I always used to laugh about those ads online that say “what dentist/trainer/whatever doesn’t want you to know”. I thought it was crazy that people would try to suppress the truth. As if there could be a conspiracy of silence I thought to myself.
I no longer find it funny. Much rather apt.
A thread on the much travelled forum, Shanghai Expat was launched on Wednesday, out of the blue. It attacked me and accused me of many things, truth mixed with lies. It seems that the information we release such as this, and this, and this seemed to have tickled some people the wrong way. Here are our thoughts…
Why the anomymous post? They couldn’t post honestly and straight-forwardly, since they had a reputation to protect, and online bullying isn’t really the “done thing” for a company. We won’t be silenced by the bullying though.
We also think it is useful to the public to understand the truth on different investments, how they work and their full range of options. It also helps to understand the industry’s modus operandi for keeping the secrets safe. It aint pretty.
We considered asking to take the thread off Shanghai Expat. We decided not to and it was actually a friend, and a client who is from the public relations industry, that convinced me on the way forward. Here is what he said to my question asking “Should I ask for the thread to be removed?”
You started this thing not knowing if it would work, not knowing if people could or would recognize the difference between ‘buying’ and ‘being sold’ and not knowing if your personal reputation was enough to carry you through the difficulties, such as those mentioned about Generali declining a formal relationship. What’s happened is that you’ve proven that the case for transparency and a different approach is strong, and you have the personal and professional chops to pull it off.
When GOLIATH starts paying attention to DAVID, it means you’re getting closer.
Why would someone post sh*t about you? Because they (sic) afraid of you taking their business!
There’s no such thing as bad press.
I mean really—who the f**k are you? Some short, soft-spoken Aussie turning the whole industry on it’s head, that’s who.
There is some truth to the criticisms which, to be successful, you will need to continue to acknowledge and rectify, but ultimately knowing that you were an ‘insider’ who has the same knowledge as the big guys but became disillusioned with the way business was done totally works in your favor. At new client meetings I would talk up exactly what they do in the industry, what you did and what you do now.
The negative postings are just short of moronic, and nobody takes Shanghai Expat seriously anyway.
I suspect the string will fizzle out and get buried on its own.
In the meantime, Not only would I NOT ask for the thread to be removed, I would openly blog about it and link to it on your website as a way of drawing attention to the ills of the industry and the difference of your approach.
My advice is to celebrate!
I couldn’t have said it better myself. As you can clearly see, I’ve taken your last suggestion, and thanks for letting me use your name.
PS. Educate and inform yourself on your options. Low cost, accessible platforms exist for expatriates. Learn what they don’t want you to know.