As it turns out, I’m not holding my self back, when it comes to principles, and I may have helped the current writing condition take a teeny tiny step forward.

I have my principles, and I thought that I may just be stubbornly holding myself back… But then, I’m also not looking to conquer the world, the way my great grandfathers did (Charlemagne and the Kings of Scots… Yeah, that’s what happens when you go digging around in your genealogy).

Here’s the story, for the sake of posterity.

Chapter 1

So, I get this query from NoteStream, an emerging app company, which I ignore, as I mull it all over for a couple of weeks. Their purpose: Learning at Hand, Things like Nature, French wine, travel and modern art

Hi, Jo,

NoteStream, an innovative mobile learning app that encourages personal growth and exploration through the presentation of enriching content in snackable form, is now available for download in the Apple® App Store. NoteStream is seeking professional experts in all fields to contribute compelling and informative content to the platform. These expert contributors will have the opportunity to gain new followers and expand audience reach, and are invited to visit us and our authors to find out more.

NoteStream enables users to discover, learn about and share a wide range of topics, from wine and wildlife to travel and music. Each NoteStream includes an author profile to emphasize credibility and transparency. Once NoteStream Apps are downloaded, they are saved and can be read anywhere, including offline. In addition, when a reader is interrupted or the app is closed, their last place in each NoteStream is automatically saved so they don’t lose their spot.

CEO and co-founder of NoteStream: “Content contributors who join the NoteStream author network will gain a powerful tool to grow their audience, as well as actively engage with them via mobile.”

…and on and on and on….

I ignore it. There’s a call, I can’t bother to take it, Jose is courteous, and I just shake my head.

So, I get the next E-Mail.

Hi, Jo,

I wanted to follow up from a phone conversation I had with Mr. Diaz, a couple weeks ago. He said you may be interested in this opportunity, but that you were quite busy and didn’t have time to discuss.

The number of people using mobile apps vs. internet browsers continues to increase and I want to share a free opportunity for you to join NoteStream’s network of authors by contributing already written content. NoteStream wants to help you reach the rapidly growing mobile audience. We are currently building our catalog of content and are seeking experts to contribute their content to the platform.

Okay, here we go… Now, I’m going to tell it like it is:

Hi, Tiffany,

I’m struggling with this, and here’s why.

This also has no reflection on you, just on principles…

Three things going on:

  • To provide free content allows the app to launch with content, without any compensation to those proving the content… ever; and then, we become promoters, because it’s our content.
  • Yes, the content is already on the Internet; but the writing community is suffering, because writing has become “free” for the taking, if someone is willing to give it away. This is killing writers financially; and the good ones will find other jobs, because they can’t afford to live on air.
  • I don’t believe that I would serve your app well, either, because of my “non-traditional wine” content. My blog is a journal of my existence as a wine publicist, so it’s not just about wine. My topics are far reaching… from wine to wine business, to opinions, to stories I find amusing through living them, to my fears of GMO taking over in the wine grape growing process.

I don’t believe I’m a good fit.

Again, this is not about you, it’s about a process.

Is living on principles a good thing, or am I holding myself back? It’s a modern day dilemma…

Chapter 2

After writing my answer to Tiffany, I thought that that would send her packing. It usually does, when I’m just brutally honest.


I got the following response a few days later. First of all, she took the time to internalize it, and then to understand from my perspective.

Hi Jo,

I apologize for the delay in responding. Thank you for your email, we truly appreciate your feedback. Your points are valid and important to hear. In appreciating the time you took to respond and the similar belief of principles, I wanted to take the time to give a detailed response.

For your first point, the idea of the app to be an open source platform for information, all information accredited to the authors so there is full transparency of content. NoteStream does plan to provide some type of compensation plan for contributing authors. Although this program is not set up yet, I believe your feedback may help bring forth this compensation program much sooner.

For your second point, we believe your words are powerful and credible and this is why we reached out to you. The contributors for NoteStream are identified as experts and contributors limited to those only. This is part of the uniqueness of NoteStream compared to being another forum or search engine.

For the third point, there are several “non-traditional wine” content pieces on the app and this is one of the things that drew us to read deeper on your website. Although some of your content might be more personal, some are factual based and are interesting like the discussion of GMO’s in wine grape growing could be.

Again, we truly appreciate your feedback and your detailed communication in sharing your feedback.

Thank you,


Hum… I had to think about this response. She, too, took her time to respond thoughtfully. I don’t mind hanging out with people like this. In fact, these are the only people that are my associations. She answered each of my objections. In sales, an objection is always just a request for more information, regardless of how it’s framed and appears to be an out-and-out “no, TBNT.” (Thanks, but no thanks.) Still, I had to sleep on it. I woke up with the following answer:

Hi, Tiffany,

Let’s cut through the chase, I’m in.

Here’s why… Your principles, well explained.

  • You appreciated my time and candor.
  • There is a plan for future compensation.
    • SIDEBAR for you reading this: Although the amount that will come from my participation isn’t going to make or break me, it might for future generations, and that’s a great thing for my children and grandchildren.
  • You’re focused on uniqueness, and I know that I fit that category. I’m far from the mainstream; that’s just the way this lifetime is for me.
  • I cited GMO as a non-traditional wine subject that might turn off your readers, and you get it as something of worth.

These are all game changers.

Go for it.


Principles, and standing on them, makes us taller as a society, ultimately. I did my job, and Tiffany did hers…