CONGRATULATIONS!! If you are reading this, you likely have your very own “hater/haters!” That’s a big achievement, it likely means you are on your way to doing something BIG!
Ah, haters. We all know them, and we’ve all likely experienced someone in our past that fits the bill as to what a hater is.
For those of you who may not understand what I mean by “haters” in a business setting, I’m referring to the nay-sayers and those who believe success itself is a limited resource, and therefore become agitated as other people succeed.
Believe it or not, this is a pretty applicable definition of “hater” across the board; business or not.
Today, I’m going to discuss some of my tips for dealing with these people, listening to your own intuition, and not allowing them and their opinions to influence or negatively affect you, your livelihood, and your business.
I’ll also give you an example of a recent hater for my business, and how I dealt with them in a professional and effective way.
Why Do Haters Exist?
Excellent question! Perhaps as we discover the true reasons why haters do what they do, we will notice a pattern that will help us become more selective and diligent in considering other people’s opinions.
The truth is, haters exist for a variety of reasons, many of which I will list below:
In a world in which everyone feels like they are only part of a crowd and lack meaningful relationships (thanks to social media) people have become more and more desperate for attention, and rightly so.
I don’t blame anyone for craving attention, it is a natural and instinctive thing to do as humans. Haters just happen to gather that attention in a negative way.
Occasionally, an outlandishly negative person will be that way because they actually want to appear more intelligent. I’m not saying that they aren’t already intelligent, they just want to make it known.
They are likely willing to argue with anything you say, right or wrong, and base their negativity off of their own experiences or the probability of your success. These people don’t come across as “haters” per se, but more as “negative nancy’s.”
Very scientific terms in today’s article.
This is the version of “hater” we are going to talk about the most, and that is because these people are more prone to viewing success as a limited resource. These haters are merely people who have likely had to deal with extremely competitive (and likely biased) situations to succeed or for resources of some kind.
Yes, business is competitive. Yes, resources are often limited, but where these haters go wrong is making the mistake that “success” in and of itself is a resource that must be gathered as opposed to nurtured. This is where jealousy comes into play.
Where Haters Go Wrong
Success is not something that comes and goes in short supply once you gather it. This is so far from the truth.
Success must be a feeling you develop and grow within yourself due to your own self-satisfaction for who you are, this is an idea that often goes unconsidered.
Haters believe that success always means competition and that if one person succeeds, another person can’t. Haters often make comparisons between their “successes” and others; something you wouldn’t do if you were satisfied with the person you’ve become, and the efforts you’ve taken in life.
I’m often reminded of the book, The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. In the book, Fernand Mondego and Edmond Dantes were friends who were born into entirely different social classes.
Fernand was born into wealth, Edmond was poor. Yet, Fernand was always jealous of Edmond, not because of his social class, but because Edmond always made the most of his surroundings with positivity.
Fernand received a pony for his birthday, yet was jealous of Edmond because Edmond was happier with his whistle than Fernand was with his pony. This is the “hater” mindset.
Success is not in having things, it’s in your mindset.
People who spread negativity and make constant interpersonal comparisons only do so because they are insecure about their own efforts, achievements, or feelings.
It’s important to remember that “haters” do not have to be bad people, they are merely insecure people, like all of us can be at times. Don’t be too quick to judge!
How To Deal with Haters In Business
“You’ll never get that idea off the ground!”
“Entrepreneur? Seriously? You know that 96% of businesses fail after one year, right?”
Or in my personal experience (which I will get to in a bit): “You have no business life and a total fraud.” Yikes…
The problem with haters, especially in business, is that they often come in the form of rationality or “help.” But not in my case (maybe I was lucky).
In fact, maybe this one is our fault as entrepreneurs for deciding not to be happy with the status quo, either way, we need to deal with it.
Other haters may come in forms of rage or pure negativity like in my experience. The important thing to note is that all haters share fears that are based on similar things like risk and reward.
If something is too risky for the reward, then a person won’t take action. But, what if we want to take that risk but don’t because we are afraid? We will likely become dissatisfied with ourselves because we will always dream of what could have been.
This is a large part of how haters are made. Nobody wants to be negative, but it’s the cognitive dissonance between what they want and what they are willing to do that makes them insecure when they see other people succeeding. This is why they think success is a limited resource.
It’s not because they can’t succeed, it’s because of the inherent effort and risk involved that puts them at a standstill.
So, here’s the first tip in how to deal with haters in business.
Tip 1: Understand Their Pain
Yeah, I know. Nobody wants to see from the perspective of the person who is calling you a “time-wasting fake (etc.)” but it’s important that you do.
Understanding that haters are merely people who feel negatively about themselves will keep you and your temper intact when dealing with opposition in such a way. It’s also important to consider the reasons why this person is upset at you, specifically.
Consider this: What if that person has a legitimate reason to be upset at you because of your actions? Maybe it’s a longshot given today’s “troll-culture” on the internet, but I would want to know if my actions actually caused the issue, or if it is entirely an overinflation on the part of the “hater” in question.
However in situations of ungrounded hate, remember that their comments are internal reflections of themselves, and not you. In this case, the best thing you can do is ignore them!
Tip 2: Remain Professional
There are going to be some people who, despite any facts, evidence, or experience, will NOT listen to you. That’s ok, everybody is entitled to their own opinions, you don’t have to accept their perspective.
Just keep this in mind: Allowing nay-sayers to influence you when they have no experience in living the life you want to live is like taking home-owner advice from a homeless person.
Some people will resent your success, some people you don’t even know (as in my case) will be upset at you for ungrounded reasons. It’s important to note that business is never a place for emotion to carry us away. You’ll burn a lot of bridges if you feel the need to personally argue over everything.
Staying professional in any business setting is the only true way to keep your dignity intact. Recognize that bursts of emotion or anger towards these “haters” will only feed their resolve for getting attention.
Remaining professional in this case means being kind and respectful despite the obvious lack of which from the opposition. I guarantee you’ll walk away glad that you did, every time.
Tip 3: Find Support
Occasionally, if a person really gets under your skin it’s best to make good use of your support system! But, in all honesty, after a short amount of time, you will forget the haters even exist because they blend in with the crowd.
Create a support system that has experienced similar situations and how they’ve dealt with the doubt that haters may cause you to feel.
If you’d like an awesome video on how to deal with entrepreneurial doubt in the first place, click HERE!
My Hater Experience
I like to think of haters as a challenge to my resolve of staying professional and positive. After all, if I can disagree with them about my worth, then I can solidify my own success upon my intrinsic feelings of worth and not based on external judgments.
Here’s some backstory: I write 3 blog posts a week. About two to three times a week I will publish blog posts and share them with others in my network on LinkedIn, including the groups that have added me!
My first hater was upset that I posted to his group, despite the fact that I shared relevant posts. The group was based on “team-building” yet, he was the only person who was ever allowed to post.
As you might guess, this person was a salesperson who focused the group around “team-building” so that they can push their products/services, whatever it is.
Nowhere did “team-building” ever take place… Interesting.
Here’s the transcript, full of grammar mistakes, spelling errors, and all for your viewing pleasure!
Hater: are you really this unprofessional, why did you think you could spam message a board with 5 posts (Note: posts submitted for review: Not “spammed” because it took over 3 weeks to submit)? are you really this unprofessional, did you really think, you would get five posts approved? the name of the group is team building, not own personal self gain (interesting, coming from somebody who only ever posts offers, but I digress), enjoy your failure and poverty , cause you have made it quit clear you have failed.
Me: Hello, (Name blocked for confidentiality). I simply want to explain that I never intended to spam message you or your board. LinkedIn never notifies me when you disallow a post of mine, therefore I assume it has been accepted. I merely wanted to share my perspective on business, life, and entrepreneurship with your team-building group because I personally found them useful.
That being said, The number of posts makes no difference to me in terms of the potential a person has to build a group of high-quality and professional people. I thought I was helping you do that by making your group look enticing and full of professional business incite by sharing posts, and therefore, attracting like-minded individuals. I had never even known how many posts were on your group page. I suppose I now know the reason why.
You call me unprofessional yet the first time you interact with me you insult me, call me a failure, and have never once kindly asked me to stop or tried to understand my position or logic for posting the way I have. I hope you know that I don’t feel unprofessional at all.
That being said, I urge you to improve your attitude when dealing with others in the future. Instead of berating, simply ask why they are doing something you don’t like, and kindly ask them to stop. You may find, like in this instance, that it was all a misunderstanding and you could save your own reputation by doing so.
I’ve looked at the group, it seems you are the only person that you allow to post. That doesn’t seem like “team-building” to me, sir.
Either way, you can bet I’ll be leaving your group for my own sake. Best of luck to you. – Austin Denison.
Hater: you have no business life and a total fraud and that’s all i am going to read from a total time wasting fake with zero business experience, now i have 40 years real professional sales and marketing experience, knocking doors.
Me: Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, thanks for giving me some good inspiration to prove you wrong! I applaud your audacity! – Austin Denison.
Hater: let me know when you want a true professional with the experience to train you, then just maybe the world wide economy will survive
At this point, all you have to do is ignore them and go about your merry way! Or block them, that works too!
Don’t let senseless negativity get you down. And never deal with any business related issues in a way that is unprofessional and that you wouldn’t be proud of.
After a while, you’ll start to see these haters in a new light. They’ll be inevitable signs of your success and growth.
In fact, haters almost become comedic. Like me, you might welcome them as a sign that you are on your way to achieving big things! If you can remain professional at all times, there is no way you won’t stand out on top.
I hope I could help you with this today!
Thanks for reading!
Work With Austin
-Austin Denison is a management consultant and coach from Southern California and founder/CEO of Denison Success Systems LLC. He is the author of The Essential Change Management Guidebook: Master The Art of Organizational Change as well as The Potential Dichotomy: The Philosophy of a Fulfilling Life.