I am an unapologetic bitch, and it won’t ever change.

Yep, you read that right.

Over the course of an average day I am asked to provide oodles of advice to people, generally on subjects I am intimately familiar with.  Whether online or off, my posture is always to be blunt and not sugar coat anything.  There are practical reasons for that, of course, most important of them being lack of time to worry about phrasing.  And then there is an inherent personality trait that I’ve struggled most of my adult life with – lack of filter.  I seem to be utterly lacking the mechanism for self-censorship.  Some people are born with it, and are inherently diplomatic.  I am just not one of those people.

photo courtesy: by Bernt Rostad

Having spent quite a few years trying to trick my brain into developing that all important filter, I finally realized that it’s simply not going to happen.

I can’t bring myself to say something that I don’t fundamentally believe in, no matter what’s at stake, and that’s just the way it is.

So perceptions being what they are – I am a bitch.  I am not proud of it, but I am not apologizing for it either.  I’ll take it one step further and say that if you are looking for honest advice and opinion, it’s better for you to deal with someone who doesn’t filter what they say than someone who does when it comes to business strategy advice or marketing.  Here is why:

In any business, your prospects will have some 30 seconds or thereabouts to form an initial impression of your business, service or products on first contact.  They will have to do so without the benefit of filters of any kind, and in the largely online world of commerce and communication, you won’t know  what effect any of the stuff you throw out there will have on that all important perception of your offerings’ worth or value.

Consumers don’t tend to send businesses notes saying that something or other in your branding, message or service left them cold.  They simply walk away and go elsewhere.

If your advisers sugar coat when advising you instead of impulsively and honestly stating their reactions, you will proceed down the false trail under false pretenses.  At the end of the day, your ego will be the only beneficiary.

So next time you see me state something publicly or to you in person that you think comes off a bit harsh, it’s not done out of malice or to deflate your ego.  I am doing you a favor by putting myself into the shoes of your prospect and giving you unabashed commentary to help you navigate to the trail that is right for you, and to do so with eyes wide open.  It also saves all involved a crap load of time that we can all spend reading to our kids or sipping a nice beverage with our significant other or doing nothing at all.

I’d like to do more of that last thing some day.

For now, if anyone wants to pick my brain in any forum, by all means, but please don’t ask me to take it easy on you, or to use gentler (or smaller) words, expressions etc.  It’s too damn hard, and I’d rather spend my time helping those whose egos are not so easily bruised and who understand the value of unfiltered, honest commentary.

For the rest of it, I’d rather volunteer my time to places where it can make an actual difference.

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18 Responses to I am an unapologetic bitch, and it won’t ever change.
  1. Greg Hardison
    February 23, 2012 | 4:55 am

    Trust me, it’s a family trait. Just hope that you can surround yourself with people who value the creative perspectives that come with such a philosophy…which means, stay away from anything Disney!

    • Inna Hardison
      February 23, 2012 | 3:15 pm

      Greg – I don’t know, man. The Hardisons I know have are some of the most diplomatic peeps out there:-) As for Disney and such – I was never in real danger of that.

  2. Amanda Hall
    February 22, 2012 | 3:23 am

    I’m giving up my filter for Lent.

  3. Lisa Heindel
    February 21, 2012 | 12:24 pm

    If there was a singular reason why I chose to work with you, it was because I knew you wouldn’t pull punches when telling me what you think about my site and how it could be improved.

    Since I spend so much time trying to figure out what a non-real estate person is looking for, having your unfiltered advice has been crucial to making improvements that are focused on the actual users, not what makes me feel warm and fuzzy.

    I hope you never start apologizing for knowing your business and using that knowledge to benefit your clients.

    Oh, and I kinda like you too.

    • Inna Hardison
      February 21, 2012 | 6:03 pm

      Lisa, you make me smile. But you are right – I am not apologizing for any of it…:-) Onward being us…

  4. Drew Meyers
    February 21, 2012 | 11:01 am

    I’m with ya all the way. Some people can’t handle the truth — sucks for them 🙂

    • Inna Hardison
      February 21, 2012 | 6:04 pm

      Drew – I guess we realized that those people are simply not our clients. I think knowing that upfront benefits everyone involved.

  5. Lenza
    February 21, 2012 | 8:24 am

    Softy. Where’s the photo of the kittens wrestling with a ball of yarn?

    • Inna Hardison
      February 21, 2012 | 6:05 pm

      Sorry, Lenza, i tried to find one of those squishy kitteh pics, and alas, no luck:-) Good to see you around social parts again. I miss your words.

  6. Coleen DeGroff
    February 21, 2012 | 6:37 am

    Filter? We don’t need no stinkin filter! Thank you for always keeping it real.

    • Inna Hardison
      February 21, 2012 | 6:06 pm

      Coleen – nope, we definitely don’t need no stinking filter:-) xoxo, my friend.

  7. thesa chambers
    February 20, 2012 | 10:33 pm

    you are my hero 🙂

    • Inna Hardison
      February 21, 2012 | 6:07 pm

      Thesa – you’ve no idea how much of that goes both ways;-)

  8. Teri Conrad
    February 20, 2012 | 7:43 pm

    You are one rockin Bitch that I adore!! Tell it like it is girlfriend and never change! Keep it real! xoxoxoxo

    • Inna Hardison
      February 21, 2012 | 6:07 pm

      Loving the Rocking Bitch reference:-) Here is to keeping it real, for all of us. xoxo

  9. elizabeth Cooper-Golden
    February 20, 2012 | 7:30 pm

    Inna, You are far from the “b” word. What you are is a brilliant, wicked smart, take no bull person. When the evolution of social media began to explode, so did the lack of confidence by many to be honest and tell it like it is. The fear of stepping on toes has led to a much needed class to teach those the “bullshit dance”. Let’s not step on toes, let’s not voice our honest opinions.

    You are the reason for your success. You are respected because of who you are….an honest, tell it like it is, take someone to the next level creator. I appreciate your willingness to share, teach and guide others, allowing them to create their own piece of greatness in the online world 😉 You, my sweet friend, are awesome!

    • Inna Hardison
      February 21, 2012 | 6:09 pm

      Coop – your comment so totally made me blush the first time I read it. I’m still blushing. Can’t wait to see you at RETSO. We’ll hang and tell it like it is. xoxo

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