"What the heck are you talking about Tulia?" You might be thinking…
Well, let me tell you something, you have to be aware of these "personalities"...., as much as they sound "funny", you don't want to have them around you, or, worse, be seen as either one of them.
And you might be asking also, "what does that have to do with your topic Tulia? Confident communication..." My answer, "everything! Because if you have been hijacked by one of these personalities, or all of them, you have to revisit your message immediately!"
These personalities popped up as a topic of a conversation in an accountability group I'm part of, when one of the participants told us that she was "attracting" them to her programs and training, and she didn't know how to deal with them.
First, let's define what they are:
Freebie Hunters: I guess it is pretty clear what they are about. These are people who go around the internet and social media downloading, registering, signing up to every single Free product, training, pdf, or alike, they find. From their perspective, they might be genuinely interested in what they have acquired for free, however, they rarely commit to learning what is requested in the free product or training they have signed up for. For that reason, they rarely take action towards a next step which requires more commitment from their side, including financial commitment. It is ok to have them around provided you don't spend your time and expertise "persuading" them to commit to take action. A Freebie Hunter is easily identifiable. They are the ones who are never ready, or, they "already know the topic but they are just checking", they also complain about everyone's prices, because they are not willing to invest, they like free stuff. In other words, they don't really see the value of your expertise. So, don't waste your time with them.
Guru Hoppers: they are well intentioned. They want to be involved with your programs and trainings. They commit financially, but they don't necessarily commit themselves to what they paid for. In their perception they are ready to learn, and take action, but when they realise the work involved they tend to "zoom out", and tell themselves the "reasons" (excuses) they can't learn, or follow, such program, and then move on to find another expert who will "teach them what they want". Which won't happen because they are not (consciously) willing to commit and take action. They are the ones who believe in "miracles and shortcuts". So, beware of them because they can take a lot of your time and energy.
Haters: oh well… aren't they people to have pity on them? Some with a more holistic approach would say, "they are souls in pain"... well, yes, in a way, they are, however, they can create a toxic environment. Interesting enough, Freebie Hunters are the ones who are the most qualified to become Haters. The reason is, once they become "addicted to free stuff", they take it for granted and expect others to always provide, for free.
Ok, you might be thinking, "this is silly"... Trust me, it is not silly. Whether you are an entrepreneur, business owner or in the corporate ladder, these three personalities can be seriously disruptive and energy draining. Because they are not ready to commit neither their own time, nor their own money, to receive your time and your expertise.
Not only that, they are deceiving. They generate frustration. Because, you put the effort to give your best to people you believe will benefit from your knowledge and expertise, and these three personalities don't value it.
"How to deal with them?" You might ask.
With the Freebie Hunters, just let them be. They are like bees that go flying from one place to another looking for "sweet stuff" to feed them. The big difference with bees is that the bees do something with what they collect (honey), and go pollinating other flowers, the Freebie Hunters instead, tend to keep what they get for themselves and do nothing with it. In their mind they think that "one day they will use the material they are collecting", but in fact, very few do.
And you also might ask, "so, should I stop creating Freebies then?" Not at all. Keep creating them. Because Freebies are a door to people to get to know you and your work before committing to work with you. Freebies have a clear purpose. The Freebie Hunters are the ones who don't.
With the Guru Hoppers, you have to be more careful. Because they invested to work with you, they are entitled to receive your time and expertise (up to a certain extent, depending on the product or service you are providing). However, they might not be prepared to invest the time and dedication which is expected from them. And that will lead to frustration from both sides. To avoid being targeted by a Guru Hopper, make sure you have a clear message about your products and services, and what is required and expected from a person in order to achieve the desired results, and make sure they commit to a specific goal. Revisit your marketing material. You might be sending a message about your product and services that is not aligned with what you want to give and expect from others. It is advisable to have a clause where you state "this program/training/product is for people who…"
With the Haters, well, don't bother about them. Unless you are a person who goes around provoking others, creating unpleasant situations, making offensive remarks, I personally don't think you should even listen (read) what a Hater is talking about. I know it is easier said than done, because we feel bad if we receive an unpleasant comment.
However, interestingly enough, Haters appear around free trainings or low ticket trainings, you don't see them around high ticket material… so, it might be an opportunity for you to revisit your fees if you are attracting them…
Bear in mind that, if you are attracting any of these three personalities, especially the Guru Hoppers, it is an opportunity to revisit your message, your marketing material, to make sure everyone around you, who approach you, is aligned with your values, principles, and is willing to grow, not just hanging around.
It is always about having a clear message. First for yourself, knowing what you want to communicate, your values, and your boundaries. And, of course, knowing your audience, and communicating in the language that will attract the people who are aligned with the values you communicate.
So, I definitely hope you are not attracting any of these personalities too close to you, and also very important, that you are not acting and being seen as one of them.