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The Art Of The Vouch

5 October 2010 5 Comments

I’m one of those people who always “knows a person.”

Along with my ridiculous memory skills, I also find a lot of happiness and fulfillment in creating relationships with lots of different people.  And when I can help those people along in whatever their endeavors are, I feel like I’m part of the whole Universe’s plan to push each of us into our own successes.

Which is why I am a big proponent of The Vouch.

You know, when you do that “cross-my-heart-hope-t0-die” pledge that whomever you are recommending and putting your name to is gonna be a good person.

I did this recently (in reverse) when I got a Twitter direct message from Chris Guillebeau asking for some advice and assistance setting up a book signing in Maine.  Now, for those of you who don’t know Chris, he’s kind of a big deal around the interwebz.  Published this “little E-Book” called A Brief Guide To World Domination.  Writes for his website The Art of Non-Conformity and released a book of the same name with a major publishing house.

Cross my heart and hope to die?When someone that cool and big and important (I guarantee he is both grinning and cringing reading that!) sends you a direct message asking you to help them, you run DO NOT WALK to the bookstore and set stuff up.

Not me.

I called Jenny Blake, who knows Chris well, and asked her opinion.

Yes, I totally background checked Chris Guillebeau before helping him.

But beyond what is in reality a pretty ridiculous and funny story (seriously, who background checks Chris Guillebeau?!) is the power of The Vouch.

And beyond the person being vouched for is the already built vouch of the opinion you seek.  Because when seeking out opinions, you should absolutely get The Vouch from someone you uber-trust.

Sure, Chris is a great guy.   Everyone I talk to that knows him verifies that he is a great guy.  But the difference is that he has a product and reputation that accompany the fact that he’s a “great guy.”  Which is what Jenny confirmed for me. And why I offered to set up the signing at Longfellow Books for his Unconventional Book Tour.


Reading AONC lakeside in Maine this weekend

There’s a good number of “good people” running around the world.  That does not necessarily mean that their work is good.  So you have to be careful when you are laying your name on a vouch.

Some of the sweetest people I know are HORRIBLE in relationships.  Some of the most brilliant minds run businesses into the ground.  Some of the best intentioned folks fall quickly into “get rich quick” schemes and online glory aspirations.

So my question is “Who do you vouch for?”   Do people come to you when they are seeking opinions or are you such a connection whore that when you cross your heart and hope to die, people barely listen to what you have to say?

Photo Credit: Getty Images – Winfred Evers and from my Facebook page

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Speaking of vouches, hopefully mine is worth a tiny bit and you will check out this free offer from Corbett Barr over on Free Pursuits.  At the “vouch” of a couple folks I started following Corbett a couple weeks ago, since he seemed to live a pretty sweet “solopreneur” life and…well…that’s kinda what I’d like to do.

So Corbett, as a way of giving back to the online community that helped him get to where he is (by the by, he makes over 6 figures a year off of online projects and 2 blogs and pretty much works from a beach chair in Mexico if that sounds good to you, too,) is offering a FREE E-Book called 18 Months – 2 Blogs – 6 Figures.  Similar programs that have come out cost at least $40-50 if not double or triple that.

I really admire Corbett for giving back to the online community like that, and have already devoured the first section.  If you are wondering, I barely knew of Corbett before a week ago and totally have no warm-fuzzy friend reason for promoting his E-Book.

It is seriously just that good. Cross my heart and hope to die.

;)

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  • http://chrisguillebeau.com Chris Guillebeau

    Hey Elisa! What a great post. I really appreciated your help in Maine – you did a fantastic job and it was fun to work with you.

    And yes, Corbett is a good guy too… I’ll vouch for him. :)

    • http://www.opheliaswebb.com Elisa Doucette

      Hey Chris! Glad you enjoyed, I figured you’d appreciate the spirit with which the story of your background check was told. :)

      It was great meeting and working with you in Maine as well – though I’ll be the first to admit that promoting the book of such a good writer/guy/mind made my job pretty easy. You’re still selling like hotcakes at Longfellow!

  • http://waliqfactory.com Michel J. Gagnon

    Hi Elisa,
    I just found your blog going through the comments on Corbett’s Free Pursuit. Quite interesting!

    I tend to use “the vouch” very carefully for the very reason you mentioned at the end of your post (the risk of having people not listening when I cross my heart and hope to die). I’ll vouch for some of my colleagues or for my wife. She particularly rocks! But in general, I see the “vouch” as a secret and special weapon. Some sort of a “Giant laser” that can be used very infrequently.

    After rereading my own comment, I notice that I use quotation marks much more often than the “vouch”.
    Great post.
    Michel

    • http://www.opheliaswebb.com Elisa

      Hi Michael! Welcome to my little corner of the internet! Glad to have you here. :)

      I would agree very much with that. It’s very scary to attach your name to someone’s work and reputation, at least for me. I don’t want people coming back at me, all feisty over drinks, bitching about “my friend” that is not living up to their standards.

      And I’m a huge quotation mark abuser. Have you ever seen The Blog Of Unnecessary Quotations? Nate Damm found the book in Boston, then the site afterwards. HILARIOUS! (www.unnecessaryquotes.com)

      • http://waliqfactory.com Michel J. Gagnon

        Just had a look at the blog of unnecessary quotation marks. Pretty funny! I fell much better now. :) Thanks for sharing.