When I began my company 6 years ago, I had people in my corner who were rooting for my success. Most of them were family and the odd close friend. Then, I had those who looked like they were supporting me, but secretly, they detested what I was doing.
They disguised themselves as family or friends. They were people who questioned my business decisions. They offered advice when all I wanted was someone to listen. They hated on my ideas in person and behind my back.
They didn’t agree with my methods. They were confrontational when we talked business. I am sure you know who I am talking about – because my story is no different than yours.
Here’s how to deal with haters when it comes to business:
1. Haters can be your validators.
Remember that moment when you announced to everyone that you were starting your business?
There was probably some guy in the crowd who began raining on your parade. They bombarded you with fear-based questions like “how are you going to live?”, “that’s a dumb idea”, “I’m worried about your decision” and so forth. Ya, it happened to me as well.
There was a moment of self-doubt that flooded my mind as they said these things. Fear started creeping in. Luckily, I snapped out of it and fluffed off their ‘concerns’ for my well-being. I knew in my heart that what I was doing was right for me, my clients, and no one else.
When looking for ways on how to deal with haters, realize that they can be your biggest source of validation. Their questions and concerns were nothing more than reflections of their own jealousy and self-regret.
Their concerns and questions validated that your journey into entrepreneurship was the RIGHT path to choose.
2. Remember: haters are jealous of you.
People who behave this way are secretly jealous of you, because they wish they had the courage and drive to do what you are doing right now. Instead of being your biggest advocate, they decided that if they can’t make a change in their life, no one else should be experiencing success either.
Don’t worry about these people. In fact embrace them. Seek them out. Use hate as motivator. No matter what they may say to you, their opinions and hate don’t matter. You have done something they wished they could have accomplished. You have something they lack – courage.
3. You can learn a lot from haters.
What I learned on how to deal with haters in my circle is that, they often dream about doing what I have accomplished.
They talk about starting their own business and what it will be like to be their own boss. The differentiator is that, they lack the courage to toss fear aside and take action, implement their idea into hard work. To actually start their business idea. They keep waffling and talking instead of doing.
The fact that you actually did it and haven’t looked back pisses them off.
Don’t get angry at them. Support them. Share your journey and knowledge. Show them how you did it and let them know that they can do it as well. Their hate towards you should NOT be taken personally.
They are dealing with inner demons they cannot tame. Offer to meet them halfway when they are ready to take the same leap you did. Be the bigger person. Kill them with kindness.
4. Don’t get sucked in the hate.
Understand this: in business, there is NO perfect formula for entrepreneurship.
Yes, there are fundamentals everyone should know and implement. But for the most part, your company and journey are unique to YOU alone. You have a target audience unique to you. You have a distinctive way of marketing your company that is not the same as your competitors. Your brand is yours.
Haters are going to fling negative thoughts, comments, and ideas your way because they think they know better than you. They think they can do it better. Haters will tell you that you are wrong and they are right.
It can be easy to get sucked into their vortex of fear and cowardice. Stand tall and remind yourself that their opinions and hate don’t matter. They haven’t taken the steps you have. They haven’t experienced the development you have.
If they did, they would be on the other side of the table.