I can’t stand Taylor Swift. And she doesn’t care, which makes me kind of admire her despite the fact I really don’t like her or her music.
She has a song out called Shake It, which is a cheesy song with a catchy tune, but the message is actually pretty cool. If you haven’t heard it, (you probably have) it talks about the haters, the fakers and the heart-breakers doing their thing but she’s just going to shake off all the bad things they say about her and follow the song in her heart.
Being an entrepreneur you are going to come across plenty of haters, fakers and heart-breakers. They are going to put down your business ideas, they are going to try to take advantage of you and they will sometimes try to crush you.
Don’t let them
Let’s talk about the fakers for a second. These are easy to spot. They are fellow entrepreneurs who are out to make a buck by getting one over on you. They take the ‘fake it ‘til you make it’ mentality to new levels. Avoid them by always questioning things that seem too easy or too good to be true.
Then there are the heart-breakers. They are often those who slip by your radar and betray you. People you thought were mentors but then turn on you as soon as they get the chance. You have to stay strong and keep going forward.
Haters are those people who simply want to knock you down. They are sometimes those closest to you, but not always. Usually, they are driven by jealousy or because they on some level want to overcompensate for their own inadequacies. All of these people can get under your skin if you let them, and it can destroy your motivation and ultimately harm your business.
Be proactive, be your own fan club
The best way to combat the haters is to build your fan base. The ultimate way to protect yourself however is to believe in what you are doing so much that those detractors can’t get to you. Here are a few ways to build yourself up:
Keep a daily success list
Checking off your to-do list each night feels great. What’s even better is listing your successes for the day. At the end of the night write down your accomplishments:
- You found time for volunteer work
- 2. You got three thank you emails from customers
- 3. You finally finished that big project.
It’s easy to overlook the little successes but those are the things that keep you inspired.
Remind yourself of your yearly goals
You should have several goals for the year besides money. Maybe it’s launching three new products or fitting in a two-week vacation. They should also be written down. On a weekly basis take out that list and measure your progress toward it. Seeing yourself inching closer to those goals fuels the excitement.
Cultivate a tribe
It sounds so corny and over used but yes, a tribe. You need a community of supporters. Not followers but supporters who care about you and want you to succeed. They will be there to provide encouragement when you doubt yourself. They will remind you of why you are doing this when you feel overwhelmed. When you feel less alone it’s much easier to ignore the haters.
Take a look backwards
Yes I know it’s naughty to look to the past but it’s a good way to measure your progress. Take a look back at your initial marketing materials. Review your first draft business plan—and especially your first mission statement. How much have you evolved? How much better do you know your niche? How well have you defined your target demographic? Maybe you started out targeting a wide swath of consumers and now you’ve narrowed it down to a slim slice of loyal fans. Give those customers some respect by feeling good about them and ignoring the haters.
Finally, remember that you’ll never get all of the people to like you all of the time. Take comfort in the fact that nobody hates on your efforts when you’re nobody. When you have haters it usually means you’re reaching success.