Do you plan on being successful? You will almost certainly attract a small group of haters that speak poorly of you, minimize your success and talk about you behind your back. Every successful person I know has a few haters. It comes with the territory. People will project their own insecurities on you and use anger toward your success as a tool to cope with their lack of progress.
Prefer to read instead of watch? Here’s a rough script I used for this video.
In this video, I want to talk about an issue that every successful and publicly-visible person will have to deal with at some point or another. Haters. If you are the best at any one thing, whether it’s sports, business, fitness, public speaking, content creation or pretty much anything, you will almost certainly attract a small group of haters that speak poorly of you, minimize your success and talk about you behind your back. They’ll make online postings on Facebook and Twitter about how are not good as you think you are. They will say that you got lucky. They will say that you are over-rated. They will dig up any dirt they can about you and publicize it. They will leave bad reviews about anything that you sell online. They’ll do anything they can from behind the screen of their smartphone or laptop to encourage other people to think less of you. This is the unfortunate reality of success in the modern world that we live in.
Thankfully, I only have a handful of haters that I am aware of. There is one individual who is not well respected in the business community that I would call a hater of me. He’s called me names that you would expect to hear on an elementary school playground, made comments that I just got lucky and that I’m not qualified to give business advice. There was another guy a while back that didn’t have a great experience with MarketBeat and trashed the company online and left a bunch of negative reviews on my book listings on Amazon. It doesn’t really surprise me that I’ve attracted a handful of haters over the years. When you’ve got an email list of nearly 1 million people, are running a very successful business and are actively teaching people what you’ve learned along the way, someone is going to think you need to be knocked down a peg.
When something like this happens to you, your first inclination will be to get defensive and try to prove what the hater is saying about you isn’t true. You’ll probably react defensively even before you really think it through. I think it’s important to understand the motivations and thought processes that someone who is a hater has. Usually their statements about you have much more to do with their own insecurities, their own negative and their own personal fears than anything that’s actually true about you. If someone says, “you’re really not that successful in business”, what they’re really thinking is that “I’m worried that I’m not successful enough and need to drag others down to my level. If someone says, “you’re not that good of a football player”, what they’re really saying is that “I wish I had done better in high-school sports and had made it further than I did.” Hating on someone else is often used as a way to cope with one’s own lack of progress. By trying to take others down, they can temporarily feel better about themselves.
Now, how should you react when someone makes a negative online comment about you or tries to take you down in some other way? First, don’t reply with an angry, attacking or defensive response, because then you are just letting them pull you down to their level. This isn’t helpful to you and it will only likely fan the flames and encourage them to make further nasty comments about you. Second, If you do reply, understand that they will never let you get the last word. No matter what you reply, they will always come back and reply why you’re wrong or try to tear you down one more time. If you do choose to reply, write one good professional and kind reply and leave it at that. Third, you’ve got to let it go. It’s easy to let someone leaving a nasty comment about you ruin your day. Don’t let that happen, because that’s exactly what the hater would want to have happen. Just do your best to forget about it and move back to whatever you were doing before you came across the hateful comment.
Hopefully this will give you some perspective if you attract a hater. It’s not something that you can control and is pretty much inevitable if you are well-known or a successful person. You can’t control the hater, but you can control your response to them. Don’t get in the mud with them and argue back. Feel free to not respond at all or leave one kind and thoughtful response and go on with your day.