I was an early adopter when online banking was introduced. I was also am early fan of Amazon and other online retailers. So, when the big A introduced their Prime program with free 2-day shipping I started salivating. What Shopaholic wouldn’t jump at the chance to have everything and I mean EVERYTHING arriving at their doorstep in two days? No brainer. Sign me up.
What I didn’t know at the time was that free shipping was an inducement to buy more. I call myself a “shopaholic” because it’s true. I wasn’t just buying what I needed, I was buying because I needed to shop. Some call this “retail therapy” but that’s like saying Marge down the street is a social drinker when she starts her vodka and OJ at 10 am.
Luckily for me and my wife, 90% of what I purchased was under $100 and most of it was useful to us in our business or for our home. I wasn’t buying crap – well, not until Facebook started advertising on my timeline.
Over the course of the last year, I purchased a lot of computer software programs and subscriptions – useful programs like Canva – but a dozen others that promised to be the best way to grow our business. Then I fell down the rabbit hole of something called Click Funnels, a cultish group of salespeople who don’t so much use Click Funnels as they try to get other people to buy it. It’s a pyramid scheme.
Click Funnels and other software apps like them are all geared to do one thing – turn a minimally helpful product into a big profit FOR THEM by getting people like me to buy into the idea that it can change lives. The salesmen are usually very charismatic and their promises are HUGE. And the reality is they are not life changing.
Herein lies the Achilles Heal of a shopaholic who also wants to improve his waistline or bottom line. We fall for fads and promises. We so want to find the Silver Bullet, the thing or book or coach who can help us reach our full potential that we put our faith into the newest elixir on the block. It’s hopefulness gone amuck.
So, why did I quit Amazon Prime? It’s the same reason I took Facebook off my phone along with every shopping app I owned: I’m not capable of walking into those particular bars without ordering a drink.
You may be wondering at this point, why is Scott revealing all of this on a website that’s geared towards providing arts programing for children. Good question!
Beth and I aren’t just singer-songwriters, actors and humorists who wander into a school and entertain. We provide life skills to your children and teachers. And all of these life skills are acquired the same way that inventors and creators have always functioned – through trial and error, by examining their own experiences and then moving them into the arts.
So, when we perform SEL programs like “Do the Right Thing!” about peer pressure, cyber-bullying and gossip – it’s because we’ve experienced this stuff as children, adults and parents. When we offer them a solution like courage or building friendships or using mindfulness to make better choices, it’s from our own lifelong struggle to be better people.
Leaving Amazon Prime isn’t really the point, after all. It’s more about reshaping ourselves, about learning and evolving. It’s about looking at our world and saying, “does this work for ME?” I think that the greatest gift we can give our kids is to learn how to judge for themselves if going with the crowd is wise or not. I want my children to be curious, question and make up their own minds. And that’s what I did with Amazon Prime. I left the crowd. I am finding my own way. And I’m happy to tell the world about it.