Imagine if you will, your day to day job, whatever it is that you do… for however many years you have worked there; you go in and you do the work either required of you or out of pure passion. You brave the elements, the obstacles and the naysayers and you work. During that time you may accrue money, accolades, positive public opinion…a name synonymous with good work. Whatever. You’ve slogged it out and built something that you are proud of. It makes you want to share the news with friends, relatives and colleagues. Then in one fell swoop you wake up to find out that you no longer have those accolades, money or positive public opinion. Maybe you forgot to file taxes or maybe you deliberately skipped one or two payments here and there. Maybe you took shortcuts where you should have taken the time. Whatever the case, ALL your hard work, not a portion, not a slice, not even a percentage but ALL of your work is relegated to dust. Whilst you are collecting your thoughts, your coins and your wits you can hear the gleeful whispers at your current situation. How would that feel?
I imagine whatever hopeless feelings accompany that knowledge of your entire work being removed and seeing people happy about it, is possibly similar to what Nigerian blogger, Linda Ikeji is feeling. Amidst accusations of plagiarism, copyright infringement, lazy writing and the biggest blunder of them all; not buying her domain name, Lindas’ popular entertainment blog was taken down by Google. Linda, honey, listen… your blog is ranked No. 10 on the Alexa rankings of Top 500 sites in Nigeria!!!! As a half-assed blogger I have so many questions and I doubt Sway has the answers, DJ Clue won’t squash it but Jesus might come along and fix it. Linda should have known better.
In any case this incident was more than a teaching moment for bloggers everywhere. As the news cycle ran through social media, commentary by users of various platforms revealed another side to this story. What came to the fore was a disturbing amount of glee expressed by some people at the demise of Linda’s blog. I wasn’t surprised. I’m not a Linda Ikeji fan but as much as you wouldn’t catch me retweeting her content you also would not catch me doing a praise dance because her blog was taken down. However some of her dedicated readers and part-time sharers of her content crowed with glory that the “wicked witch” of blogging had been taken down. Ugh. Toto, bring me my red heels and let’s click out of here and go home to Kansas.
If there is one thing I have learned in this world, it’s that as soon as you start getting ahead (further than most or further than where people expected you to get to) that’s when you can separate the true supporters and the pretenders of your intimate and wider circle. People say when you are down and out, that’s when you know you’re true friends. Listen, honey…listen. Misery loves company and if someone is not a true supporter there is nothing they like to see more than you down on the ground. The minute you gain a little success whatever that may be there’s always a shift in the dynamics of friendships, partnerships and family. You’ll begin to hear how you’ve changed. Or you’ll see people throwing unnecessary underhanded verbal jabs. You’ll see some people pull away. Or worse yet you see an increased amount of attention from friends who never really bothered to read nary a blog post.
This is not a celebrity problem. It’s a success issue for all of us. You might be an entrepreneur and experience the surprising side effect of success noted here by Sherry Collier:
“Friends and family who seemed supportive of you during the dreaming stages of your business (those days when you would get sparkly eyes as you spoke about your passion and ideas that were as of yet, untried) might suddenly seem to turn on you. You may start to experience little passive-aggressive comments about your business, your personality, your marketing efforts, or your busy lifestyle. People who are used to thinking of you as “one of their own” or “on their level” see you doing things that they might have liked to do or overcoming fears they might have wanted to overcome and this can cause resentment and negative emotions.” – Sherry Collier
Am I then saying I’m perfect? That I never experience jealousy or envy? Nope, I sometimes feel that pang when I see someone achieving or having something that I would like but I have learned to curb it in it’s infancy. I recognise it for what it is. My jealousy of another person’s success or personal moments of happiness is simply me comparing my life to theirs and criticising myself for not having what they have. Cue the social media hiatus phenomena (where people get depressed by seeing how happy, content and or successful others are in their lives and hence take a “prolonged break”).
Anyway back to Linda Ikeji. It’s interesting how not only days after announcing on her blog that she had bought a new Range Rover that this unfortunate chain of events occurred. Re-reading her blog announcement you might easily get stuck on the first few paragraphs and roll your eyes.
“Yay! My dad finally gave me permission to buy the 2014 Range Rover and I’m beyond happy. I’ve wanted this car for so long but he was against me buying it. But it’s my birthday this Friday and he finally agreed that I could buy it for myself as a birthday present.
So he and I went to a car company in Victoria Island yesterday and bought this brand new 2014 Range Rover Sport Supercharged. I bought it for N24million. Yeah, I know! Its a lot of money to spend on a car but I’ve been wanting this car since it came out…so…lol. But I swear I’ve been feeling so guilty since I bought it. I keep telling myself ‘do you know how many lives you would have changed with N24million?” A lot, I know…but my life is important too na, abi? Lol.” Source
I definitely rolled my eyes. However if you read further, there are glimpses of what really matters. Linda, finally found something she is good at and she’s proud of it.
“Anyway, to make myself feel better, the September LIB giveaway will be bigger than ever…and I’m more determined now to start my #I’dratherbeselfmade campaign where I will mentor and help some young girls start their own businesses.
Now there’s something I want to say to all the young girls reading this. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with a man buying you things, but always remember that if you believe in yourselves and your dreams, you work hard and stay focused, there’s absolutely nothing you can’t buy for yourself. I’m not only buying myself cars that I want, I’m in the process of buying my own house, with my own money.
I made it on my own, in my own way and on my own terms. If anybody ever tells you that the only way you can make it in life is by laying on your back, the person lied to you. You don’t have to do that. You shouldn’t do that. You are strong, you are brave, you have been blessed with a talent, find yourself, believe in yourself, push yourself…and never give up. No money is sweeter than your own money, trust me. You can do it. Yes, you! You can do it. Just be patient, pay attention and work your butt off.
It’s not easy trust me…if you think I had success overnight, you thought wrong. November this year will make it eight years that I’ve been blogging. Every single day! Before then I was a model, I was a model manager, I was an events planner, I was a columnist, I wrote a book, then I became a blogger. I put my hands in so many things because I was determined to make it in life. Finally one paid off – blogging.” Taken from Linda Ikeji’s site
I’m not sure about you and what you are doing in your life but I’m not at the buying Range Rover stage of life yet but even though I’m not a fan of Linda’s blog, I did crack a smile for her and her success. It takes nothing from me to be happy for someone else. However this entire saga has reaffirmed another lesson for me…not everyone is here for your success be it small or large. In the age of social media keep it cute and quiet.
Photo Credit: Google Images