My family and I moved recently. And much like any big change, this one came with its share of “stuff.” Some good stuff. Some bad stuff. A bunch of easy stuff. And a bunch of hard stuff. And of course, plenty of bubble wrap, broken dishes and eating pizza on the floor.

The move itself was easy. The tough part came when the proverbial dust settled and we were in our new home.

We made it! Our stuff made it. The pets made it. The kids…hold on…yup, the kids made it.

But we were alone.

We didn’t know anyone. We couldn’t find anything. We had no idea when garbage day was. Or how to turn off the garage light. It was as if someone forgot to give us the manual to our new life.

We felt lost.

That’s When We Met Dick…

Dick lives down the street.

When we needed a ladder, Dick had two. When we needed a phone number, Dick sent a spreadsheet full of important numbers. When we had a question about decorating, we got a tour of Dick’s house. Dick even remembered the names of our kids after briefly meeting them only once.

Dick was the first sign we had that this was home.

And That Got Me Thinking…

When you find yourself somewhere unfamiliar, wouldn’t it be great to have a guide? An ambassador of sorts? Someone that is there to help you. To answer the tough questions. Show you how to do things right. Point you in the right direction.

Someone to welcome you.

Not because they stand to profit from your relationship. Just because.

That’s who Dick is in my neighborhood.

And that’s who I want to be too. Only, my neighborhood is online. Connecting with other people through search engine optimization, social media, blogging and Internet marketing. That is my virtual playground. I’m good at it. It feels very natural to me. I know what works and what doesn’t. And I pride myself in my desire to help others and leave this place better than how I found it.

Not because I stand to profit from it. Just because.

So, I Have Decided…

From now on, I’m going to be a Dick to everyone I meet online. That probably means a little something different to you than it does to me, so let me be a little more specific…

Be Humble
My wife and I were given a tour of Dick’s house because we’re pretty bad decorators and were trying to steal some ideas from someone that seemed to know what they were doing. As we were walking through the family room, there was a shelf in the corner with about a dozen or so Emmy’s. Real ones. As in the “stand up in front of a bunch of famous people in tuxes and thank your mother until the orchestra starts playing the ‘shut up and sit down’ music” awards.

If most of us even went to the Emmy’s we would open every conversation we ever had with it. Let alone winning one. Let alone winning a dozen. Not Dick. He didn’t even mention it.

And then I think about our little online community and the arrogance many have of claiming to be gurus, rock stars, Jedi or ninjas in an effort to be perceived as important. The constant selling. The scare tactics. The incessant barfing up of promotional links. All in an effort to excel at the expense of others.

What if we were to be a little more humble instead? Rather than trying to be perceived as important by others, what if we just did important things?

Seek Out People to Help
I never asked Dick for help. Dick asked me how he could help. And he did it in such a way that did not make me feel like I was imposing. I got an e-mail one day that said “If you ever need to borrow a ladder, let me know.”

Think about it. We just moved in. We have kids. We have a lot of pictures. And we’re not 8 feet tall. Add all of that up and it looks like we’re going to be needing a ladder at some point.

By proactively offering rather than waiting for me to ask, Dick took the sting out of being that “pain in the ass needy neighbor.”

Yet, in our lives online, we seldom take a proactive approach to help someone unless there are strings attached. In other words, if there is a product to sell or a way to gain, we’re all in. But do we ever put ourselves out there to help when there is absolutely nothing to gain from it? Not very often. What if we did?

Remember What is Important to Someone Else
For me it’s my kids. There is nothing in my life more important than my kids. So, when you treat them well and make them feel good you are put in a different category of special people in my life. By Dick remembering their names after just one brief encounter, it made them feel important and welcome in their new home. And as a parent, it doesn’t get much better than that.

We all have something that is our most important thing. Yet, we’re so consumed with me, me, me, I, I, I that we never dig deep enough into someone else’s life to find it.

What if we were to find out what is that most important thing for the people we meet online? Make it a point to ask a question about it. Or listen to a story about it. Or comment on their blog post about it. What if we focused more on others? Made sure that they knew that we were not just hearing them. But we were actually listening to them.

Be the First to Shake Hands
I met Dick for the first time as we were both walking our dogs. Rather than the standard “smile and nod” as you politely make your way past the new guy, Dick immediately jumped into a conversation. As it ends up, we have a lot in common.

But it didn’t end there.

A few days later I was walking the dog and here comes his dog again. Only this time, it was attached to a different human. Dick’s wife. Without hesitation, she opened up with an enthusiastic “you must be Marc!”

I was remembered by someone I never even met! Talk about feeling important.

Rather than just “collecting friends” or “collecting followers,” what if we were to spend a little more time starting conversations and creating relationships? Be the first to start the conversation instead of waiting for someone else.

Welcome Others Into Your Home
When we toured Dick’s house, we didn’t just barge in. I asked a question which turned into a full blown guided tour. And there was nothing weird or uncomfortable about it.

We were welcome. And there is something nice about being welcome. More importantly, feeling welcome.

Most of us have blogs. That is our online home. And we welcome comments…as long as the people leaving them agree with us. If they don’t, we chase them away, delete their comments, ignore them or discount their opinions by calling them trolls.

What if we were to change our approach to everyone that came to visit us in our virtual homes. Welcome them with open arms. Allow them a voice, even when they didn’t agree with us. A real conversation instead of just limiting it to a back-slap-a-thon.

And Now I challenge You…

Join me. Be a Dick. Do something different and help clean this place up a bit. There are people out there that need you to be their ambassador. Don’t let them down.

Update: August 21, 2014

Big news! My new book “Be a Dick.” based on everything I learned from my neighbor Dick over the past year is coming out soon! If you liked this post, you are going to LOVE the book! Trust me! For more information, freebies and previews of the book, click here.

Featured image courtesy of Nomadic Lass licensed via Creative Commons.

But Wait! There's More...
If you liked that you're going to love my FREE book "Unbreakable: The Secret to Getting Anything and Everything You've Ever Wanted." It's exactly what you need to take your life and business to the next level!
  • Anthony Farrimond

    Marc, what a great post and message to everyone out there. The mentality of it all reminds me of the saying that it takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile.

    Sometimes saying thank you for a follow on Twitter is just enough but perhaps we should all follow that “link” and check out our new friends Facebook Page?

    You never know, perhaps someone who can influence your business will do the same for you one day!

    • Marc Ensign

      Hey Anthony! Thanks for stopping by, leaving a comment and being a Dick! 😉

      • Anthony Farrimond

        As described in your post, seems the best way to be!

  • Melissa Ng

    Great read and advice! To be honest, at first I was a little worried about your headline… But having read a bunch of your stuff in the past, I should have known better 😛

    • Marc Ensign

      HA!! Funny that the tittle got you! Yes, you should know me by now! Glad you liked it!

  • Monkey Boy Designer

    Priceless. I wasn’t expecting that as a post after reading the title but it’s a really nice story that works well in educating some (no, be honest) all of us. We’re all out for number one and you’re right we should offer help rather than sell another flipping service via a washed out link on twitter. So …… who needs help?

    • Marc Ensign

      Thanks MB! I was actually concerned the title might offend a bunch of people but the reaction has actually been really positive! Plus it’s fun to watch people calling each other a Dick. Which reminds me…thanks for being such a Dick yourself! 😉


    This EXACT thing happened to me, and it changed my life. I was in a sales position, and I was working my way through a dreaded “cold calling blitz” (back in the day, when you could do that without getting arrested). I had to go door to door through a shopping center, and talk with the owners and managers about our retail solution. EVERY business I called on said the same thing: “We use Jerry. We love him, and we appreciate your solution, but Jerry is our guy.” After a day of hearing this… I went to my car, and I sat in the driver’s seat. I took out my notepad and wrote: “Become Jerry.” I knew at that moment, that is exactly how I wanted my customers to talk about me, and it changed the way I do everything, and continues to, each day. Jerry, whom I never met, influences my day, and has for over fifteen years. As for your location: mel’s hotdogs, Cesare’s of New York Pizzeria, the old theater located downtown, the Hub (also downtown), Ybor, Dunedin, Cigar City, and 88.5fm. :)

    • Marc Ensign

      Damn, what a great story! I love that you never met Jerry and yet he hand such a profound effect on your life!! You need to write about that! Seriously!

      Thanks for the suggestions too! I’m adding your suggestions to my list of places to check out!!

  • Thomas Svenson

    Excellent story and for sure a lot of good pointers in there about that we all need to find the Dick in ourselves. In light of this I think you would very much enjoy reading the book The Go-Giver,, as it takes this even further and explains how to take this into your professional life too.

    • Marc Ensign

      Thanks for the book suggestion Tom…I was looking for a new book to put on deck and this sounds right up my alley! I’m going to give it a read next and I’ll let you know what I think!

      • Thomas Svenson

        While the book is not really covering online life, which you mention you plan to focus on, it has many good things to learn from. I’ve also just finished reading REWORK,, which in a way is about the same thing, but with much more focus on the digital world etc.

        In fact, I am now going to re-read The Go-Giver again as I’m quite sure a few things will make more sense this time.

  • Rob Orr

    Absolutely outstanding post Marc. Sounds a lot like what real community is supposed to be like.

    • Marc Ensign

      Thanks Rob!! It’s definitely how community SHOULD and CAN be online. We just need enough people to band together and make it happen! It’ll catch on…

  • John Swaringen

    You know it’s funny. I do this offline but never considered to take it online. Thanks for some inspiration!

    • Marc Ensign

      No, no, no, thank you John!! I really appreciate the kind words and the comment!

  • Dr. Samantha Brody

    this is fabulous!! and 3-2-1 viral… :)

    • Marc Ensign

      Thank you!! That would be pretty amazing if it went viral, wouldn’t it? Imagine how nice the Internet could be if it was made up of a bunch of Dicks!

      • John Cummings

        Already viral. Great job Marc. :)

  • Ari Herzog

    Nice meeting you, Marc, err, Dick. My friend Sue pointed me here. Hi Sue!

    Had you never considered being Dick before?

    • Marc Ensign

      Thank you Ari! ANd thank you Sue for spreading the word!! Looking back, I think I’ve always unknowingly tried to help others but never quite put a “name” to it. This post was the result of my run-ins with Dick and thinking, if only this is how I treated everyone I met online…

  • Mike Vennerstrom

    Well said Marc. We can all learn to be more giving, both online and in our everyday lives. Imagine a society based on acceptance and giving rather than taking. There is so much need all around us that it doesn’t take much effort to find someone who needs a hand, both physically and virtually.

    • Marc Ensign

      Absolutely Mike!!! It’s a tough hill to climb but one that is pretty rewarding!

  • Jason Diller

    Marc, great post.

    Are you familiar with Marcus Sheridan? …

    Basically the same thoughts. Just be helpful…before someone asks you for help.

    Karma is the new SEO.


    • Marc Ensign

      Hey Jason! I like that! Karma is the new SEO. So true!!!

  • Liz Carbonaro

    aww, I think I love you and Dick too. Thanks for sharing a philosophy and mindset I thought was a dying breed. Boosts my reserves to continue making the world a better place one connection at a time! (Even with my stereotypically traditional business!)

    Blessings to you and your family :)

    • Marc Ensign

      Awww thank you Liz! That makes me feel great! I’m so humbled by the reactions to this post. It feels good to know that I’m not the only one out there thinking it!!!!

  • RepOfFreedom

    Genius! I am firmly of the conviction that the greatest personal reward (and as a fortunate by-product, financial reward) is from helping people from a place of true generosity. One small gesture can make all the difference in the world. So make many small gestures. And yes, be the first to shake someone’s hand. LOVE this!

    • Marc Ensign

      Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I appreciate the positive feedback so much! And it’s so nice to meet you .

  • 1barbarashannon

    Thank you so much for this beautiful post. I am relatively new to blogging. Still feeling my way. I am old school (polite, think of others first, golden rule, do your best and God will do the rest). When I was little bragging was a bad thing. If you talked about yourself your girlfriends called you conceited and being conceited was right up there with mortal sin. So it’s been really hard to learn how to be self promotional online. It is just not me. I work with senior executives at big companies and with business consultants and HR specialists. I want to reach more people with my message but want it to always be about the message, not the messenger. Your post gives me hope that there is a way to be online and be about the work, the truth and the dialogue rather than all about me and what I sell.

    Now I will go to your website with great hope to learn more.

    Thank you so much.

    Dick…uh rather Barbara Shannon

    • Marc Ensign

      I personally think there is a big shift away from the people that market by shoving their product down your through in exchange for people like you and me that share and give. You’ll see!

  • The Social Butterfly

    I just had to read this, and was positively reminded to never judge a book by it’s cover. Thanks Marc (=

    • Marc Ensign

      Thanks Erica! I mean…Miss Butterfly!

  • Neil Chhabra

    Nice post Marc. Humanity and humor: two things we all can appreciate.

    • Marc Ensign

      That and ice cream and air conditioning!

  • Douglas Peterson

    You were a Dick before you were a Dick. I know. You answered an email from me, a total stranger at the time, an offered me some cogent advise. Ever since, I’ve thought of you as reMARCable.

    • Marc Ensign

      Wow, thanks Doug! This comment made an already great day even greater! Thank you so much!!!!!

  • Rick

    Great post. Just what I needed today.

    • Marc Ensign

      Thanks Rick! Hope it did something for you!

  • Rebecca Regnier

    I loved this – loved. Thank you.

    • Marc Ensign

      Thank you Rebecca! I loved the feedback :)

  • SMBrenner

    I love that when I shared this on twitter/facebook people got upset with me. Always appreciate the ones who comment before they read the column.

    • Marc Ensign

      HA! I saw that on Twitter. Very funny. It was a great attempt at getting him to “get it!” At least I thought so anyway!

      • SMBrenner

        Always aggravating when people comment before they read!!

  • Munkipants

    Love it Marc! Right on the button – thank you for your timely perspective.

    • Marc Ensign

      Thanks Munkipants…if that is your real name….

  • Tobias Haugen

    I was expecting a completely different read when I saw the headline, but this blog post turned out great. Im recently trying to focus on being a nicer person to people that I meet, being more open to new people and spreading joy and love. Helping a stranger out is really satisfying, both for me and them.

    Have a nice summer!

    • Marc Ensign

      So, what you’re saying is that you were totally expecting it to suck when you read the headline but it turned out being great? I suppose I will take that, thanks!!!

      • Tobias Haugen

        I was expecting an article on why you should be a big douche to everyone you meat, cause that would make you a more successful and stronger man. But then Dick turned out to be this nice dude, and the article were more aligned with my own believes on how you should be as a person :)

  • lourdesrelyea

    Fabulous read Marc. you surprised me. It changed my morning. thanks!

    • Marc Ensign

      Thank you for the kind words!

  • Mary Guest

    That was great Marc! I enjoyed reading it and you are right. I’ve felt the same way in a new home………….BTW….who is the Emmy Award winning DICK?

    • Just dandy

      Well here’s someone who misses the point. Oh, and me too now…

    • Marc Ensign

      Who he is isn’t really important, although I will mention that it is all true and no, I didn’t not change his name to conveniently create an attention grabbing title. He did read the post and sent me a very nice note touched by the sentiment. All class.

  • Karen Yankovich

    Great post. As an online marketer who TEACHES online marketing, you can’t hear this too many times. I’m going to share this with my tribe. Thanks!

    • Marc Ensign

      Thanks!!! I appreciate you sharing it and spreading the word. It’s nice to meet an Internet Marketer that “gets” it.

  • anno

    I enjoyed your post but have to chuckle at this being cast by some as a PIF thing. In past times it was considered” Being a good neighbour” or being “Christian” but I guess those things aren’t in style anymore….

    • Saitaina Moricia-Malfoy

      It’s not just Christian’s, I always thought it was just part of being a decent human. Reaching out, helping each other when we can, directing people where to go when we can’t.

      • The other dick

        Not to turn this into a religous thing, I find Atheists or Muslims being more “Christian” than Christians are.

    • Marc Ensign

      It’s not that they are in or out of style. It’s that people have gotten so caught up in their own lives they rarely think of others. All of that can change in the blink of an eye if enough people want it to.

  • Dave Conrey

    This is the first time I’ve actually thought to myself, “Hey, I’m a Dick often”, and proud of it. Great post, Marc. Really put things into perspective and gave me the motivation to keep doing what I’m doing because it’s the right thing to do, and it really does have karmic considerations.

    • Marc Ensign

      Awesome Dave! Thanks so much for checking it out. Glad you got something out of it. I love how this changed what being a Dick means to so many people…even just for a little while!

  • HJ

    I’ve been living in Amsterdam for almost 2 years now…still finding it a bit lonely from time to time . Wish I had met someone like Dick when I moved here…

    • Marc Ensign

      So, why don’t you be the neighborhood Dick?

  • Dule

    Man . You’ve hit the spot :) . Great stuff. I’m asking myself for forgiveness right this moment :)

    • Marc Ensign

      Thanks! I hope you have forgiven yourself!!

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  • Daniel Butler

    More often than not people come to me needing help. I do NO shameless plugs to promote. I dont take on clients i dont like, and i dont tell people I’m the best. I just help people see the light and try to tweak the good stuff they are already doing. I dont think i really knew the reason WHY until this post. I LOVE HELPING PEOPLE!!!! Now i have my purpose, my why to serve my passion. I love serving others. Its why i crew at Tony Robbins events, its what i was taught by my mother and father. Its why i love teaching sailing! Thanks for the post. How can i Help?…simple, yet powerful. Thanks for the Ladder Marc! :)

    • Marc Ensign

      Thanks Dan! You just made my day!!! This comment has me speechless…not easy to do by the way!

  • Chris Morris

    You are right — I need to be a Dick everyday!

    • Chad Jones

      You’ve been a real “Dick” to me. And I appreciate it very much.

    • Marc Ensign

      Well, thanks for sharing the post…that’s a good start to being a Dick!

  • Linda Morgan

    Great post. I have had a special Dick come into my life…and I agree with what you said about how it makes you feel as a parent, when people remember your kids and think kindly towards them and do nice things for them. That’s what this Dick in our life has done. He’s taken my daughter, under his wing, been like a father-like figure to her – he’s walked the walked, while so many others just talked the talked and ended up hurting and disappointing her. Long story. As I continued reading I seen where there have been many times in my life, I’ve extended myself, in Dick-fashion as well. I love people….always have. I don’t do it for any pats on the back, I do it because I truly live by the Golden Rule: Do to others as you would have them do to you. Even when I haven’t always been treated by others the way I’d want to be treated, I still go out there and do for others…simply out of love of people. Keep sharing from your heart. You have a new follower…me :)

    • Marc Ensign

      Thank you so much Linda! What an awesome comment! It’s great to have met you here!!

  • http://MikeLoomis.CO/ Mike Loomis

    I’m in! Great post!

    • Marc Ensign

      Thanks Mike!!

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  • Saitaina Moricia-Malfoy

    I spent great deal of my life before 2010 living a very different life. Selfish, self-centered..the bitch you dread. Then, something changed around the time my mother passed away and I learned to let go of a lot that was keeping me bogged down in all the hate and anger I stewed in that lead to that personality. I started to lead a self-less life, giving more to others then time spent on myself. I will admit, struggling paycheck to paycheck, I’ve gone backwards a bit, becoming more self-centered again as I try to figure out things like where my next meal will come from or how I’ll keep my utilities on…but I always try to remind myself, that no matter how I’m stuggling, there are people worse off and I should help THEM, and let things work out as they will. It’s hard to feel bad about how ‘miserable’ your existence is, when being hugged by someone you just helped feed or clothe. I would rather be a Dick to everyone, then the woman I was.

    • Marc Ensign

      I love this comment!!! You need to be out there sharing your story! It’s too important to keep it bottled up and just blurt it out here.

  • Jason

    How about them stars ?

    • Marc Ensign

      I know! How about them?!?

      • Jason

        Hi, Marc thanks for the reply, sorry I don’t have any thing witty, to say at the moment. I am mentally busy.
        It’s nice to see your smiling face.
        I’ve been experiencing some technical difficulties on twitter, I’ll link with you there on my two new public accounts,
        @JasonsPublic2 & @JasonsPublic3, my @JasonsPublic1 got suspended, just when I had some really important followers that I didn’t even know I had, I’m trying to prevent that from happening with my other accounts.
        Thanks for letting me blog here with you all, & I hope every one is having the best night/day imaginable, in that the laws will allow.
        Ta, Ta, For Now. :-)

  • Maine

    Thank you for such a wonderful post. It reminded me of a very generous and loving human being, who ironically has a beautiful daughter named Emma.

    • Marc Ensign

      I don’t know who that is, but they both sound grand!

  • AlchemisterJones

    Great Post, great Angle, and Great way to turn an old cuss into a new you. I love the internet, it has allowed me to meet people I would never have met in real life, do things I would never have done on my own, and fed my curiosity for everything like an Electronic Everlasting Gobstopper with an input screen to pick your flavor. I’m tired of the trash that floods my humble digital home, and welcome Dicks of all types, and am glad to be one in the ranks. Good luck in your endeavors to make humanity not so much a bunch of stuck up yuppies…

    • Marc Ensign

      Thank you for stopping by, reaching out and spreading the word! Now, about this everlasting gobstopper…

      • IFancyDarcy

        What a great phrase, Alchemister Jones! Good job!

  • DeejayKnight

    This post is amazing, Marc. I got the link from a friend of mine and will be sharing it very shortly. For the most part, I’m already being a Dick. I just have to step up my relationship-building!

    Again, great article. I look forward to more!

    • Marc Ensign

      Thanks a lot! I am humbled by all of the feedback. I can’t say thank you enough!!!

  • sukoto

    The problem with being a Dick is when you meet Mr. Taker. That’s a fun ride.

    • Marc Ensign

      You can’t live your life based on who you might meet and how they might act towards you. When you are running around like a Dick and meet “Mr. Taker,” smile and move on.

  • q4s


    • Marc Ensign

      Thanks Q4S…if that is your real name!

      • q4s

        *Internal voice – I think he’s on to me* In all seriousness, my wife has been encouraging the same philosophy to both our students our me, and even took a year long challenge to blog about her daily attempts. Sadly after she finished, she didn’t want to maintain the website, but she’s planning to self-publish a book on the subject. So I really enjoyed seeing that someone else is out there on the interwebs sharing a smilier mindset.

  • Brian Hagmeier

    That was awesome.

    • Marc Ensign

      Thank you Brian!!!

  • Stella

    Love Dick! :)

    • Marc Ensign

      Simply put!

  • Karsten

    Wil Wheaton sent me here. His motto usually is: Dont be a Dick!
    In this case he said:
    This is the one time its ok to be a Dick.
    I agree.

    • Marc Ensign

      I know! The server blew up within a minute of him Tweeting it. Crazy!

  • Randal F

    There are many terms for “being a Dick” as you call it. Being a good neighbor,
    being friendly, doing the right thing, being helpful, paying it forward. You say
    that Dick is offering to help and expects nothing in return, but that is not
    completely true. Dick is being the Johnny Appleseed of the community. He is not
    planting trees he is planting the seeds of friendship, good intent, helpfulness,
    trust, and the feeling of community. He knows that if he plants enough seeds and
    encourages them along they too will produce their own seeds that too will
    propagate into the future. This is the process of building not only good
    neighbors but a safer, better connected, and stronger community. And that not
    only benefits you but in turn benefits him as well. Many people invest in a
    neighborhood when they buy a house. But they don’t take the time to invest their
    community by building those all too important relationships with the people that
    live on the same street, or even next door. It has been said it takes a village
    to raise a child. Well you could say it takes good neighbors to make a
    “village”. So, yes the world could use a lot more Dicks. And all of us,
    including the children would benefit from it. Being a Dick on-line is a good
    start. But being a Dick on your street would be far better!

    • Marc Ensign

      I don’t think it’s either or. I think you can live your entire life coming from that place. Treating every situation, no matter where you are, from that same perspective. Whether it’s work, home, online, etc. Just be a Dick.

      • Randal F

        It’s not so much about choosing one over the other but more about human
        nature. Society has changed with technology. Today while we are more connected
        than ever by the Internet, it is mostly with people we have not and likely will
        never meet. While at the same time we are more isolated than ever from the
        people who live the closest to us. You may have a positive impact on someone on
        line but you are likely to have a stronger impact with someone face to face. Go
        back to your early interactions with Dick. Had you not met him face to face and
        had that person to person interaction how different would your life be. Would
        you want to be a Dick today? The reason I suggested it would be better to start
        on your street is because that is where you are likely to have the most and
        quickest impact. By all means be a Dick on line. But perhaps learning to be a
        proper Dick should start at home or in your own back yard.

  • lora

    That was a remarkable and fine post, sir. I admire your resolutions and I wish my neighbors were that nice. Maybe if “I” am that nice, they will be.

    • Marc Ensign

      Exactly! If there is no Dick in your neighborhood (or even if there is) then it has to be you.

      • Elle Avocado

        And, even if there IS a Dick in your neighborhood already, what’s wrong with a neighborhood full of Dicks?

        • Marc Ensign

          OK, this comment made me laugh. Thanks!

  • Kristina

    Marc, I think you saved me. Thank you.

    • Marc Ensign

      Wow…I’m not sure what I saved you from, but thanks! Hopefully not sharks. I don’t like sharks.

      • Guest

        Wait. If you dislike sharks, wouldn’t you be proud to have saved her from sharks?

        • Marc Ensign

          Hmmm…that’s a good point. Well played sir.

  • Bolt Vanderhuge

    “What if we were to change our approach to everyone that came to visit us in our virtual homes. Welcome them with open arms. Allow them a voice, even when they didn’t agree with us.”

    So if I welcome someone into my home and they start raiding my fridge, dribbling ketchup all over my furniture, feeding my kids espresso, feeding my dog beans, peeing in my houseplants, and describing in great detail sexual positions they’d like to try out on me and/or my spouse whether I want them to or not, instead of showing them the door I should just ~allow them a voice.~ Got it.

    • Marc Ensign

      Sounds like a good time!

      I get it. It’s a lot easier to think of the worst case scenario and allow that to scare you away from looking at things differently or taking a different approach. The fact is that it’s unlikely anyone is going to come into your house and do those things, so why would you allow just the thought of it to control your actions?

      • Samuel Falvo II

        I’ve run numerous online fora, and trolls, spammers, and vandals are everywhere. It’s become such a problem that I’ve disabled comments on my blog en masse.

        Once upon a time, one could expect spammers to discover your forum after having it open about six months or so. That figure has dropped to around six hours these days. SSH and web logs on my box at home show repeated and indiscriminate break-in attempts, intended to find out what online services I’m running. This has been happening since I became a customer of my online service provider, and also happened with my previous service provider as well.

        Perhaps like Bolt, I too have been victimized by these kinds of people, to the point where I now lock anything and everything down, and have zero plans to change that.

        I applaud you for having greater courage in this area than I do. But, that life isn’t for me.

    • Kevin Haggerty

      What is wrong with you?

      • Samuel Falvo II

        Kevin, Bolt’s complaint refers to trolls on the Internet. People who exist solely for the purpose of making online lives of others miserable. Regrettably, these people exist. :( I think it’s safe to say that Bolt was vandalized by trolls in the past.

  • Kate George

    Thank you. If you ever need dog advice, feel free to ask. Be aware that my own pack is unruly and wild, although very loving.

    • Marc Ensign

      How do I get my dog to stop eating the cat? She’s part bijon frise and part shitzu (we call her a bijashit). She likes to wrestle the cat. The cat’s not digging it.

      • Kate George

        Ah yes. The cat wrestler. Get a spray bottle and fill it will plain water. Spray your bijashit when she goes to attack the cat. Try and hit her in the face – that’s the most effective spot. You can also use the mean “no” voice if you like, but in cases like this I usually keep myself out of the loop. The water seems to be deterrent enough. Good luck.

  • Adrianne Daggett

    Thank you for writing this; I couldn’t agree more. How funny to think that we way we act online ought to resemble the way we (should) act in the real world…

    • Marc Ensign

      I know! Strange concept, huh?

  • Marcus Goodyear

    Marc, you rock. You’re not a rockstar. But you rock.

    • Marc Ensign

      HA! Thanks for that clarification! 😉

  • Jimm Rennie

    Thanks for that Marc, it’s nice to have Dicks in our lives. I’ll definitely be sending a few friends this way to read this blog post as it encompasses a lot of what some in my local area are doing by meeting up at ‘Social Media Surgeries’ in the real world to help people figure out how a variety of web-based and soc-net systems can be used for their purposes.

    It’s a philosophy our local surgery leader calls “Sharing The Sweets” – it’s nice to have sweets (social media skills), but its satisfying to also pass them around to others, after all someone might have brought different sweets to share with you and then you can both enjoy both types of sweet.

    Being a Dick and sharing the sweets is how communities, on- and offline, should work.

    Thanks once again for an amazing post.

  • Bob

    I agree 100%. I have always used this philosophy at work; if I learn something or know something that others don’t, I show them. This way I am not the only one, the ‘always go to guy’ for that specific piece of information. I am a smart person, but most people are, and I can always learn something from others take on that special piece of information I just passed on. Kindness and helpfulness are signs of confidence, not weakness so lets all be confident in ourselves and watch it rub off on others!

    • Marc Ensign

      Good for you Bob!! Keep it up!

  • john simms

    Thanks for the article Marc. I must say I love being a Dick. Have a wondeerful day!!!!

    • Marc Ensign

      Thank you John! Have a great day too!

  • sparky

    Great article I have always tied to be at least a little Dick. I have found some great friends that are Dicks in life. Never as much as 3 years ago and my 21 year old daughter passed away and left me raising her son who was 2 at the time. I’m single and a very busy partner in my agency. Yet he has been the biggest blessing in my life. I still get stressed out sometimes with a 5 year old at my age , but for the most part he is my best buddy! The joke when young to attract women was to have a puppy or a child around and they would love to swoon over that object. Well with him and his out going persona. We attract a lot of Dick’s. The takers don’t want anything to do with us, but the Dick’s love to be part of this adventure with us. Thanks for a great smile today!

    • Marc Ensign

      Wow! What an amazing story! I can’t even imagine what you’ve been through. I hope you have beekeeping a journal or writing through your experience. If not, start now!!

  • LJ

    Just got shuttled over here from “Republic of Freedom”, it’s great to be here! Okay Marc, you have 120 comments and normally I would say to myself “Wow that’s a lot of comments – he has enough, mine won’t make a difference.” I realized that is a really strange way for me to think – I don’t know how many people have said hi to the new neighbours downstairs, and I don’t care either, it wouldn’t stop me from being nice to them! So, your points make a lot of sense. Funny how numbers affect the way we behave.

    • Marc Ensign

      It is a lot of comments, but each one brings something special to the conversation. It sounds really corny, but yours isn’t any less important than any other comment here!

  • Maran

    I just discovered you and I am your newest raving fan!
    Imagine doing business and networking, online, offline as though we were actually doing these things with people!
    And treating them as well as Dick treats people.
    When people treat me that way I tend to get a little giddy, cause it makes me that happy.
    I am so looking forward to getting to know you better, and reading your book and learning your kids names :-)
    Mostly I look forward to being of service to you one day.
    Thank you for being how you are!

    • Marc Ensign

      I think your comment just made my day! Thank you so much! And I’m really looking forward to getting to know you too! Pleeeease keep in touch…don’t just leave it here.

  • Razmom

    Alright, I agree that this is just what we needed to read and to be like! Now I want to know what the Emmy s were for and who’s are they??? Just asking. Please.

    • Marc Ensign

      The Emmy’s were one for his exceptional work in TV. And they belong to my neighbor Dick. You didn’t think I was going to give you his last name did you?

  • Rohan Ayyar

    Marc, how do I tweet your bio?

    • Marc Ensign

      How do you Tweet my bio? I’m not sure what you mean. Is there a joke in there I’m missing or are you really interested in Tweeting my bio for some reason?

      • Rohan Ayyar

        Just wanted to say I find it really interesting :) – especially this part:
        “my mission is to Save the Internet from all of the gurus, rock stars and ninjas dirtying up the place with their nonsense”

        Not to take the slightest away from the post :)

        • Marc Ensign

          Tweet away! I guess you could Tweet my profile page or something. Glad you like it!

  • Deanna

    I just moved into the neighborhood of self-taught-SEO straight out of college, and I’m feeling pretty overwhelmed. This blog post gives me hope that I can find help when I need it… is it ok if I come to you with my dumb newbie questions? Thanks for, at the very least, being a good example of real leadership – and by that I mean leading by serving. It’s such a breath of fresh air in the pernicious wasteland that is the internet!

    • Marc Ensign

      Absolutely!! Ask away. It would be an honor to help you.

  • Scoby

    What is Dick’s last name?

    • Marc Ensign

      If I announced his last name you would all find him and move into my neighborhood and then there would be a lot of traffic. And I don’t like traffic.

  • Bob Ruub

    so you like dick?

  • Diana Gardner Robinson

    Like the new “Dick” blog very much. Caveat – some people
    offer help with the best of intentions but in a way that sounds condescending,
    as though one is incapable of doing whatever it is alone. I suspect –
    generalizing atrociously – that males may be a tad more inclined to do this,
    and females may be a tad more inclined to have the experience of being talked
    down to – but I could be wrong about that – and about everything, come to thing
    of it. Obviously I am wrong where your neighbor is concerned – and equally obviously you are very fortunate.

    • Marc Ensign

      I like to give people the benefit of the doubt. Base my opinion of them on their actions as opposed to their sex. If someone offers you help, waiting for the catch is going to guarantee that there is a catch.

  • Elysia

    I work for a Very Large Firm where this advice would be so welcome. When I started here no one–NO ONE–offered any hello’s, any assistance to getting around (coffee station, bathrooms, etc.), any offers to a first day lunch. NOTHING. I just sat in my dark cubicle and that what pretty much it.
    That experience has clouded what otherwise is a reasonable job (great pay and benefits). The bulk of the people here are very much of an industry type, and are by nature unfriendly and socially inept, so there’s that. But that first day still rankles.
    I never thought I’d say that I wish I worked with more Dicks. LOL

    • Marc Ensign

      Perhaps you need to start a revolution there…just a thought!

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  • Linda Jellison

    This is really great! I love how you related your experiences with moving and meeting your neighbor to online communities. That’s what they are, and they could sure use more people like Dick.

    • Marc Ensign

      I couldn’t agree more.

  • Mish

    Wow, How authentically refreshing!

    • Marc Ensign

      Thank you Mish! I appreciate the kind words!

  • JennyS

    Thank you!

    • Marc Ensign

      You’re welcome Jenny!

  • Nan Zingrone

    Absolutely wonderful! :-)

    • Marc Ensign

      Thank you Nan!

  • Claude “CodeAngry” Adrian

    I never asked Dick for help. Dick asked me how he could help. And he did it in such a way that did not make me feel like I was imposing. I got an e-mail one day that said “If you ever need to borrow a ladder, let me know.”

    How did Dick get your email address?Bet you never wondered about that. He’s a government agent watching you… Now you know! Watcha gonna do?

    PS: And why does he have so many ladders? To climb your house when you’re gone and bug it. Obviously :) Man oh man! They’re on to you…

    • Marc Ensign

      Next you’re going to tell me that the cameras he installed in my bathroom aren’t just for show and are actually real. Whatever.

  • Heidi Haaland

    I envy his wife for having a Dick.

    • Marc Ensign


  • Mike Pritchard

    Nice. Thanks Marc for the great article. Nice job on the title too : )

    • Marc Ensign

      Thanks!! Every now and then I get a little wood on the ball!

  • HelpingPeople

    Hi Marc,

    I’d hate to even ask this but I’ve been on the web for quite awhile and have been UTTERLY LOST when it comes to internet marketing and earning online.

    If you could please help me learn the things that I need to learn, I, my family, and all the people I hope to help in the future will really appreciate it.

    My knowledge about the internet may not be as good as I’d want it to be but I am competent and very committed. I’m also hardworking and very determined. But above all things I am honest.

    I can work under your guidance and I’ll do my best to be an asset to you.

    I look forward to hearing from you (and to all who wants to help).

    Kind regards,

    Jimmy R.

    • Marc Ensign

      Hey Jimmy! My best advice is to read everything you can get your hands on. Learn as much as you can. Being a hard worker is important, but being a smart worker is even more important!

  • cliffengine

    Very good writing Marc.

    • Marc Ensign

      Thanks Cliff!

  • Ronnie Bincer

    Hey Marc,
    I was a Dick online before I realized what I was doing!
    My offer to help you out with Google Plus Hangouts still stands.
    This made me smile when I realized I had “been a Dick” to you without realizing that was what you were suggesting others do. 😉 Welcome to the G+ neighborhood… using and mastering the hangout tool will get you far in this ‘virtual’ place. (puns fully intended)

    • Marc Ensign

      Thank you so much for the offer Ronnie! And I will definitely take you up on that!!

  • Sara Sole

    Thank you for these inspiring words. They refreshed and clarified my intention to be a Dick to everyone I meet. I wish you all the best, and I will support your initiative being a role model.

    • Marc Ensign

      Thank you Sara! Very kind of you!

  • Mike Essex

    I see what you did there.

    • Marc Ensign

      Who, me?

      • Mike Essex

        Yeah with the double meaning in the title.

        I’d love to see a case made for being an actual jerk to everyone online. I’ve seen people pull it off and make a name for themselves, so I was a little disappointed it wasn’t a case study on that type of approach. None the less it was a good read.

  • njrugger45

    This reminds me very much of the values espoused by “The Go-Giver.” I highly recommend it to folks if they’re looking to be both successful and in service to others.

    • Marc Ensign

      A couple of people suggested that book to me! I seriously need to read it!

      • njrugger45

        No surprising that several people thought of this book for you. I will say, it’s a very quick read, perfect for your next flight or few hours of time on a weekend.

  • Change The Topic

    Great post. I’m happy and proud to say that I do all of these things when I think of them, but not so happy to say that I don’t always think. This will help me to remember that. Thank you.

    • Marc Ensign

      Totally normal…no one is nailing it every minute of the day. Recognizing that it’s something you have to work at is half the battle!!

  • Ty Sullivan

    I excel at being a “Dick” so i could really relate to the post my friend! Nicely done! Here’s to the Dicks of the world!

    • Marc Ensign

      Here! Here!

  • Anna Mahan-Miller

    This post just made me a fan! I’ll be endeavoring to be more of a “Dick” in the future.

    • Marc Ensign

      Thank you Anna!! Looking forward to getting to know you! Don’t be a stranger!

  • Jason

    Thank You For Being A Dick. :-)
    a little bit about Me.:/ via @youtube just so as to get a bit more familiar, who it is that is so grateful to have good people such as yourself in this world we live in Virtual and otherwise.
    Thanks again and,
    Good Luck Dick. :-)

    • Marc Ensign

      Thank you Jason!

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  • Kent R Gwilliam

    I’ve been a dick before and now I have to be a Dick? What’s in it for me?

    • Marc Ensign

      If you have to ask “What’s in it for me?” then being a Dick is probably not a good fit for you.

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  • Michael D. Yoder

    A marvelous post. Thank you, Marc, for being a Dick!

    • Marc Ensign

      Thanks Michael!! I really appreciate it!

  • Coreda Ehrhart

    Reinforcing what my job function and my life work if about! Helping other find their way through all of the technology of today!! Thansk for this! I’m a follower now!

    • Marc Ensign

      Thank you Coreda!!!! And welcome…please don’t be a stranger!

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  • bethannchiles

    I am comment number 186 from the looks of it. I love this post. I want to be a Dick. On our last move I could have really used a Dick in my life. This post reminds me of who I want to be online and I thank you for the nudge to be who I should be . You rock!!! Thank you!!!!

    • Marc Ensign

      Thank you!!! So, if there was no Dick in your neighborhood then that must mean you are the Dick! Get to work :)

      • bethannchiles

        Working on it!!! :-)

  • Holly

    What a wonderful post! I’m going to encourage everyone I know to read this and to become Dicks. A lot of people in my life already are but but not everyone 😉 I’ve tried to be a Dick for the majority of my life. I am a huge fan of yours. I wish I had known of your blog before now but better now than never! Thanks so much for caring enough to be a Dick.

    • Marc Ensign

      Thank you Holly! That really means a lot!!! I’m really humbled that you would pass this on to others. I really appreciate it!

      • Eric Lupton

        “I’ve tried to be a Dick for the majority of my life. I am a huge fan of yours.”

        I’m not the only person this made giggle, right?

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  • Mark Ryan

    This is such an altruistic community that I would feel dirty posting a link to my blog post today about the many faces we see and put on each day and are afraid to expose to people we don’t truly know. Perhaps we’re afraid to get to truly know people because we don’t truly know ourselves.

    • Marc Ensign

      Post away! This is not a “me talking to you” only kind of place. If you have something of value, bring it! It’s when people take advantage and post for their own benefit alone and not the benefit of the group that I don’t like.

  • lockwood

    Seems like a good way to get bombarded with people wanting free consulting, products, etc.

    • Marc Ensign

      Only if you’re cynical.

  • Sarah Casolaro

    Thanks for this, Marc! It’s easy to let the anonymity of the internet go to your head. It’s important to remember that it’s called an “online community” for a reason.

    I’m an actress in LA and it’s common to get caught up in that “me, me, me” mentality. Thank you for reminding us all to take a step back and see the value in the person, rather than in what he or she can do for you.

    • Marc Ensign

      Thanks for the thoughts Sarah! I started off in music so it was a similar thing. Step over whoever you had to in order to get the gig. Very cut throat. I’m glad I no longer live in that mentality…it was exhausting and didn’t leave you with many friends!

  • Mo

    Hmm, Dick Van Dyke … Dick Wolf … “dozen or so” huh? Running out of ideas … either way, good story & sentiments

    • Marc Ensign

      I probably would have recognized Dick Van Dyke 😉

  • Andre Kasberger

    Great Post Marc and right in line with what we aim for at our Suncoast Internet Marketing Masterminds Meetup group. Passed it on to the group.

  • Eric Heenan

    Awesome post. I am guilty of following the gurus but will do my best to spread the aloha. Thanks Marc!

    • Marc Ensign

      Thanks Eric!! Yeah, I know. I’m a little late on the response! But better late than never!

  • piatekm

    Just listening to your interview with Dave Conrey, so I had to stop the podcast and read it. Great post, but as a consultant, where do you draw the line between giving and sending a bill?

    • Marc Ensign

      It’s a great question. The thing is that when you are approaching it with the idea of “when do I send the bill” you are still looking at it from a perspective of “what’s in it for me?” The book is going to get into much more depth on this and will answer your question a little better than I could in a simple comment on a post. There…I’ve said too much already…

  • wtf is this

    This post smacks of desperation by someone that got burned by a REAL dick and is trying to see the silver lining. Get over yourself and grow a pair. Writing this insipid feel-good crap doesn’t make you better than they are. In fact it’s borderline insulting to people’s intelligence.

    • Marc Ensign

      Dear WTF (if that is your real name),

      I get it. It’s a lot easier to be cynical. To read something with your arms folded and your mind closed. To always assume the worst in others.

      But the world has never been changed by the cynical. They are a dime a dozen.

    • RobertvanL .

      “what a dick”

  • Intrepid Crone

    Marc, this post is lovely. We recently moved to a new, small town and had a bit of a challenge integrating into the new environment. I guess we’ll just have to get this party started ourselves. I want to be a big Dick, too!

    • Marc Ensign

      I love that!! Rather than being cynical over your own experience, stepping up! Nice!

  • RobertvanL .

    Dick who (won allthose emmys’s ) ?

    • Marc Ensign

      Out of respect for Dick and his family, that’s something I’m keeping to myself. Sorry :)

      • RobertvanL .

        “what a dick”

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  • Elisabeth Cullivan

    Wouldn’t it be great if there were more Dick’s in the world? Looking forward to your book!

    • Marc Ensign

      That’s my mission!

  • Jim Bierfeldt

    Your “Dick” story was the highlight of my 3 days at the recent Inbound 2014 conference. Nice job. Thanks Marc.

    • Marc Ensign

      Thanks Jim! Some of the best speakers in the world were speaking at that same conference, so for you to even suggest that my talk was a highlight for you gives me goosebumps. In a totally manly way.

  • Irina Baranov

    Love love love this post, Marc. Sharing it now…

    • Marc Ensign

      Thank you!! Sorry it took me so long to acknowledge! Keep forgetting to come back here and check.

  • Philip Quintas

    Heck, yeah, Marc, I have never wanted to be a Dick as badly as I do right now!

    • Marc Ensign

      Go for it!!

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  • Kristina

    Love your post, but I’d like to know the name of Dick’s wife, I’d rather be her 😉

    • Marc Ensign

      Ha! I’ll have to tell her that. She’s been kind of the unsung hero in this whole thing. Merely because he has a more marketable name. She’s equally as awesome!

  • Eve A

    I’m totally swept away from this read and it makes me shout out ‘I wanna be a Dick!’ I am already a Dick to a certain degree, but I know I can do better. It makes life so much easier and way more enjoyable when more people are like Dick. I’m happy to be be part of this movement and am going to sign up right after I’ve hit the send button to publish this comment. Thanks, Marc, for being you!

    • Marc Ensign

      You are awesome!! Thank you for spreading the word Eve!!

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  • Le Green

    I’m inspired by your story of Dick, and your ability to recognize how extraordinary his ability to welcome you and others into his life.
    Your spirit of gratitude and desire to spread the good is as inspiring as his generosity.
    I’m called to action.

    • Marc Ensign

      Thank you so much! I am truly humbled by your comment!!!

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