After a recent visit to the local aquarium, a friend of mine wrote the aquarium a letter complaining about the number of plastic souvenirs available in the gift shop.

In a lengthy response, the aquarium’s retail store manager listed all of the initiatives they are undertaking to reduce plastic use and educate visitors about plastic and its disposal. Towards the end of her email she stated that minimizing plastic usage is a ‘big undertaking’ while getting rid of plastic completely was ‘not possible’.

‘Impossible’ seems incredibly pessimistic for a conservation organization. Especially one whose primary concern is the ocean - an environment severely impacted by plastics.

Wouldn’t it be more interesting to take a radical stance? To be visionary? To say we have enough plastic. We refuse to add to the problem.


There will always be lurkers. Those who subscribe to your email list or download your free guide who won’t buy from you. They will return to your site again and again and never pay you a penny.

Why are we so afraid of the lurkers? We look to them as evidence that creating and sharing our insights is a pointless exercise. That we’re giving away our expertise. Yet, in one form or another, we’re all lurkers to someone.

How many emails do you read from that expert before you buy? The truth is you probably never will. Why? Maybe their prices are too high. Or maybe, everything they tell you, you already know.

Maybe, you’re not the person they’re trying to sell to.

When thinking about whether to share your knowledge, to whom and where, instead of thinking of it in terms of growing your customer base, think of it as growing a movement.

So why might the lurkers eventually buy? Because they trust you. Because they somehow feel like they already know you. Because the movement you have created around your service is impossible to ignore.