Boca Raton SEO asks where the phrase “the cobbler’s children have no shoes” comes from

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Boca Raton SEO asks where the phrase “the cobbler’s children have no shoes” comes from

You’ve probably heard the phrase “the cobbler’s children have no shoes” many times. It’s a phrase that we here at our Florida SEO company more often than we would care to admit. When someone here points out that “the cobbler’s kids are barefoot,” it usually means some of us are going to be working late.

The phrase (and it’s various forms, including “the shoemaker’s children have no shoes”) means that your own family is generally the last to benefit from whatever your skills and talents you have.

When it comes to affordable SEO companies, it’s a good news/bad news situation. In other words, when we are super busy taking care of our client’s websites, providing new original content for their blogs and optimizing their search engine standings, we often have no choice but to neglect our own digital presence somewhat.

It’s always a temporary situation, but because of our knowledge of the finer points of internet marketing and our reputation as a dynamic Florida SEO, we are particularly sensitive to it.

After we got caught up, we decided it might be interesting to do a little research into the phrase.  Here’s what we found:

Historical Roots

According to, the phrase the shoemaker’s children always go barefoot goes back centuries.

“The earliest recording of this proverb is in John Heywood’s 1546 book of proverbs,” they report. “A similar sentiment is found in Robert Burton’s The Anatomy of Melancholy, first published in 1621: ‘Him that makes shoes go barefoot himself’.”

Practical Application

A few years ago, New York Times bestselling author Peggy McColl wrote Cobbler’s Children Have No Shoes for the Huffington Post,  in which she admitted, “In my book, Viral Explosions and when I am speaking, I talk about how important it is to have new content on your website. Then I look at the video on my own site and I know it needs to be updated. This is a case of the cobbler’s children have no shoes.”

McColl went on to say:

“Although it is important to put your best foot forward (no pun with regard to the cobbler) don’t be surprised if people who are in internet marketing (copy writers, web designers, etc.) don’t always have the latest and greatest on their websites.

“The same is true in many arenas. When I first started working with a lot of self-help speakers and authors I had expectations about their overall life philosophies and personalities based on their messages of being highly evolved and spiritual at all times. They were all lovely people but they did not always live their lives according to their teachings.”


There’s always got to be one…

Then there’s Ben Dattner Ph.D., who seems to be overthinking things in a very big way.  In

Cobblers Children Syndrome in the Workplace on Psychology Today’s website,

Dattner says, “I have consulted to technology companies that have outdated computer systems, marketing firms that don’t market themselves in any way, and consulting firms that fail to put into practice for themselves a single theory or model upon which they have built their businesses.”

He goes on to say, “Everyone who works in these organizations is aware of the irony of these situations.”

Here’s where it gets good… “Perhaps there is some deep psychological reason why the “Cobblers Children” dynamic exists,” Dettner says. He then theorizes that there might be a “compensatory aspect” to it. Maybe it’s a defensive behavior, he muses.

We would like to point out another option for Dettner to consider – maybe it just means people are busy!

At SEO James, one of the leading Florida SEO companies, we can assure you that we will always have time to help you enhance your digital presence!  Even if it means we have to neglect our own digital marketing efforts!

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