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Transparency vs bragging

by Jeremy Schoemaker on October 17, 2012 · 18 comments

In writing this blog and sharing my journey in trying to make a living online for the last 8 years there are a couple things that I have noticed.

When you talk about your successes you are bragging.

When you talk about your failures you are being transparent.

I did not post a picture of the now famous adsense check  until like 2006-7ish.  Even though I am sure that was perceived at the time as bragging there has been a lot of success stories that say they were inspired by seeing that check.

Strangely enough nobody has ever come up to me and talk about how one of my failures inspired them.


full disclosure

About the author...

– who has written 2895 posts on

Jeremy "ShoeMoney" Schoemaker is the founder & CEO of the ShoeMoney Blog, Elite Retreat Internet Conference, & the PAR Program. In 2013 Jeremy released his #1 Amazon Best selling Autobiography titled "Nothing's Changed But My Change" - The ShoeMoney Story. Jeremy currently lives in Lincoln Nebraska with his wife and 2 daughters.

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1 Sergio Felix

Hey Jeremy,

Not too long ago I bought a training on blogging from a guy called Corbett Barr from the San Francisco area.

The training is beyond amazing but the reference to this is there is an interview inside with a woman named Danielle LaPorte.

She is asked what to do when you are just starting out, how to build your audience and community?

Many marketers recommend to “document” your IM journey which she agreed to some extent, the part that actually opened my eyes was that she said something like “nobody likes to follow a loser”.

She said that in order to prevent people from writing just failure after failure in their blogs and never actually hitting a home run.

I’ve tested that and she’s definitely right.

I still remember your check (I saw it for the first time about two years ago) and I was definitely empowered from it.

I’ve never perceived it as bragging but then again, we’re all individuals and everyone thinks different I guess.

Cheers man,

2 Ramon

Why is that strange? Failures are not inspiring… Successes are…. Right :))

3 Sam the sock puppet

Your weightloss is my biggest inspiration – I wish I had the balls to get it done.

The check – of course that’s amazing! :) it’s strange it’s so popular – when you’ve made so much more with azoolgle, and your own ads company.

I would have really liked to hear more about what happens to fighters.

But your failures are inspiring – and always make me think. Your bad ideas also help — the one about the baby website — tracking due dates, and what to expect. All things I think about now before I start projects ;)

4 faisal

Its only success which inspires, or so it seems.

5 Dudibob

Your petrol station idea is quite an inspiration to me. To always think outside the box and stay as wacky as possible to stand out.

6 Steve Smith


7 Sam

Your not bragging at all and its good to share accomplishments. You have my attention in starting my own blog using ads. However, It’s difficult to decide what I want to do. If you blog what other people blog about then its not interesting to read or reply.

8 terry

thanks good information, nice reading

9 Geiger

I talk about your paintball gas station all the time!

10 Geiger

All this talk about only wanting to hear about successes bothers me the more I think about it. You learn so much more about failures. Tell us… What was your biggest loser!

11 Kyle

Jeremy thank you for all of the value over the years I cannot tell you that enough. You have been a huge inspiration to me and a lot of other internet start-ups

12 Brice

I like that you expose your failures to the world it really helps me better relate to you.

13 Jim

ahhh your famous check… that was great that you took a picture of it and documented that moment in your life

14 Allen

I do not ever think you are bragging. Keep bringing on the information

15 Clarence

Jeremy you brag all the time about all the new toys and shit you buy.

16 Edgar

People are just jealous… haters

17 Jason

I am inspired by my own failures and successes. I’m only inspired by others failures if they are now successful.

Anyway, I am now on a path to online success where all my initial hard work is now paying off. Earlier when I would become frustrated by the slow growth, I’d conjure up that image of a big fat check. I even like the pictures of all the cool shit rich people buy. It’s inspiring.

18 Bruno Babic

Jeremy, I am so grateful to both you and God for this great post that you have shared with us.

When it comes to inspiring others with the transparency of our failures, I would be very glad if my first ever post on my personal blog that I’ve recently started could inspire the right people at the right place and at the right time.

In a nutshell, here’s my story.

After my 7 year long painful and embarrassing struggles and failures to start making money online in order to achieve my ever desired millionaire luxury playboy lifestyle, lately I have firmly decided to get up again from being down on my knees so many times before and finally win the game of making money on the internet.

Hope that the “naked” and shocking truth of all the pain and disasters that I had to go through since 2005 up until today that is revealed in the first post on my blog will inspire you and many others to get together and make all our online money making dreams finally come true.

Please, visit my personal blog and leave your comments there. In advance thank you very much.

To your online success!

Bruno Babic

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