Ok, this issue really hits home for me.

“If you want your email to be read, make it 2 sentences.”

“How to get the attention of big name bloggers”

“How to not annoy big influencers”  — This is actually a thing!

It’s like there is an industry that exists JUST for the proper care and consideration for “influential people.”

Let’s stop and address something straight up. YES. There is a super self-development clique. Yes, there are coach cliques. Business cliques. Yes they work with each other, promote each other and hang out with each other. Yes, they might not read your emails or respond to your requests And I am sure when they go to events like WDS, they just hang out with each other.


They don’t have to read your emails. They don’t HAVE to talk to you. And yes, they might be busy but YOU ARE BUSY too. (Can you tell I am passionate about this?)

If you live out the life of your business in the hopes that some blogger/big name with shine their light on you and give you a chance, you are wasting your time. If you spend your time idolizing other people, you will have NO time to do your work. If you consciously position yourself LOWER than another person, you are not giving yourself a fair shot.

The amount of followers you have is a not measure of your success, your worth or the amount of RESPECT you deserve.

More money does not equal more respect.

Fame is not always a mark of quality. Just because someone is well known, doesn’t mean they know best.

This idolization of “successful” people in our industry HAS to stop.

Be obsessed with your OWN contribution.

I always hear people talk about how they meet people in real life and they don’t seem interested or they feel ignored by “industry insiders.” As far as I am concerned, if you feel ignored…ignore them right back. Have fun. Be present. Enjoy yourself.  Run your business. 


Let’s talk about the Oprah effect. Publishers fight to get on her book club list. People clamor to get on her “favorite things” list. And it’s GREAT but you don’t need Oprah to have a successful book or create something people love.

Think of Fifty Shades of Grey which came out of nowhere (no celebrity endorsements) and took over the world.

I don’t think the ipod ever showed  up on any list from Oprah.

You don’t have to play the game to do great things. You don’t need someone else to see you to be seen.

And most likely, if you focus on creating good work, being the BEST at what you do and serving your people the best way you can, people WILL notice.

And do you know who should be in your clique? Your freakin’ clients. Your readers. The people that love and respect your work and what you do.

YOU guys are my clique.

It is my job to make sure that I am serving you the best way possible. I read books to help me learn how to talk to YOU.

And I want to be clear about something — there is nothing wrong with emailing these bloggers, pitching magazines or reaching out to influential people.

Just do it because you know you are awesome and have a deep appreciation of your contribution. Do not do it out of desperation.


Exposure is GREAT for business. I would love to be in INC magazine. It’s one of my dreams to be on the cover of a magazine.


But I am not gonna measure my worth on the pursuit of fame, fortune or web traffic.


4 steps to success

1. Focus on your business + YOUR audience — doesn’t matter the size

2. Be open opportunities and seek them out with integrity and love for the work you do and a desire to reach more people

3. Respect YOUR time.  — I don’t guest post much because it doesn’t always feel good  so I don’t do it. I focus on creating content on my own site

4. Shine baby shine




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28 thoughts on “Stop kissing the feet of "big names" + the secret to success

  1. I had to go back and think of my motives when I emailed to my first ‘big’ blogger and pitched them. Was I idolizing them? But no, I didn’t come from a place of “i’m lower” i TOTALLY came from a place of I’m awesome and I’m going to rock this and want to share the bounty with you. Yay!

    Posted on October 11, 2012 at 3:02 pm
  2. Love this Shenee… right on point. Muah!

    Posted on October 11, 2012 at 3:07 pm
  3. Love it!

    When I went to WDS, I did hang out with a lot of other coaches. I also had meals with total strangers. Shared a room with blogless people. I also met some “influencers” I was excited to see in the flesh. Guess what? They were all people who picked their noses and had fascinating stories to tell.

    The “How to not annoy big influencers” thing is RAMPANT in the acting world, but it’s focused on casting directors. There are members-only “squib books” where people record the pet peeves and favorite sodas of casting directors so actors can develop neuroses around how to get a Dr. Pepper with their name on it on so and so’s desk. Sick.

    Thank you Shenne. Great conversation that needed to be started.

    Posted on October 11, 2012 at 3:10 pm
  4. Hey Shenee,

    You are a breath of fresh air!

    Such great points. All good reminders to focus on what really matters!

    Posted on October 11, 2012 at 3:16 pm
  5. Love this post! I too think there needs to be a wake-up call in the online self-development community to stop creating idols and start creating good work. I love me some internet famous people, but I take what works for me and leave the rest behind, knowing that everyone is doing the best they can to make their way through the wild west that is our online world. It’s also important to remember that we have often been the “famous” person who has unintentionally ignored someone’s request. Remembering that helps me be more understanding when I get ignored. Thanks for the reminder to put our focus on building our own communities rather than groveling at someone else’s feet, Shenee!

    Posted on October 11, 2012 at 3:18 pm
  6. Thanks for this post, Shenne! It’s a great reminder that it’s about doing the work and letting that become the story – not waiting for someone else to see it and validate you. Keep rocking!

    Posted on October 11, 2012 at 3:19 pm
  7. Love love love this! And “how not to annoy big influencers”? REALLY?

    Anyway, just a quick note to say that prepping awesome work while listening to freaking good music is a good way to forget about what “influencers” are doing, just saying. Ok I’m on a “zone of genius meets service” high right now, to be honest, and to me that’s more important than reading what an influential blogger has to say in their latest.

    Posted on October 11, 2012 at 3:29 pm
  8. This is JUST what I needed to hear today – thank you!

    Posted on October 11, 2012 at 3:39 pm
  9. I love, love, love this post! Just like the big influencers, I am doing what I do because I want to make a difference in the world. Sure, it might have started at just 15 people, and it may or may not grow into millions one day. The point is, no matter how many people hear my message, I am still making an impact. Thank you especially for the point about worth, respect deserved, and success! You rock!

    Posted on October 11, 2012 at 3:48 pm
  10. Found your post via one Ms. Sandi Amorim today. This is fabulous stuff and right on the money with a topic a group I belong to is blogging about later this month. Can we add you as an honorary member? (See WordCarnivals.com — our carnival this month will go live on Oct. 31)

    Posted on October 11, 2012 at 4:00 pm
  11. wow amazing Baby, thank you so much!!

    Posted on October 11, 2012 at 4:15 pm
  12. Great post Shenee! It’s so easy to get caught up in the frenzy of shmoozing with people who’ve seemingly “made it”. I got snubbed one time at an event and it really bruised my ego–for just a minute–and then something happened. All of the people that know me, get me, love me and support me came to mind and I was grounded once again. I was reminded that I am loved and I don’t need approval, because I do have something to contribute and I’m doing something about it every day. March on girlfriend! Keep up your great, inspirational work;)

    Posted on October 11, 2012 at 4:26 pm
  13. I love this post Shenee. It’s so easy sometimes to forget that recognition is not in others but in ourselves.
    This is just what I needed to hear today. keep rocking¡¡

    Posted on October 11, 2012 at 4:57 pm
  14. Love this! With my work, I’m always sharing the message: You are BEAUTIFUL AT ANY SIZE . . . that your size, shape, weight does NOT determine your value! So OF COURSE, I LOVE LOVE LOVE your message today — especially the line: ” …I am not gonna measure my worth on the pursuit of fame, fortune or web traffic.”

    Our worth was decided long ago by the Highest Authority (which includes US!) and it sure doesn’t depend on anything outside to validate it! 🙂

    Rainbow Blessings of Gratitude!

    Posted on October 11, 2012 at 5:01 pm
  15. Awesome, girl.
    Way to let it rip and let it shine.

    Posted on October 11, 2012 at 5:46 pm
  16. Such true words Shenee – I’ve totally been guilty of this, esp in being scared to email or approach someone “big” in my industry.

    Posted on October 11, 2012 at 10:40 pm
  17. Totally agree! This is something that happens so frequently, and we don’t register that it’s going on. Keep up the great work x

    Posted on October 11, 2012 at 10:46 pm
  18. The way I see it, Shenee …

    Everyone gets the flu and flat tires and we all put our pants on one leg at a time.
    “Influencers”?? Who came up with this snobby title anyway?!
    WE. ALL. INFLUENCE. Maybe our names are not in lights or on billboards along the highway. So what? If you can change one person’s life (or biz) for the better … you’re an influencer and you have worth. 🙂
    Fabbytastic post!

    Posted on October 12, 2012 at 8:13 am
  19. Love this message! Thanks Shenee for sharing!

    Posted on October 13, 2012 at 2:23 pm
  20. I love this. Thanks Shenee for the reminder to focus on what I came here to do. I have felt a little pressure to do things a certain away at times when I perhaps admired someone’s success a little too much, and I have to come back to my place and remind myself – you will get there! I’ve found that this can apply to numbers on Facebook and Twitter too and that a reminder to just get in there and do the work never goes astray!

    Posted on October 15, 2012 at 10:40 pm
  21. You rock Shenee. I’ve had a business crush on you since BSchool and thought you should know! lol

    Posted on October 23, 2012 at 2:00 am
  22. Girl! You *know* I struggled with this when we talked. I come from a career where I’m top dog in the group and then to step into something totally new and foreign to me and being intimidated by the “big and popular ones”…yeah…it kind of sucked but I was doing it to myself…no one else was and once I realized that (through gentle nudges from others /grin) I felt a huge rush of confidence because yeah…I’m still awesomely me and *I* know my strengths and abilities to help others.

    Good stuff, Shenee!

    Posted on November 4, 2012 at 4:12 pm
  23. I felt compelled to come back and read this today. I loved it when you first posted it, and I remember getting on my high horse when I joined the discussion with you on Facebook. It just gets me so riled up that people are treated all high and mighty, and us ‘lowly’ beginners are almost expected to grovel at their feet.

    Or something like that. See, I get carried away 🙂

    I see so much advice out there about being respectful of people’s time when you email them, sticking to no more than five sentences, not asking for favours etc. Most of this is just common sense. It’s about being a nice person. I don’t have a problem with the advice, but with the way it’s presented and the implications it carries. It feels distinctly like there are a certain number of people in this world who hold all the power and knowledge, and they deserve our utmost respect. Well of course they do. They deserve respect by the very nature of being human. But that means the respect has to go both ways. We’re ALL human, and all our time is precious. If I send a big hitter an email, I’d love for them to respect MY time and at least acknowledge it. So many people complain about their inboxes being so full and having so many adoring followers that it’s impossible to reply to all of them. But Chris Guillebeau and AJ Leon manage it. Their authenticity shines through in their every communication. And THAT’S what matters to me. A lot of people would do well to take note.

    *climbs down from high horse, again*

    Posted on November 26, 2012 at 7:57 am
  24. Another wonderful reminder. It’s refreshing to be getting this type of advice from someone in the PR/branding industry!

    Posted on December 26, 2012 at 3:51 pm
  25. Thankfully we’re connected through B-School too. Brilliant post & one I so agree with. I have to quote you (if that’s ok) on ‘idolization of “successful” people in our industry HAS to stop. Be obsessed with your OWN contribution.’ I love that!

    Posted on January 23, 2013 at 7:10 pm
  26. Hi Shenee, love your site and what you’re doing. Came here by way of twitter.

    Your post is right on, it reminds me of Seth Godin’s mantra of “Pick yourself. Don’t wait for yourself to be picked.” I think if we focus on our own art, audience, and audacity, we will naturally attract “the big dogs” so to speak. 🙂

    Posted on May 1, 2013 at 3:22 am
  27. Loving this post so much! Thank you 🙂

    Posted on September 24, 2014 at 5:48 pm
  28. Love this article.. thank you.. you are just kick ass.. :)..

    Posted on November 22, 2014 at 1:00 am