I had a splash of cold water dumped on my head this weekend.
It’s not that I hadn’t intellectually grasped the fact that being on the payroll would diminish my credibility as a genuine fan of Citizens Bank of Canada.
But neither had I realized the extent to which any kind of marketing (even though I don’t consider myself a “marketer”; I’m an “evangelist”) job is instantly suspect.
Here’s the thing.
- Most people who know me, get pretty fast that I’m straight-shooting and straight-up. This is one of my most deeply held personal values. It was/is critical to my success as a money coach: If a client is going to trust me with conversations about their money, they need to be sure that I’m not going to engage in so much as a hint of duplicity or judgment, not to mention anything unscupulous.
- With the exception of a brief stint here or there, every one of my jobs have had personal meaning to me. Life for the paycheque is no life at all.
But there I was at BarBank Camp BC (an unconference with mega brain power and creativity applied to discussions about banking/credit unions) and the question came up: Is it possible for people to actually love their f.i.?
I think it is, because I love mine.
But here’s where things got perplexing.
I love mine enough…that I’ve chosen to work there. Before I worked there, I told others about it. Lots and lots. Now, I do the same thing except even more, and yes, I get a paycheque (NOT commission!) for it.
But when I posed the question to the group, I got a resounding response that simply by being on payroll, my authenticity diminished (one person even suggested, diminished by 90%).
I’ve never encountered this before:
When I was VP of a hotel college no one questioned whether I was sincerely being a VP.
When I delivered financial literacy seminars for FSGV no one questioned whether I was a sincere facilitator.
When I worked as an employment counsellor years ago for HRSDC no one questioned whether I truly wanted clients to find a great job.
So why is it that now that I (once again) get paid to do what I love – give lots of shoutouts for a kick-ass bank, suddenly my motives are suspect? I don’t get it.
Readers: What do you think? Are we soooo cynical that anyone with so much as a whiff of marketing to them gets tossed to the bottom of the heap of credibility?