March 14, 2012, 5:00 am

Do You Follow or Get Followed?

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Miscellaneous
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I recently participated in an interesting internal debate: follow or be followed.


This is an eternal question that has been haunting me for years about various situations in my life. I guess that everything started when I was a kid. Believe it or not but that kick-ass ballsy Mike that you know was a chubby, timid (read reject) in elementary school! At that time, all I wanted to do is follow and even then, I was pushed away. Not only was I not cool enough to be followed; I wasn’t even cool enough to have the right to follow!


Fast forward to high school, I was then the king of the hill. I had the chance to move to another city and started to do some sports. By my 2nd year, I was in with the “cool people” (who determine who’s cool and who’s not). This didn’t last long. I didn’t feel right. In fact, I got bored very fast by my high school fame. This is exactly the moment I remember I grew balls for the first time and decided to do whatever I want, whenever I want and to never look back to see what others think about me.


Follow or Be Followed?

But the fact that I was able to act individually and never wanted to create, be part of or actively follow  a group doesn’t mean that I don’t ask myself this fatal question all the time. I’m sure you do it too; we all do. Some people need to follow others to feel right while others crave to be followed. Both groups are okay as long as you are feeling right with it. The weird thing is that we all feel that we have to be part of the followed or the follower. This is because we have been raised to believe that we are either a leader or a follower. We are not always leaders and we are not always followers. Depending on the situation, we ask ourselves which one we want to be. Depending on the timing and our feelings, we can go in either group.


I’m part of the third group: those who just do what they do.  Sometimes I get followed, sometimes I happen to follow but there is a huge difference between being part of these 2 groups: I just do what I want to do regardless what people say or think about me. If everybody is turning right and I was about to turn right; I’ll just continue walking towards the same direction. But if someone in the group says we should turn left at the last minute, I will continue on my way regardless if people change their minds. This is the difference with being part of the third group.


I’ve Challenged Myself Once Again


Last week, I announced that I bought Fabulously Broke. If you don’t know this site; it’s an awesome blog that was written by a strong woman. There is a great community following the former FB author. After announcing that I just bought the site last Monday morning, I received a few comments from disappointed readers. I really felt that FB was loved and followed as a blogger.


I was rehearsing these comments in my head during the whole day. As the day wore on, I had even more thoughts to play with. Some of them were pretty enthusiastic but others were pretty discouraged (like “I will stop following this blog today”). This is when my brain asked me:


Mike, do you want to follow or be followed?


The very first reflex I had was to rewind my life back to the age of 9 and just hoped that some FB readers would take pity and follow me. Or at least, that they would let me follow them, write what they want to read and become their obedient mascot. This is probably an automatic defense mechanism that starts each time I face a stressful situation. The leader in me thought: “I can spend a few nights reading more FB stuff and try to copycat her style so people would continue to love the blog”. That sounded like a plan, until… my kick-ass ballsy inner ME got back to life.


This is completely stupid to try to be followed or to follow by being someone else. First, people are pretty good at calling BS. Second, if you ever succeed, you will be the one that feels mediocre about it.


What the heck! I’ll Write My Own Stuff!


Do you like feeling mediocre? I certainly don’t like it! And this is why I’ve decided to just keep with my own vision and write whatever I feel like writing on FB. One of the reasons to buy this blog is that I was missing writing about personal finance topics. TFB has become an entrepreneur blog by nature but I really enjoy financial topics too. FB is the perfect place for me to continue to do so.


So, once again, I’ve decided to be part of the third group and do whatever I want, whenever I want. I know that some people will stop following FB, others will continue and new readers will come onboard too.


Have you ever felt that way? Have you ever thought that you need to choose a side, to define yourself as a follower or a leader?

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Not trying to be a hater, but here is the thing about FB’s blog.

1) She writes from a women’s perspective and regularly talks about makeup, clothes, and sometimes more serious women issues.
2) She has a very unique life style that people enjoy reading about that is not similar to your own.

Her blog is as much a lifestyle blog as it is about finances.

The target audience is different. I am not sure you can give those people what they want to read by writing yourself. I think you need to search hard for the right guest posts.

I am not sure if this was the right move for those reasons. I would consider how you (or someone else you hire) can serve and entertain the unique audience on FB’s blog.

I’m under the opinion that you “should get in where you fit in.” If you’re authentic and have something both valuable and interesting to say, people will follow you. And they’ll be loyal followers. Here’s to you creating a new group of loyal followers on Fabulously Broke. 🙂

I think you nailed it at the end. Sure, you might lose some followers. But you’ll keep some too and if you write about what you want to write and in your own style, you’ll gain just as many new followers who are following you for the right reasons. Best of luck in your new venture!

You might be able to pretend to be something else for a while, but over time it will eat you up inside. It is better to fail as yourself than suceed as someone else.

Can you do both and be content with it? 🙂
Congrats on your pruchase. I was and am one of the FB followers. I will stick around.

I think I go back and forth. Sometimes I make decisions that would mean my wife follows me and vice versa. In my blog, I enjoy that people read my articles and come back. I am happy to have some influence on other people, but this is not my only outlet. I teach school and students follow my instruction. 200 people every day! WOW!

It’s understandable that some people are upset that FB has a new blogger at the helm, but it’ll all work out. At the end of the day, subscribers just want a place to learn and engage.

Congrats on your purchase and keep the great content coming!

I’ve always found it best to just be yourself. Some will like you, some will be indifferent and some will hate you. The thing is even if you try to be something you’re not some will like you, some will be indifferent and some will hate you.

[…] 2. Do You Follow or Get Followed? @ TFB. […]

by: The Financial Blogger | March 16th, 2012 (7:30 am)

@ Jenna,
thx for your honesty. I’ve seen FB potential on a business perspective. I do respect the “women” side of FB, I’ve actually kept the original author to at least 1 years of articles and hired Shawanda who does an awesome job (in fact, she’s one of FB’s favorite author). Then, I’ll add a different perspective in personal finance on Friday’s. I’m sure it will do well overtime. After more than a week, I haven’t lost 1 RSS readers… in fact, I’ve increase the number 😀


I’ve always dreamed of giving a class. Being listened by 200 people must be an awesome feeling!

Just be who you are. Write about the things that interest you.

The way you came round in your article is very interesting. I like your down to earth, direct, no BS style. It does resemble the FB style, so I am sure that most FB readers will stick with you. Also the transition you have planned is smart, it will happen slowly, with time. Congratulations on adding one more piece to your Online Empire Mike! You are a hard worker and it is well deserved 🙂