Episode 114: Don’t Be An Asshole

Filed in Business Strategy, Leadership Development, Podcast — August 22, 2023

I just can’t help but reflect on the community of people acting like assholes that consume the online business space. So, this is episode 114, the one where I feel called to share the importance of not being an asshole. Yup, you heard me right.

In the entrepreneurial world, especially in the realm of online businesses, I’ve noticed a concerning trend. People are using polarizing content as a means to grab attention, boost likes, and gain followers. But what I’ve found even more disturbing is that this polarizing content often comes at the expense of others’ feelings and experiences. It’s a conversation that needs to be had and since I always bring my VIP conversations to my VIP listeners of the podcast, let’s get into it.

Don’t Be An Asshole

I’ve always carried within me a personal mantra of not being an asshole. I mean, I’d hope people would not consciously *want* to show up as an asshole, however, online it seems like all morals are thrown to the wayside. Now, as a regular human, I admit, I’m far from perfect, but when I integrate my therapeutic background into my daily interactions, it helps me to connect to the human rather than the opinion or value that’s up for discussion.

But, you see, we’re in the midst of an epidemic where people think belittling others is the route to attention and success. I’ve personally witnessed instances where people openly mock fellow entrepreneurs’ methods or beliefs in order to highlight their own values… in order to have an opportunity to say, “this person’s way is wrong because of X, Y, and Z” and sell you on their way instead. Rather than directly expressing their opinions, they resort to ridiculing others to make their point. && while I understand the allure of polarizing content because of the high percentage of engagement, the amount of re-shares, and interaction in the comment section, it raises questions about the ethics of the entrepreneur.


Sally Sue absolutely hammering a business mentor who believes in the connection between orgasms and professional success. Then, someone else comes along to ridicule Sally Sue and claims they’re the true expert to follow and both prior opinions are “wrong.” It’s honestly a cycle of bullying and putting others down where the original intention disappears, leaving behind a trail of shame and hurt.

I never want to be the person who feels the need to sell my strategies & expertise at the expense of calling out another CEO.

Shouldn’t you be proof enough to sell your offerings without bringing in an innocent colleague just to make your programs look shinier or better?

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not immune to caring about what others think of me. In fact, if someone was picking apart my processes and programs, I would be extremely uncomfortable. Knock on wood, I’ve never had this happen to me, however, I know if it does, I’ll be okay. My main concern, though, is not with my own experiences but with the broader scope of belittling others. Sure, it might earn you engagement, likes, and shares, but at what cost? As the online business space becomes more crowded with entrepreneurs, coaches, network marketers, and various other service providers, many are using this approach, but here’s where I stand…

There’s An Alternative Path.

Maybe this is my therapy background speaking, but I believe we can be passionate about our values without resorting to demeaning or ridiculing others. It’s possible to generate attention without contributing to the problem.

The online business world, and social media in general, thrives on sensationalism, but it’s worth questioning whether being part of a solution is more rewarding than contributing to the problem and going viral is.

What Goes Around, Comes Around

Even if you overwhelmingly disagree with someone’s stance, try to empathize with their perspective and connect with them on a human level, first. For example, I don’t agree with veganism, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to publicly shame those who choose to follow that lifestyle. You have to remember that there is a person behind the belief and each person’s beliefs are rooted in their own experiences, conditioning, or research. I truly believe that what goes around, comes around, so next time you think putting someone down will get you ahead, think of someone putting you down.

Are you on Threads?

Let’s talk about Threads for a minute, the new platform within Instagram. I actually really enjoy Threads. I think it is such a cool concept and it’s been really fun to utilize. But I realized out the gate that one of the first things I noticed were people utilizing it as a way to create humor by putting somebody else down. && it made me really, really uncomfortable. We can have these polarizing opinions without necessarily needing to talk about it publicly.

I want to leave you with a simple yet potent message: Choose kindness. Remember that everyone, even those you disagree with, has a heart and emotions. Rather than seeking validation through likes and shares, strive for deeper connections that are built on understanding and empathy.

The online business space has the potential to be a powerful place for positive change. One where we can work together to uplift one another, without resorting to negativity. One where success doesn’t come at the expense of others.

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Ash McDonald is a 3 time founder and multi 6-figure CEO. She’s a therapist turned business mentor that helps female founders scale their legacy with a psych-backed, human-first approach. She studied at the University of Northern Colorado where she received her BA in Sociology and holds 2 masters degrees from the University of Colorado Denver in Counseling Psychology & Sociology. 

Before stepping into full-time CEO, Ash ran a private practice where she served and helped patients for 4 years. During this time, she also provided consulting & business strategy to other aspiring private practice therapists. After closing her practice she continued her entrepreneurial journey in the network marketing space - successfully owning & operating two separate six figure companies. During her 7 years in network marketing, she spoke on stages in front of thousands, traveled around the world to consult with other business owners, and established herself as an industry leader. 

In 2019 Ash founded her online coaching & consulting business that she’s spent the last 4 years building into the empire that is Ash McDonald, LLC today. Best known for her therapy-backed approach – Ash merges sales psychology, therapy and strategy to help female founders create soul-aligned businesses and scale their legacy. 

She believes that being bold enough to build a business takes so much more than strategy and perfectly timed schedules. It takes tapping into your humanness, being willing to hold space for your dreams and the space for the people you serve, while addressing your own emotional intelligence, sense of safety and expanded nourishment. She believes that every woman is layered & individually unique and therefore requires a personalized & multidimensional approach of coaching. With this strategy, she’s successfully helped hundreds of women establish their brand identity and find their voice, build offer suites that are in complete alignment and scale their businesses to new heights. 

Ash McDonald is your coach's coach…or at least you hope she is. 

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