Have you noticed? There’s something strange—and frankly, a little kinky—going on in the blogosphere these days.
Everyone wants to kick your @ss. And they act as if it’s a good thing. Like you should be happy about it.
Everywhere you turn, every tweet you scan, every link you click, some stranger offers to kick your @ss. They claim their @ss kicking bootcamp, ebook, online course, private forum or coaching will make you a better writer, creative, entrepreneur, etc.
I don’t buy it. I call hooey on the @ss kicking school of creativity and marketing—and here’s why.
4 good reasons to steer clear of an @ss kicking
I find the threat an @ss kicking…
Condescending. Think about it: An @ss kicking depends on the kicker being more powerful—wiser, older and more experienced maybe—than the kickee. But you’ll notice many @ss-kicking bloggers are younger—and often less experienced—than you. I’m
old seasoned—in work and life. I have two teens and an adult child. So when a 20-something wants to kick my @ss I feel the urge to send her to her room for a time out.
Phoney. Can you feel the love and empathy behind a good @ss kicking? Me neither. I think @ss-kicking bloggers want you to believe they’re tough-love parents: This is gonna hurt me more than it hurts you. I’m gonna kick your @ss so damn hard—because I love you. Besides being messed-up parenting, it’s a lie: @ss-kicking bloggers don’t care about you. They care about selling you information products.
Ineffective. But maybe an @ss kicking is good for you, right? Getting humbled by someone with no personal or professional investment in you may actually make you more creative, no? Let’s see… Does getting yelled at make you a better writer? Does being told you’re a whiner help you pinpoint services your customers really want and need? Does being commanded to just do it help you form stronger relationships—in business and personal life? Does any of the drop-and-give-me-50, bootcamp babble actually teach real self-discipline? Or encourage a sustainable work ethic? Does it move you to execute—instead of endlessly brainstorming and planning? All righty, then. Moving on…
A smokescreen. Remember Mrs. Hinkley, your 4th grade teacher? Recollect how she told you swearing is the mark of an uncreative mind? That cussing is a slatternly—she used that word, slatternly—substitute for our “rich Anglo Saxon vocabulary?” Mrs. H. was right in this instance: @ss kickers are usually full of hot air. Take away the puffery, posturing—and info product—and there’s little left.
Want to be treated like a grownup—or like a naughty child?
Call me crazy, but I feel @ss kicking promotes unequal relationships. Like the love-hate of a drill sergeant and grunt—or that of a dysfunctional parent and child. I prefer working with equals: People committed to more productive, ahem, grownup relationships.
What do you think? Am I reading too much into the @ss kicking metaphor? Or do you feel the same way?
Lorraine Thompson is a New York copywriter and content strategist. She doesn’t like kicking people’s @sses, but she does enjoy creating kick-@ss copy and content strategy. Contact her today—and follow her at WritersKitchen on Twitter.