"People buy these?" My friend exclaimed after looking through my online store, doubt in his voice. "You're not the demographic," I calmly explained. But later that night, his comment was still bothering me. "Should I continue working on my store?" asked the little voice inside my head. "Maybe I should just quit." The negative self-talk spiraled into a small pit of self-loathing and doubt.
I glanced at my store and noticed my product reviews section. I remembered how many people had enjoyed the products I created and remembered that you can't please everyone. "Screw him," I thought and started working on new designs.
From friends doubting my ideas to internet trolls sending me hate mail, I've encountered hundreds of naysayers along my entrepreneurial journey. Over time, I've learned that you'll always have haters when you choose to put yourself out there.
Here's four good reasons to ignore the negativity and keep building your dreams.
1. Haters will encourage you to quit too soon.
It took a year and a half to get my e-commerce store to a point where I'm generating positive cash-flow daily. If I had quit my store after some harsh critic in those first months, I would have never pushed past the hard times and gotten to where I am now.
Naysayers can throw a wrench of doubt into your plans and make you question what you're doing. By doubting yourself or even quitting, you'll only prove them right. Keep working hard and ignore any unjustified, negative commentary.
Putting yourself out there is scary and haters can make it even harder. Remember that you're building a business for yourself, not them.
2. Some haters don't hate what you're doing--they're just jealous.
Unfortunately, some of the most negative comments I've had about my business or career choices have been from friends and family members. Prying deeper, I'd question, "That's interesting, why do you feel that way?" Upon further reflection of why they felt so strongly, it often became clear that they wished they had been able to do similar things and the negative voices inside their head had been keeping them down as well. Raining on someone else's parade is a way other people help justify their own life choices.
3. If you have haters, you've 'made it'.
Whenever I received hate mail in the past about my business or for my writing, I would let it effect my mood, sometimes for days. Once I realized that if someone is taking time to write me a note, they've given me the most precious resource on the planet -- some of their time. If someone feels the need to send you angry commentary (especially someone who doesn't know you), you can count that as a win because you've done something that gets people talking and felt inspired enough to write you.
4. Haters will drain your time and energy.
Building a business is hard enough -- the last thing an entrepreneur needs is negative thoughts bubbling around them. While building my business, I've appreciated my friends who kept cheering me on and providing me support along the way, whether or not every idea I had was a winner. Surround yourself with positivity and cut out anyone who is draining your creative energy. It can be hard to let friendships go, but if you find yourself weighted down by their negativity, it's time to dump the friendship.
Whether you have one hater or thousands, it can feel like a blow to your self-esteem. But don't get discouraged -- ignore them, put your head back down, focus on your business, and watch your dreams come true!