Teams In Trouble: Strategies for Consensus - How To Avoid False Agreements
Speed of Trust -- Workshop by Stephen M.R. Covey

Accused of Bragging and Being Annoying

I received an email from one of my newsletter subscribers accusing me of bragging and being annoying.  It was kind of hard to take.  Rather than deleting the email and allowing this person to continue on their path without interuption from me, I decided to respond. 

The exchange that occurred is worth sharing (he granted me permission to share the exchange).  So here goes...

I don't know if you'll even get this, because when you send stuff,  it's obviously in HUGE BULK.

You're regular e-mails have been quite repetitive; to the point of being annoying.  When you constantly speak of the money you have made, and the 'strategies' YOU use to build YOUR subscriber lists, bank accounts, etc...  it becomes BRAGGING, and eventually becomes VERY annoying.

You are being removed from my e-mail list.  I have been working as a teambuilder professionally for 2 years.  Honestly, if your programs work, they speak for themselves.

To Heck with the bragging!

(Name Withheld By Request)


Hi (Name) --

I read every email sent to me and I'd like to respond to yours...

The "Build a List" teleseminar you refer to was offered one (1)  time.  It is the only time I've shared how much money I made by  selling the multimedia CDs I've created.

Why did I share the dollar amount ($10,000 in 5 days)?

Many who subscribe to my newsletter are small business owners / entrepreneurs (independent trainers, facilitators, coaches, etc.) and dollar figures tend to grab their attention.

I offered the "Build A List" teleseminar to help other small business owners / entrepreneurs realize their dream quicker.  I want to help others who are choosing to play big and help people on a global level while also living a life in harmony.

I've been self-employed for the last 10 years and I've invested tens of thousands of dollars in my business and was, at one time, in serious debt all because I didn't know how to live my dream of helping people on a global level AND make money.

How many people have a big dream but go broke (spiritually, emotionally, physically, financially) doing it?

I've gone through some very scary times in the last ten years and had many a heart-to-heart conversation with my wife to discuss giving up on my dream.  I thought many times about giving up because of my concern for my two young kids (ages 2 and 7). You can relate to my fear if you've ever been unable to pay for health insurance for your kids or wondered how you would put clothes on your kids if it wasn't for hand-me-downs from friends and relatives.

I didn't give up.  I stuck with it.  And the "Build A List" teleseminar represented a way for me to share strategies I've learned (the hard way) that have helped me grow my business and reach more people all while being present in the lives of my children.

You said: "Honestly, if your programs work, they speak for themselves."

My business is working for me and I'm excited about it.  I now serve 25,600+ people in 101 countries!  There are some who would like to know how I've been able to experience this success (I receive regular email inquiries on this).  If I operated from fear, I would say "Figure it out yourself".  But that's not my way.

I recognize you didn't like the idea of the teleseminar.  But what about the people who attended?  What did they have to say?  You can read some comments from participants of the teleseminar HERE

Two people who attended my teleseminar own and run a teambuilding business out of their home.  They want to grow their business so they can reach more people.  If you were to talk with them, they would tell you they are called to do this work.  And they have two children.  What strategies would you offer them to combine their passion for building their business (to create positive change in the world) with their passion to be great parents?  What if my teleseminar helped them do just that? Would it have been worth sounding like I was "bragging"?

I apologize to for coming across as "bragging" and "annoying".  I hope you can forgive me.

You've raised a great point.  One I don't want to get lost in our exchange. I would like to post your email and my response on my website which will allow others to comment on the same.  I won't share your name or contact info (unless you tell me to).  Why am I doing this?  I've learned that the more transparent I am, the faster I will grow - - in my business and spiritually.


Tom Heck


Tom - Let me apologize for my attitude.  I honestly didn't think you would even read my e-mail!  Thanks for your honest reply, and feel free to use my e-mail for your site, without naming. 

Yes, I can relate to your 'scary times;' although I don't have children, I currently work in the health industry as a teambuilding professional, using experiential education.  My 13.80/hr. hardly pays
the bills!  I only do this because I love it.  My heated e-mail stemmed partly from jealousy, and partly from frustration at work.

I am currently the owner of a teambuilding business that never got off the ground.  I had (and still have on standby) a website, framework, business plan and employees ready to go.  Then, it was shot down before it ever got off the ground, due to a supposed 'conflict of interest.'  I work for a non-profit agency, but was told if I went ahead with my business, I would lose my current job!  I've been looking for another job ever since, but there is nothing in my area.  Needless to say, I'm very frustrated!

Rest assured that I am now a devoted subscriber!

Thank you for your response, and again- I apologize for my attitude.


(Name Withheld By Request)


Hi (Name) --

I accept your apology.  :-)

I relate to the frustration you're experiencing over not being able to fully express your genius in your current job.

Know this:  everything you've gone through is perfect.  AND it's also perfect that you have a strong desire for something more/better.

When I stepped out into the unknown world of entrepreneurship ten years ago I was totally unprepared.  The only thing I had was an intense desire to help lots of people.  I was told by many people that most businesses fail within the first couple of years (the odds were against me) and that it would be "safer" to get a job.

But I don't believe we were put here to live a "safe" life.

The questions that helped guide me then (and still do today) are:

What is the legacy I am leaving?

What would I do if I knew I would not fail?  If I knew I would be supported every step of the way?




Sierra Ray

Being a believer of grace, and it's presence in my life...your newsletter and the sharing of this email couldn't have been more appropriate for me right now.

I just woke from a sleepless night after coming home from the vet- leaving a sick cat whose vet bill was already over $1300 when I left him at 1am (I don't have children yet...but he may as well be now, with the nice little investment we made last night! :)

Anyhow, I recently decided to start my own coaching company- something that I've dreamt of doing for years...and like you, have also have conversations with my fiance around wondering if I should get a 'regular' job- where I can make a better contribution to the household. After getting the news of the unexpected expense last night, I broke down thinking that I couldn't handle another financial blow (feeling more and more like I'm going into debt over chasing my dream while handling the financial responsibilities in life)...and still expect my self to be of 'settled-mind' with my clients. I seriously questioned AGAIN, what I was doing and if I had completely lost my mind in following my dream.

I am very blessed with the love and support of my fiance, who on a regular basis FORCES me to keep my eye on the prize no matter what...even as I was crying on his shoulder last night in the vet's office. Your comment of "I don't believe we were put here to live a 'safe' life" and "everything you've gone through is perfect" really spoke to me. Sometimes the worst feeling I'm left with is the guilt and expectation of myself to already be more than I am SO FAR in my business...and how it affects the people I love (as well as my bank account). Thank you for the reminder that we're here to play a big game (a game TO WIN!!!!!!! :)... for I needed to hear it at the start of a day where I could have retreated into a different state of mind. :o)

It just goes to show, the more transparent we are in our own development, the better chance we have of touching others.

Thank you to you both for sharing your exchange and your grace!

Sierra Ray
Core Development Coaching
Sacramento, CA

Marianne Douglas

I'm glad you posted the email you got from the person who thought you were annoying and bragging along with your response and theirs. This brings up the situation that many of us face who are trying to be in business. How do we share what we know without sounding like we're 'annoying or bragging'? What if we have something we know works? How do we convince people?
We live in a world where someone is always trying to sell us something which has made us wary of all messages. Yet if we don't stay open, we often miss some of the most amazing people, services and products that some wonderful people are offering the world.
You Tom are one of those people. Your team activities are without a doubt one of the most popular parts of the success course I wrote for teens. I don't believe my program would have been the success that it was without the personal training I had with you and the ability to access your team activities for my class.
Thanks for all you do and for being one my mentors. I'm where you were several years ago but you inspire me to keep going knowing that if you can do it, I can do it especially because you're right here with your site, you newsletters and all the other products you offer.

PS...I am one of those people alays asking you how you do what you do. My best to you as you continue your journey and to your former "annoyed" subscriber.

Dr. Jeffrey Barr


Thanks for your energy, leadership and encouragement for getting us to step out of the Safe-Zones and pursue our potentials.

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