“A strong stand is how you attract superfans. They point to you and defend you. They spread the word further and wider, and more passionately than any advertising could.” — From Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson
Taking a stand on something; your product, your writing, or your professional ideas has practical benefit. If you have a product and you try to please everyone, you’ll end up pleasing no one. Apple is a company that takes a stand and has superfans. I’ve been listening to Mac bigots (not intended pejoratively) for decades.
Yes, you will make some people mad, you may offend some, they may unsubscribe or they may hate your product, but that’s life. I like the idea of taking a stand and attracting superfans. I would rather have 100 superfans than 1,000 lukewarm fans.
If you take a stand you will get noticed. That’s why many people don’t take a stand. They don’t want to get noticed by someone who doesn’t like what they are saying. It’s better to play it safe. If you poke your head up it may get knocked off. This is the behavior of 80% of the people in the corporate world. You may be safe, but you’ll never get anywhere.
I find myself drawn to and respecting people who take a principled stand even if it is diametrically opposed to my own. I would rather have a principled enemy than a wishy-washy friend.
Aside from the practical benefit in attracting passionate supporters, there is another and maybe more important benefit of taking a stand – your self-respect. Whenever I’m quiet about something that is important to me in the face of strong opposition, I end up feeling sick about it later. Whenever I hold back on writing something because I’m afraid it might offend someone, I lose a little respect for myself. I have just violated one of my basic principles. When I stand up for what I believe, I feel good about myself no matter what anyone else thinks.
“If some among you fear taking a stand because you are afraid of reprisals from customers, clients, or even government, recognize that you are just feeding the crocodile hoping he’ll eat you last.” — Ronald Reagan
What do YOU think? Leave a comment and join the conversation.
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