A 7-Word Reminder: “Don’t correct people when it matters little.”

Hey there!

I used to be in a great online mastermind, that at one point in time or another, included some of the most famous people on the Internet.

Like Craig Newmark.

Don’t know him? He’s the Craig in Craigslist. And when he was in the group, he mentioned these seven words as being one of his biggest lessons in life. So when I was forwarded this as the subject of an Inc. Magazine article about Craig, it brought back some lovely early 21st century memories.

But I also felt very, very embarrassed. Here’s why.

(Click/tap ↑↑↑↑↑↑ that red YouTube button to subscribe to my channel. You’ll get notified when I release new videos.)

Hope this helps!


All Episodes

One Step At A Time

Five Ways To Have An Excellent Coffee Date With Me

Five Ways To Have A Crappy Coffee Date With Me

Taking Advantage Of The Wisdom Of The Tribe

How To Be A World Class Complainer

The False Nobility Of The Struggle

Watch Out – The Rules Are Going To Change

“Show Me The Secret, Daddy!”

Coaching vs Consulting vs Facilitating

The Perils of Live Performance And Why Jeremy Kappell Should Not Have Been Fired

Let’s Welcome To The Stage…Failure!

Don’t Confuse Price With Value

Whiteboards In The Hallways

Go Wake Up Your Luck

Playing and Planning

The Two Things Most Talent Try to Accomplish Way Too Soon

10,000 Hours To Become Good At Something? Not Really.

The Curse of Knowledge

The Trick Charlie Munger Uses To Make Better Decisions

Everyone’s A Customer, Not Just Your Customers

“What do you mean, you’re a ‘process guy’?”

Pay Attention To Your Storytelling, Not Removing Your Breaths

How To Conquer FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)

The Problem In Every Commercial Script

The Job In Every Commercial Script

The Secret In Every Commercial Script

How To Pick Your Stage Name

Voice Over Is REALLY Hard. Until It Isn’t.

Helping Make Resolutions Stick

ACX Jobs: They’re ALL SAG-AFTRA-Friendly

Non-Union? You Can Still Open An AFTRA H&R Account. What?

Who Says You Need To “Feel Like It?”

Are You Engaged?

Your Day Job Might Just Be Worth Keeping For A Bit Longer

Want To Learn Something Really Well? Teach It To Others

Don’t Confuse What Works With What You Like

The Lost Keys And The Microphone In My Elevator

My Insane Backup System Plus Two Helpful Tips

What Open Loops Are And Why They Work So Well

Two More Things For Which You Can Use Open Loops

Three Things Not To Say Or Do…When Trying To Learn Something New

Front Burner and Back Burner Project Management

How To Properly List The Accents and Dialects You Perform

My SAG-AFTRA Presentation On VO Demos (Part 1)

My SAG-AFTRA Presentation On VO Demos (Part 2)

A Simple, One-Word Decision-Making Question To Ask Yourself

Ready, Shoot…Aim

How You Can Use The MVP Model As A Performer

How Lazy Can You Be?

Avoid The Struggle Porn

The Robocall Equivalent Of Unsubscribe

Saying Goodbye To A “Failure”

Making Your Links Irresistible

HTTPS Is Not Just For Banks – It’s For You

The Threat That Made Me Create a New Page For LAME

The Resource You Must Guard Most Carefully

How New Media Is Using The Oldest Ad Model Ever

“You Could Be Hit By A Bus!”

Killing Customers With Kindness

I Found Out What She Was Podcasting About

How I Answered’s Inquiry

Turning Mountains Into Molehills

Motivation: Your Three Big Needs In A Cool Little Package

Go Ahead. Multitask. But Try It Like This.

The Prodigy Game Doesn’t Deserve This Treatment

I Don’t Want To Go Blind

What Fair Markets Are, And Why Isn’t One

Trevor’s Three A’s From Apple On Killing Customers With Kindness

Getting Ready vs. Getting Started

You’ll Never Believe Who Got Rejected By Harvard

There Is No Failure, Only Feedback

Who Is Your Most Dangerous Adversary?

73 Videos In, My First Hater Appears

If You’re The Smartest Person In The Room, Do This ASAP

Your Glasses And Crucial Laptop Positioning Info

One More Insanely Over-engineered Piece Of Gear: My UPS

The Crazy Backward Way IKEA Prices Their Stuff Complained To YouTube That I Violated Their Privacy

The Gig Economy: RIP?

For Your Health: Not Perfect. Just Better.

Celebrate Your Isolation!

Mr. Wonderful Is Actually More Wonderful Than I Thought

Let’s Finally Close The Digital Literacy Gender Gap

The Guaranteed Way To Completely Avoid Criticism

The Two Things People Judge About You Within Seconds

Prioritizing…Nashville Style

Are You Committed? Or Just…Interested?

Audible Retail Samples: Why They Suck And Why It Doesn’t Really Matter

How To Voice Copy That’s Set In Italics

Dyslexia, And The Palindromic Poem. The Wha?

Increase Your Chances Of Being Seen And Heard On Facebook

Jamie Has Some Thoughts About Fiverr

Is Simply Discouraging Distracted Driving Enough?

“Young People Are Just Smarter.”

The Real Purpose Of The “Can You Hear Me?” Phone Scam

Beware Of Overkill

Laying Down The Perfect Slate

An AMA Preview: The Word “Ethnic” – A Slur, Or An Essential Adjective?

10 Rules of Profitable Self Discipline from Napoleon Hill

AMA (Ask Me Anything): Here Are The Answers (Part 1)

AMA (Ask Me Anything): Here Are The Answers (Part 2)

AMA (Ask Me Anything): Here Are The Answers (Part 3)

AMA (Ask Me Anything): Here Are The Answers (Part 4)

AMA Answers Part 5 Plus A Medical Warning

Last AMA Answers (#6): Gear, Services and Success

A 7-Word Reminder: “Don’t correct people when it matters little.”

Do You Have A Plan? And Is It The Right One?

What’s Your Next Big Move? Are You Ready?

Build Your Future On Your Own Platform, Not Someone Else’s

I’m Leaving Facebook: Why Groups and FB Live No Longer Spark Joy

Time To Accept That I’ve Failed At Something – Happily

Crowdfunding Without The Internet: Pulitzer And The Statue Of Liberty

The Amazing Power Of Recognition And Badging

Might We Have A Possible Cause For Alzheimer’s?

Why Podcasting And Radio Are Out Of Whack

Value Enthusiasm, But Value Persistence More

Ten Ways To Make Money With Podcasts Besides Ads

One Quick Question To Find Out How Important Something Actually Is

The Workflow For Producing These Videos (So Far) Part 1

Why Not Wade? And…Why Not You?

Audiobook Narrators: How Paymasters Work, And The One I Recommend

Why Gen Z And Millennials’ Love For Audiobooks Is Crucial

American Idol: It’s All About Story, Not Just Singing

Less Beating Yourself Up, More Talking Yourself Up

Resist Oversharing. Instead, Start A Dialogue.

Vocal Care: It’s All About What Works For You

3 Biases You Should Be Aware Of

3 More Biases You Should Also Be Aware Of

Wow. People Really Grokked Biases. Let’s Tackle Fallacies.

Three More Fallacies You Need To Watch For

What’s Your Imprint?

Fallacy Follies, Volume 3

Two Last Big Creativity-Crippling Fallacies

Fail Sooner To Succeed Sooner

A New Lead Source For Performers: Voice Assistants And Smart Speakers

A Great Way To Handle Trolls and Haters

Quantity Does Not Usually Equal Quality

Is Facebook Truly A Monopoly? No More Than Microsoft Was.

Fear Of The Unknown, Or The Day Before My Surgery

A Strange Aspect To Performing That Should Be Cause For Protest, But Isn’t

Want To Grow? Don’t Go It Alone.

How Am I Doing? I’m Gobsmacked. That’s How Am I Doing.

Why I Give My Agents 10% Of Everything

Not Just Explainer Videos, But Video That Explain Things Spectacularly

Mental Floss To The Rescue: Skills You Can Pick Up On YouTube

What’s Better Than Willpower? Grit.

Regarding Apple’s App Store: Be Careful What You Wish For, Pepper

Of COURSE You Wonder What Porter’s Five Forces Are. Who Doesn’t?

Don’t Waste Your Time: Talk Shows Aren’t Meant To Be Fair

Sooner Or Later, I’m Really Going To Tick You Off

Just Because You Can Do Something Doesn’t Mean You Should

Wait, What? Audacity Records In The Background?!

Enjoy Your First Booking. Pay Close Attention To The Next Three.

Pattern Interruption And The Musicality Of Voice Over

Do You Still Have A Landline? Is It POTS? Wait, What’s POTS?

Increase Your VO Accuracy, And You’ll Increase Your VO Profits

Age Range Isn’t Really A Valid Metric For VO

What Is The Overton Window?

How To Stop Jealousy From Killing Your Progress

Even The Bible (And Game Of Thrones) Has One-Star Reviews

How Much Is Enough To Make Per Hour?

With Royalty Share Plus, ACX Makes Hybrid Stipends Official

Wait, Vices Can Be Good For Your Health?

What A Lovely Thing To Discover: Praise From CourVO

I Figured Out What I Provide: The Onboarding Performers Don’t Get

You Don’t Need Permission To Care Or Contribute

It’s Not Just You. It’s The Superstars, Too.

Do You Sometimes Think Irrationally? Maybe. Here’s How To Stop It.

The Struggle Of Announcer-y Versus Non-Announcer-y Voice Over

How My VAs Support Me And My Team

What Exactly Is “The Cloud?”

The Often “Most Difficult” Concept I Teach

Please Unsubscribe From This List. But Don’t Do This One Destructive, Lazy Thing.

Don’t Mistake The Joy Of Knowing For The Joy Of Doing

Why Giving Yourself Some Simple Homework Can Be Life-Changing

One Weird Trick I Do That Makes My Note-Taking Superhuman

The Worst Thing About The Biggest Money-Making Entertainment Category

What Can We Grab From A Schedule This Strict?

Get Better At Executing Today’s Plan By Starting Last Night

How To Create Useful, Organized Audition File Names

Where To Find Related PDFs For Audiobooks on Audible

I’m Halfway Finished. What Have You Valued Most? What Can I Do Better?

Our Digital Attention Span Is Incredibly Brief

“Serves You Right!” She Actually Has No Idea How Right.

Create A Safe Environment For Self-Improvement

Why I Use One Single Channel For Crucial Communication

The Even Cheaper AT-2020 USB Plus Microphone?

Fred Willard (and Billy West) On Quickly Creating Authentic VO Characters

Leo Makes Your Searching Spectacular

On Asking For Things Performers Can’t Do

How To Battle The Urge of “Efficiency”

One More Best-Of-Breed Way To Brilliantly Complain

Changing Audacity’s Sampling Rate To 48,000 Hz

10 Words Of Encouragement When You’re Stuck

Seek/Give Mentorship That’s Appropriate To The Journey

Two Cases Where You Might Not Want To Simply “Follow Your Passion”

Having Fun With Headphone Volume

Please Stop Rushing To Perform

Something To Consider: Everyone’s Internal Menu

One Crazy Key To Creativity: Pure, Unadulterated Boredom

For The Sheer Joy Of It

The Most Commonly Consumed Media Is…!

What’s Dangerous For Us To Care About

Please, Clever Copywriters…Stop Using This Term

Wait, Wait…What? They Actually Listened?!

Why You Should Take The Same Classes Twice

How Your Character’s Menu Informs Your Performance Choices

What Shouldn’t Be Your Metric For VO Success

Someone Awesome Who’s Also Rising To A 365-Day Challenge

Union Or Not, Start With Union Rates

O. M. G. Look What Matt Zurbo Did!

So Where Will That Huge Facebook Fine End Up?

The Root Words of “Typecast”

Avoid That One Obvious “That Worked” Sound We Make

Why Union Members Can Audition For Non-Union Work

200 Auditions. 1 Booking. A Ghost. Really?

I Can’t Do One Thing I’m Asked To Do Every Single Day

One Of Your Secret Weapons: Agility

Do Networking Events Make You Anxious? Let’s Fix That.

Project X Is Just About Ready. I’m A Bit Giddy.

The Difference Between Mansplaining and Advice?

Too Late, Melissa. You Already Are.

Help Me Solve A Lovely Mystery!

Speeding Up The Playback On The Audible App

Why Those Other Casting Sites Usually Aren’t Worth It

Raw YouTube Captioning

hey there it’s David H Lawrence the 17th
and I got to tell you I’m feeling a
little embarrassed
I’m feeling reminiscent but I’m also
feeling a little embarrassed and I’m
making a pledge to you that I’m going to
work on what I’m about to talk about so
I used to be in what a lot of people
call mastermind groups or online groups
that are private and that the members
used to be called executive clubs but
now they’re called mastermind groups
basically it’s a group of people to get
together either in person or online or a
combination of the two and they pull
together their business expertise in the
group that I was in it was storytelling
and on-camera presence when people
started using video podcasting things
that I knew and what I got from other
members were the things that they were
really good at and that included things
like email marketing and ad copywriting
and what else teaching using technology
like Google Adsense video editing coding
things like that
so the thing about the group that I was
in was it at one time or another there
were members of that group that are
internet famous people like Chris
Parrillo people like Jeff Walker and
people like Craig Newmark and if Craig
Newmark doesn’t ring a bell with you
then think about the fact that Craig who
is a billionaire is the Craig in
Craigslist so if you know if you’ve read
any articles about him if you know him
he’s one of the real early internet
pioneers I mean Craigslist continues
this day to look like it was a website
built in 1993 because it was and it
stays that way and it loads really fast
because it’s text only other than when
you get to the actual postings that
people put up so when we were both in
this mastermind together one of the
things that we used to do in the
mastermind is we had what were called
hot seats where somebody would say hey
I’ve got this thing that is a challenge
to me I love it if the the hive mind if
all the minds got together and we were
able to figure out a solution and other
times we would do hot seats where we
would say give us the one piece of
advice that you were given early on that
helped add to your success or kept you
from making a really critical errors and
I’ll never forget it was probably 2002
or 2003 when Craig said in one of our
mastermind meetings I learned very early
on that I was being a jerk and I wasn’t
very well-liked at work and my boss this
is before he became an entrepreneur my
boss took me aside and he said look
people don’t like you because you’re
constantly nitpicking at them you’re
constantly correcting them can I give
you a piece of advice
he said don’t correct people when it
matters little
and when he said that way back in 2002
or 2003 a light bulb went on for me
because that’s what I was doing all the
time I would somebody would say the
wrong word or they would mispronounce a
word or they would you know not have
their turn signal on when they made a
lane change any anything that I found
and and the embarrassing part is for a
while I really was watching myself and
making sure that I wasn’t doing that
and then I kind of fell back into my old
ways and you know I’ve been I’ve been in
a relationship with Betsy now for as we
do this video probably nine almost nine
years and she’s learned to make light of
when I can’t help myself and I say that
she goes you have a really big job don’t
you you know and so it’s a reminder that
it’s one of those things that I need to
work on I want everybody to look great I
want everybody to be successful but
sometimes correcting people especially
over stuff that really just doesn’t
matter at the moment can be looked at as
a real annoyance
and it reminded me that even when we try
to be our best and try to shave and hone
and refine and make things better do
more of what works in less of what
doesn’t sometimes it doesn’t stick even
though our best intentions are in place
and my commitment is that I’m going to
watch I’m going to be a little bit more
aware and watch for moments when I feel
that way like I want to correct somebody
I want to tell I want to tell the guy on
the news that’s not how that word is
pronounced I want to tell the guy on the
radio you’re wrong when you think about
that you know it doesn’t matter it
doesn’t matter and when it matters
little you can let it go and I would
think that people would find that a
little bit more palatable
then the me that wants to make sure
everything is perfect and wants to
correct people who are imperfect and so
I’m just making a commitment that I’m
going to do that from now on I’m going
to try my best to
a lose that habit and be hold myself
back when I feel like it’s important
that I let people know what the truth is
what the correct especially when it
matters little it doesn’t mean I’m not
going to correct people when I’m
coaching them because that’s what
they’re paying me to do but what it does
mean is I’m going to be a lot calmer I’m
going to be a lot easier to get along
with hopefully I’ll be better liked I’ll
be I’ll be a less caustic person I mean
I can only imagine the people that I’ve
corrected in the last 10 years or so and
what they must think and I don’t want
them to think ill so anyway it’s
something that I’m gonna work on and
maybe that resonates with you if it does
let me know in the comments below if
you’re not watching this video on vo –
go go comm that’s where I’d like you to
leave the comments okay if you leave
them on youtube because that’s where we
we post these videos but vo – go go comm
has a lot of really great stuff for you
so if you haven’t seen the videos there
go and watch them there sign up for the
newsletter if you want to sign up for my
youtube channel so you know about this
stuff go ahead and click on my head
there or look for a subscribe button
somewhere below the video if you want to
see the latest video that I’ve done
click on that frame YouTube will play it
for you I’m David H Lawrence xvii thank
you so much for watching and I will talk
to you tomorrow.

13 Responses to A 7-Word Reminder: “Don’t correct people when it matters little.”

  1. David Wandelt April 16, 2019 at 4:33 am #

    Indeed. This is a lesson that I sadly didn’t learn until fairly recently. And no, I wouldn’t say that I’ve fully learned it yet.

  2. Scott Fortney April 16, 2019 at 6:38 am #


    This one really hit home for me. My wife and I have been together for nearly 20-years, and long ago, she started jumping the gun to correct herself before I did. Yikes. I stop myself from doing it a lot more than those times that I slip – and thank God, I don’t correct my wife anymore – call that “stupid husband moments.” These days, I find myself talking to the people on the radio and TV when they screw up, and even then, I feel embarrassed that I just let such a little thing get to me.

    So thank you for the reminder to stop being a jerk! LOL


  3. Veleka Gray April 16, 2019 at 7:51 am #

    I am DYING to tweet Seth Rogen that “often” isn’t pronounced OFF-TEN. He uses that word constantly, and it drives me crazy.

    • Mitchell Greenberg April 16, 2019 at 9:13 am #

      Hi, Veleka;
      I think you’ll find that both pronunciations are correct, and both are listed in most dictionaries. Saying off-ten is more commonly British, but it’s done either way. So don’t correct Seth when it matters little, as I just corrected you !?!
      Mitch G.

      • Veleka April 16, 2019 at 12:34 pm #

        Mitch, the way it was explained to me was you don’t say LIS-TEN. You say lis-en. I think that if OFTEN (sounding the T) is now listed as correct it’s not because Webster (or whoever) changed anything, but educated people give up trying to correct uneducated people when the latter in their ignorance say it wrong too often. :P

        • Tansy Alexander April 16, 2019 at 2:36 pm #

          Maybe write Seth to compliment his British pronunciation of OFF-TEN and how cute it is :) That would probably entice him to look it up….and decide for himself if it matters a little, or alot :)

      • Christopher Smith April 16, 2019 at 12:49 pm #

        Great advice. Something sometimes I forget to follow.
        Every once in awhile I find myself in a debate of sorts around what’s correct and what’s not, and every time so far that entire debate ended fruitless.
        I have a friend that tries to correct people with who and whom, and half the time he’s incorrect. He just looks like an ass.

    • Natalie April 17, 2019 at 5:03 pm #

      Veleka, I’m with you. I took a voice & diction class my freshman year of college and we were taught that the T is not pronounced in often. It also drives me nuts when people pronounce the G in hanger. :)

  4. Kirsten April 16, 2019 at 8:33 am #

    Oh my goodness, yes this resonates. I’ve been called on interrupting and talking over people before they are finished talking….I am actually writing this as you are signing off – Do’h! But seriously it stung the way I was called on it over 20 years ago, but it has stuck and I try to catch myself but its an ongoing process, and something that I need to keep in mind when I am with people. Sometimes I win at it, sometimes not so much. But I think, David, if we are working on it we are on the right trajectory!

    • Veleka April 16, 2019 at 12:38 pm #

      Kristen, I believe a person’s response depends on the personality of the person you’re correcting. I like to be corrected if I’m doing it wrong. I DO sweat the small stuff, and I’m most comfortable being in the company of others who feel the same way.

  5. Sean Frost April 16, 2019 at 9:23 am #

    Nope. I wouldn’t know about correcting people. Nope. Not me. Never done it. Couldn’t–hold on–my nose is growing larger–it’s touching the screen! Help! ;-)

    I agree–even if I take a friendly tone and correct somebody’s grammar or speech, I come off as a grammar Nazi or a jerk. Best to just let it go unless this is in a professional context, like I’m editing or correcting somebody’s paper.

    Good post. Thanks!

  6. Chris Buckner April 16, 2019 at 1:49 pm #

    I’ve spent a lot of time trying to be perfect, and trying to put that on other people. It doesn’t always go over so well. This video resonates with me. Thanks for the video David.

  7. Trenton Bennett April 22, 2019 at 5:59 am #

    I had a meaningful conversation with the guy I podcast with last week. We were trying to hash out the business side of what has now become a legitimate small business for us. He took us to the next level by landing sponsors and planning out our marketing and I had to then back that up with the appropriate paperwork and make sure we incorporated correctly and filed our taxes. There’s a lot of complexity that goes with that, but it’s not hard to manage it if everyone does their thing.

    I found I had to push people constantly and they’d still completely miss the goal, or they wouldn’t feel the same sense of importance that I did and I’d have to check in with them repeatedly. I’m not a strict guy or a continuous critic (of anyone besides myself), so I hated to always be the guy saying, “Hey, I need you to do this” to people. I found myself apologizing to him if I seemed fussy and obsessive.

    “You’re not fussy or obsessive, really,” he said. “I think you just want people to come through for you. You need to know they’ll do what they say they do, and you expect them to be able to do it.”

    He’s right. Truth to tell, I’d rather not have to do any of it–but if we’re committing to it, well, then I have to make sure we stay committed ’til we’ve done all that we need to.

    If it’s truly not important, I’d rather just let people do their thing. If it *is* important, be the driver of everyone’s success.

Leave a Reply