As you might expect, I spend most of my time sitting on my butt staring at a 13” MacBook Air. I do take frequent breaks, mind you. Usually to make tea, munch on something, annoy my wife, pick fruit, chop down trees, go for a run, play with Daphnie … you know, whatever.

While I am freakishly disciplined when it comes to work (yes, I do practice what I preach), I do occasionally succumb to the urge to screw around online. Yes, it’s rare, but I’m human and sometimes Google my name just to see who’s plagiarizing me, cursing the ground I walk on, that sort of thing.

Get this. The top searches that come up after my name are, in descending order: “fox business,” “net worth,” “entrepreneur,” “bio,” and “email.”

That’s right. Sandwiched between the two media outlets that publish my columns, above who I am and how to contact me, folks want to know how much dough I’ve got stashed away under my mattress. That’s just nuts.

Can someone please explain to me what that’s all about? What am I, Donald Trump? Mark Cuban? Oprah Winfrey?

I even tried doing the same thing for some people I consider to be peers and the money thing doesn’t come up atop their Google searches. Why mine? Is it something I said? Something I did? Something I ate? What?

I’ve maybe searched for someone’s net worth once or twice while researching an article. Otherwise I couldn’t care less what anyone is worth. And if I wasted my precious time with nonsense like that instead of working my tail off all these years, I’d be worth zilch.

I know I’m probably preaching to the choir here, but here’s the thing: If you find something someone writes to be thought provoking, informational, entertaining – whatever – just read more. The only thing interesting about me or anyone else who does what I do is what we have to offer you: observations, insights, and lessons from our experience. That’s our product.

My real concern is that the smart gadget / information age is turning us into voyeurs instead of doers. It’s OK to screw around and have a little fun with it once in a while, just don’t let all this access take over your life. Trust me, it’s not worth it. Nobody’s life is more interesting – and nobody’s net worth more important – than yours.

(Image credit: Forbes)

  • Pierre Monteil

    I did notice that interestingly, I thought its was an artefact – or at least a side effect of a google algorithm making a weird link somewhere. Alternatively, maybe people who want to become consultants (you know there are many ;-)) are interested in knowing if it is worth? Anyway, I thought your net worth was enough for you to afford a 15″ MacBook Pro…

    • Steve Tobak

      LOL … I’ve actually been using 13″ screens forever. And hey, it’s an Air, not a Pro. What do you think I am, pedestrian?

      • Alan Duvall

        I would guess “net worth” comes up because of your tone in one of your entrepreneur articles decribing what rich people do in spare time. You insinuate you are part of the rich group, so naturally people go to google and see how much is this guy really worth…

        I’m an SEO guy who knows how to manipulate Google suggest and I’m pretty sure that’s the answer

        • Steve Tobak

          For that to be the #1 suggestion following my name means it’s many orders of magnitude more pervasive than searches that one article of the thousands I’ve written might generate. Besides, it’s been that way going back many years before that article was written. Nice try. 🙂

          • Alan Duvall

            Honestly it would appear that you also talk about other peoples net worth. http://finance.yahoo.com/news/50-cents-bankruptcy-lesson-valuing-123000926.html

            I honestly do not follow you very much and that was the first article I read by you.
            It’s not a mystery though. Either you have a high networth, and naturally people try to “google” the exact amount. Or you talk extensively about “net worth” in general. Or also a bit of both.

          • Steve Tobak

            Maybe you should try Googling “anecdote” and see what comes up. Wait, I’ll save you the trouble. It’s an “interesting, amusing, or biographical” story writers sometimes tell to make a point. 😉

  • What you do for staying freakishly disciplined, where others fail?