The critics and trolls are out in full force. Call them what you will, if you’re in business, you have them.
If you intend to be successful, start getting comfortable with disapproval and learn to embrace it.
When “Jill” was promoted to Executive Assistant from the secretarial pool of a major technology company, she was thrilled. She thought for sure the other secretaries would be happy for her but what she got shocked her. They talked behind her back.
Some stopped talking to her at all. They “forgot” to tell her about social events. They even gossiped about how she got the promotion. These were people she thought were her friends – what happened?
Instead of celebrating her win, and aspiring to one themselves, they disparaged her success and tried to pull her back down. She had been “one of them” and now they felt betrayed.
So they were punishing her.
Jill’s success threatened the status quo. It made them take stock of their own situation.
If she hadn’t had the confidence and resolve to move forward – if she had allowed them to determine and define her “place” – she would never have become a senior vice president two years later and launched her own successful business the year after that.
She refused to let them define her happiness and success.
Highly successful people do not “flock”
Winners are not usually “one of the crowd” – they don’t travel in large packs. Winners tend to stand out from the crowd. That, by its very nature, makes them different.
When you are different, you ruffle some feathers.
When you are different because you are successful in business, you will ruffle a lot of feathers.
Maybe you’ve heard something like this:
You’ll never be rich.
You’re not smart enough.
It’s too hard.
Why are you doing this to me?
What’s wrong with what you’ve got, you should be grateful.
You’re just being greedy.
It’ll make you selfish and frivolous.
Spoiler alert: Your critics are not interested in helping you succeed.
The people who are interested in your success – your mentors – will encourage your heart, respect your ideas, and delight in your achievements.
Your success doesn’t scare them.
In fact, they want you to be even more successful than they are because that motivates them, and it’s more fun getting to the top together.
To effectively build a successful business surrounded by critics (and who isn’t?!) you must do these two things with concentrated focus:
Do not talk to your critics about your business.
If they have the opportunity to plant even one little seed of doubt, it could destroy your focus and motivation.
If they are people you see all the time (like family members, neighbors, old friends) you can talk about anything else, but your business goals, dreams, plans, progress, and passion are off limits.
If they are unable or unwilling to encourage you and your dreams, they have forfeited the right to have an opinion about how you should achieve your goals.
Deliberately and intentionally seek out others who are moving in your direction and talk to them about your business plans and dreams.
Don’t just passively wait for them to show up – actively seek them out. They don’t have to be in your business, but they do have to be focused on the positive, the future, and the possibilities.
The people engaged in the negative (gossip, sarcasm, one-upsmanship, trivia, pointless conversation), the past, or all the reasons why something might fail will suck the life right out of you.
Avoid them at every opportunity.
Besides, have you ever noticed how the people who have already made it to the top are not the ones telling you it’s too hard to do?
It’s like mountain climbing.
Climbers don’t get to the summit in a horizontal row.
One goes ahead, then reaches back for another. Then another goes ahead and reaches back.
In the end, they all get to the top together.
And their critics are still standing on the valley floor cursing the height of the mountain.
Be grateful for your critics.
Your critics will always be there, standing in your shadow throwing rocks at anything you do that smacks of success.
Be grateful for them – it means you stand for something, and that always brings out the people who are more comfortable criticizing someone else than producing anything of value on their own.
The good news is, when you stand for something, you also bring out raving fans.
Critics and fans go hand in hand – and that’s better than being middle-of-the-road, mediocre, or boring any day.
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