"Your track record is HORRIBLE!! It's like you are trying to harvest everyone's data. I wish you luck but you've become a massive joke among everyone. Next you will be selling male thongs. Be sure to post a picture of yourself in it! You could make it a Christmas card with the sausage in your hands too."
The lovely note above was sent to me in the form of an email recently from a ... ahem ... (disgruntled) former user of my product. The day before Christmas. Awesome.
As someone who has taken a beating or two and had my fair share of "disgruntled" emails, I've grown somewhat accustomed to the savagery. I even believe that having "haters" means that I'm doing something right. I'm willing to take the occasional hit below the belt in order to keep the debate alive. Debate breeds discussion, discussion breeds exposure. And that, my friends, is the name of the game.
But just because I'm willing to take the beating, it doesn't mean I don't want to fight back. I do--really badly. I am human after all and what these people say does get through.
But, I don't. In most cases I just let it go. I don't respond at all. I think about what I would tell my children--"they're just jealous"--and move on with my day.
Sometimes I'll feed the beast for fun and say super nice things in response, hoping they'll grow a conscience. It also helps that for every one hater, there are probably five to ten supporters that say something nice. (Thank you, nice people.)
If you're a founder, artist, author, journalist, public figure, celebrity, etc., you're going to have naysayers, trolls and haters. It's an unfortunate fact.
If you're bold enough to express your thoughts, they'll say you're wrong. If you have any measure of success, they'll say you haven't amounted to anything. If you display your talents publicly, they'll say they've seen better.
This is the cost of entry to the world of putting yourself out there. And, it's ok.
While the bullies continue to take their poor attitudes, snarky comments and uninformed opinions and try to tear you down, you just keep on taking chances and kicking ass.
While they sit on their high-horse spewing the gospel of their trollish leader, you'll be on the high road passing them by. By the time they come to realize that they've accomplished nothing, you'll have already succeeded.
So, use their bait without biting the hook and grow into a whale. Use their words as motivation and remember that what you're doing is creating an impact, otherwise they would not have cared.
As for all of you bullies, I'll leave you with this:
"Be careful whose toes you step on today, they might be attached to the ass you have to kiss tomorrow."