One of the tenets of blogging is to use real examples so people can see your experience and relate to what you’re saying. The thinking being that’s what brings and keeps readers. But there’s a fine line between using real life examples and lifting someone’s story. And I stepped over the line in a recent post.
I often write my posts based on conversations with clients. It’s somewhat symbiotic. My writing springs from the client relationships and clients are often drawn to me because what I write helps them to trust me and that I understand their issues. Although I never use real names and try to change the facts and details, it’s not inconceivable that a person recognizes him/herself. And I learned years ago when I was writing newsletters, that nobody likes seeing their story in print.
When I became aware that I’d offended this person, I apologized not because it’s good business but because I was upset that I hurt someone. But I don’t imagine the apology will regain the lost trust. Sometimes we make mistakes and an apology isn’t enough.
Blogging is like any life experience. We put ourselves ‘out there’ and hope that others receive as we intend. And when we step in mud, we have to own it. I do.