We are all fallible. And I think I am more so, as I often go off on different moods as they strike me. Over the years I have allowed myself to fall victim to many of my weaknesses, and I thought maybe, just maybe, there is something others may learn by exposing them. These are seven weaknesses that I fell victim to in my career this far:
Wrath (Latin, ira), also known as anger or “rage”, may be described as inordinate and uncontrolled feelings of hatred and anger.
It’s easy to get angry. Angry with people that don’t seem to have a clue, and your performance depends on them. From stupid IT teams to daft clients, to ignorant bosses to annoying colleagues. Slowly you build up this feeling of resentment and annoyance, which can quickly escalade into a full blown hatred. I have been in these situations, more often than I would like to admit.
You start slacking. Stop actually listening to what the people around you are saying. All you can think of is how annoying they are. How much you would like to **LL them.
Anger can really kill your efforts, it blinds you. It blinds your logic, and it tempers your conversations with others, which may slowly or in certain situations, rapidly turn in a direction you should never venture. How the hell are you going to work, if you are angry at all the people that need to be involved?
It took a while for me to get a handle on my anger. I just vent sometimes and let it blow over.
Greed (Latin, avaritia), also known as avarice or covetousness, is, like lust and gluttony, a sin of excess. However, greed (as seen by the church) is applied to a very excessive or rapacious desire and pursuit of wealth, status, and power.
For me greed was when I originally started out, I kept taking on client after client. The recommendations were rolling in. And I thought I could work on them all,. The money was OK, and I thought that I will be able to provide the same level of service to 50 clients as I would to 10.
I was wrong. Standards slipped, I kept forgetting to do stuff, and basically started annoying my clients. I could have taken on two routes either reduce the number of people I am working with, or take on someone to help. The latter wasn’t financially viable at the time, and the former was my only choice.
I learnt a valuable lesson – greed can really hurt your reputation.
The modern view goes further, regarding laziness and indifference as the sin at the heart of the matter.
This is probably a more recent sin for me – I used to be quite hardworking, burning candles at both ends. But as I grew in skill, I started developing a laissez faire attitude, to the point where it again started spiraling my work life out of control.
So much more work needs to happen to make sure that a campaign is running smoothly – if you start getting lazy, you will drop your eyes off the ball, and one day have to wonder why your site suddenly dropped off the SERPs…
In fact I think to this day, this is one I am constantly battling with. Laziness is a bloody disease…
In almost every list Pride (Latin, superbia), or hubris, is considered the original and most serious of the seven deadly sins, and the source of the others. It is identified as a desire to be more important or attractive than others, failing to acknowledge the good work of others, and excessive love of self.
Somewhere along the line I started thinking too much of myself, and looked down on people. This does not help. Seriously. It’s one thing to take pride in your work, and another being a proud person – its only a step away from arrogance, which can actually lead to ignorance. Feeling too self important will give you myopia, as I have learnt to my detriment – in SEO you have to keep reading, keep on top of things – and just because someone is new, doesn’t mean that they are less intelligent than you.
Keep the pride in your work, lose the arrogance in your attitude. I have kind of tackled this one, however, from time to time it does slip out.
Lust or lechery (carnal “luxuria”) is usually thought of as excessive thoughts or desires of a sexual nature
Sexy is fun. Sexy looks good. Sexy takes a fuck load of time to deliver. I use to love make my ideas, strategies result etc look absolutely great. Loads of charts, figures, results, quotes – seriously some of that work deserved medals .
But once again, I was losing time to perfection. To make things look good. What’s the point of a report that will take 10 minutes to read, but 10 days to create? I am not saying don’t make your work attractive, but don’t waste too much time sexing it up. You may end up having pretty charts and figures, but results that are ugly… if you know what I mean.
Learn to present the meat in the quickest, yet most accessible manner, and try and get that done in the fastest time possible.
Like greed, Envy (Latin, invidia) may be characterized by an insatiable desire; they differ, however, for two main reasons. First, greed is largely associated with material goods, where as envy may apply more generally. Second, those who commit the sin of envy resent that another person has something they perceive themselves as lacking, and wish the other person to be deprived of it.
This was a short lived sin for me. There was a time in my life that I was constantly jealous of others who were doing well compared to I was. But instead of trying to learn from their success, I was too busy spiraling myself into a latent hatred for these people.
“Why were their sites ranking? They are buying links! I wish I could. But what if… maybe I should report them… maybe I should call them out… ” etc etc. These are common thoughts that I still come across by people n SEO forums and on twitter. Let it go. Just work harder.
Envy can really eat at you – and actually distract you from work – take on competition with a healthy frame of mind, admit when you are beaten, and only address jealousy by working harder – not hating harder.
Derived from the Latin gluttire, meaning to gulp down or swallow, gluttony (Latin, gula) is the over-indulgence and over-consumption of anything to the point of waste.
I read. I read a lot. I hoard articles, ideas and concepts. But overdoing it may have a negative effect as well. There was a time I was voraciously consuming every blog post, every article on SEO with a grim determination. But this came at a cost as well. Overindulging in consuming this content can often leave you with two symptoms – lack of time to actually implement anything and confusing yourself to kingdom come.
Read, and read the right content. Learn to skim, mark and notarize. Don’t try and overdo it either. I tend to rely on the SEO community now to throw decent content across to me. If it good, chances are it will be widely circulated. I don’t over indulge anymore, I only binge occasionally.
Its that time of the year that you have to make resolutions, mine is simple, I stay away from past mistakes – and maybe some of them ring true for you? I will make mistakes, probably till the day I die. But, I hope I continue to keep learning from them.
If you enjoyed this post, you may want to scoot over to the SEOchicks version of the 7 Deadly Sins written by Judith…
Rishi Lakhani is an independent Online Marketing Consultant specialising in SEO, PPC, Affiliate Marketing and Social Media. Explicitly.Me is his Blog. Google Profile