Open vs. Closed Source Paradigms: Which Do You Choose for Your Business and Life?

by Marcus Sheridan

Open Source—I’d never heard the phrase until I’d entered the world of internet marketing, but the first time I’d learned of this incredible idea it brought a smile to my face. For those of your unfamiliar with ‘open source’, it basically has its roots in the development of software that isn’t proprietary per se, but rather open for the masses to work on, use, improve and therefore benefit the public.

Are you 'Open Source'?

I mention this because I had quite an interesting experience this week that I thought was quite a telling example of the two paradigms business owners, marketers, and humans in general can choose to have in 2010 and beyond when it comes to ‘Open vs Closed Source’. It went a little something like this:

On one of my more popular swimming pool educational videos shown on YouTube, a guy, obviously pretty bright, left a comment explaining how I was scientifically wrong with the information I had shared in the video. Not wanting to give any misinformation, and despite the fact the gentleman was a little condescending in his comment, I decided to surprise this fellow and send him a message with the invitation to write a guest post on my popular swimming pool blog about the subject and break it all down scientifically so that others could better understand the product of discussion. I also told him he’d get a link back to his website and it would be quite a positive branding move on his part.

What happened next though is what surprised me. When the gentleman responded back to my invitation of a guest post, he basically said he was not interested in sharing his intellectual property because he was too busy with other projects and didn’t have the time. I knew such a claim was bogus and therefore decided to give him a little verbal jab by telling him, in a concise way, how I felt about his position:

“Interesting, I thought you shared an ‘open source’ paradigm.”

Knowing the person on the receiving end of the message was quite the analytic based on his previous comments, I knew such a statement would not settle well. And to no surprise, a few days later the person wrote me a lengthy response, part of which included the following, word for word:

“What made you think that I had an “Open Source” paradigm?

I share information where I can; however, I still have to make money, like anyone else. You make money based on your specialized knowledge. You don’t give it all away for free. People pay you because you know things that they don’t know.”

At this point, my communication with this gentleman ended. I’d made my point. He’d made his. But there was a major philosophical difference that came out between me and this individual, and it was with this statement:

“You don’t give it all away for free.”

Excuse me sir, but this is where you’re wrong. In fact, anyone that reads this blog or has been to one of my seminars knows exactly what I’m talking about here.  Everything I know is given away for free. I hold nothing back…which is exactly why people pay me. And it’s exactly because I have given so much away for free that people will in-turn trust me and ultimately use my services. Fact is, I do give away everything. Why? Simple:

The Law of Reciprocity is real. The Law of Abundance never fails.

This gentleman, although very knowledgeable, clearly just doesn’t understand how these laws work. He’s afraid of giving too much truth and therefore suffers from a ‘lack’ mentality. And frankly, it’s sad.

Over the past 18 months I’ve written over 200 ‘self-help’ articles. About half are about swimming pools. The other half are found herein at The Sales Lion. This ‘giving’, which at times has brought me major criticism from the industry’s ‘status quo’, has lead to unbelievable changes in my life. My personal brand and finances have been blessed. I’ve made tremendous friendships and helped thousands of people. Each and every day seems as if it’s bringing with it another piece of joy, satisfaction, and opportunity. In short, I have given much, and received even more.

But may I also say I knew this would happen. It’s no surprise. Again, that’s just how the Universe and its laws work. It’s always been that way and will only continue to be.

I don’t mention these things to brag. Any of you that read this blog regularly know it’s not my style. I only say this to stress the need that we all have to live and act with an abundant mentality. Be ‘open source’ in all things. Don’t be that guy who hoards truth and lives his life with a constant sense of lacking. Give, give, give. By so doing, I can testify to you that your acts and teachings will be rewarded as temporal and spiritual blessings will abound in your life.

Mad Marketing Podcast

If you like the articles, you'll love Marcus' podcast and insightful tips on business and life.

Click to listen

Subscribe to Future Articles

Read Marcus' future articles and stay on the cutting edge of business, marketing, and life success tips!

Click to subscribe

Previous post:

Next post: