you’ve made personal attacks look at your language here and tell me how I’m not supposed to take half of what you’ve said here personally.

  9. I do want to be successful, but I don’t really want to be a superstar. I just want to have enough money to be able to take care of my family comfortably. If I can do that without having to be “ON” all the time, then that is what I prefer. I actually enjoy being able to walk down the street or go to a conference and not get bombarded with people. That’s the part of being an A-lister I can do without.

    1. DeAnna, you’ve kind of cheated. I called Carl on it, so now I have to call you on it. If you only have two choices, one being that you end up being very successful, rich, and deal with whatever that brings, or you never succeed, struggle the rest of your life, and… well, whatever that brings to you. See, here’s the problem. No one can aim for the middle, because that’s not a real level. So people either aim for the top, or as high as they can possibly get, or they aim for whatever happens and deal with those consequences.

      Now, the level of “high” depends on where you’re starting and the best you can expect. For instance, because my dad went into the service on his 17th birthday, which means he hadn’t graduated high school, he aimed for the highest rank he could attain, and he got there. Sometimes, that’s just how it goes. Still, he aimed for the top level instead of just going in, not advancing in any fashion, and then being forced to leave earlier because he didn’t advance.

      So, the question again; if you had to pick between only those two choices, which would be yours?

  10. As a new blogger, i want to become a professional.. i want to be one of the bests.. well, who doesn’t wanna be? but i also believe that the way to the top wouldn’t be as easy as it may seem..

  11. 1 – no ; 2- no ; 3- also no. Some small insemnificant bloggers will always try to create drama with the “big boys”. This way people may notice them and they may get some traffic.

    1. Thanks for your comment Cristian. It’s hard for most people to say “no, I don’t really want to be successful; give me the struggle instead”. Certainly will never be me.

  12. Weak minded people just bust out on bigger people because it’s human nature. The simple answer why is “envy”.

    When you manage to climb to the top of your game and you get to a place of high exposure, that’s just part of the deal! People will be envious of your success, failing to noticed that you’ve earned it and they haven’t. They will just remain focused on how unfair life seems to be, and how you most certainly have all the luck and they have none.

    I think the best way to deal with the busting would be to stay positive and keep doing your best, and maybe nourish some compassion for those whose only aspiration to notoriety is trying to bust your chops and make you look bad. :-/

    1. That’s the way I see it Pedro, yet it’s still a fairly compelling topic to look at. Often people say the press builds celebs up so they can tear them down later. While I don’t necessarily believe that’s accurate, I will say that they love finding something about a celebrity whom they’ve built up in a different way that now counters it. Still, some celebs do bring it on themselves, but overall, I don’t think that’s the norm.

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