Podcast: Why Haters Are Important for Your Success
Entrepreneurs know the impact haters can have on their success, and more importantly, look for them as an indicator that they’re on the right track. As an owner of several ventures, I’m always on the lookout for detractors and naysayers because they provide me with motivation that I can’t get from my best cheerleaders. Strange as it may sound, someone looking at your ideas and telling you they’re not possible or impractical or stupid or ridiculous or (fill in the blank) will often light a fire inside you to prove them wrong.
One of the greatest forms of negative turning positive is in overall life goals and happiness. People passing judgement about how you live your life, your relationships, your happiness, and your perceived success level without knowing a thing about it is an amazing motivator if you can understand the term, projection. Rather than talk about what you need to do to make your haters happy, let’s instead explore 7 ways your haters are important for your success. Take a listen:
I’ve never been one to really stick to traditions too long. I officially left Corporate America in 2010 so I could end my stint as a cubicle jockey and venture out on my own. I enrolled in life coach training and began helping clients process through real change work. I decided I didn’t want kids and wouldn’t be with someone that did. I fell in love with a woman a thousand miles from home, so I packed up my life and moved to Texas to start a new one. We’re getting married in May of this year… by ourselves on the Amalfi Coast in Italy. No family, no friends, no fanfare. Big deal.
I was told leaving my safe corporate job was professional suicide. I was told that life coaching is dangerous and because I don’t have a PhD in psychology, I’m doing more harm than good. I was told that I’m selfish for not wanting to procreate. I was told that moving to be with this woman was too crazy to work. Most recently, I was educated on how selfish we are for running off and getting married without any family present. In all of these instances, the prevailing theme was, “I’m sorry my life, career, relationship, location, and wedding isn’t all about you.”
And this brings us to the reasons haters are so important to your success. They remind you that your success really is up to you. They don’t set out to do it, but often their negativity has a profoundly positive affect on your trajectory going forward. Here are 7 ways your haters are important for your success:
1. They announce when you’ve reached a new level
If nobody ever told you no, you’d have no reference for rejection, motivation, or wanting something you can’t have. When a detractor appears to rally against your perspective, business, or lifestyle, it announces to you (and to the world in a way) that you’ve arrived. Sometimes the best thing that can happen to you is hearing someone else’s conflicting opinion of how it should be, and how you’re doing it wrong. Think of it as acquiring a fan! You’ve been on tour for a while now, and suddenly there’s a small group of people outside every one of your shows. You just keep playing, my friend.
2. They give you good (bad) press
Have you ever heard the expression, there’s no such thing as bad press? Well, that’s not always true. In this case, however, it totally is. When people are talking about you, it’s a good thing because it puts you on the radar of more people. Your exposure increases dramatically when you get some bad press. You’ll inevitably watch your group of haters grow in number, but you’ll also watch your group of supporters do the same. Many of us don’t care for Kanye West, but he’s cool with it for several reasons: he’s a megalomaniac, he is famous, and our negative press still attracts what he so desperately seems to need – attention. So when your haters are giving you attention, say thank you. It’s least you can do for taking up so much of their time and mental bandwidth.
3. They keep you accountable
What happens when you don’t do what you said you were going to? Most of the time nothing, right? What happens when you have haters? They call you out on it. Sometimes obsessively. Nobody else is going to give you the brutal honesty you may need when you don’t stick to your plans. Didn’t you promise to build that deck last summer? Anyone call you out on it? Probably not. Now imagine there’s a group of people that would post your shortcomings and broken promises on social media, or leave comments on your website, or worse. I’m willing to bet you’d stay more diligent on keeping your promises and perhaps actually build that damn deck once and for all.
4. They keep you grounded
Here’s where haters are no match for Kanye West. He doesn’t have time to entertain being grounded or level headed – let alone actually remaining there! You, however, will benefit greatly by staying grounded and humble. Haters act as pressure release valves in the event your ego inflates too much too quickly. They act as a safety measure to help deflate that ego and keep you in check. While it may sound counterproductive, they’re important because they keep you connected to your humble beginnings and customers. If you reach a level disconnected from your customers, family, or friends, without any negative feedback, you risk losing them altogether. Nobody likes a guy with a big head, right? Don’t be that guy.
5. They push you further than anything else
This only applies when you have something you love as a motivator. Haters light a fire under your ass by telling you what you’re not capable of doing. If you’re motivated by what you’re doing, you’ll use that fire to spring into action and accomplish more. If you couldn’t care less about what you do, you’ll simply stay put and let your ass burn. Too many people take attacks personally, and choose to let it burn rather than springing into action. Haters want you to stay in their definition of what’s possible, what’s right, or what’s comfortable. If you start moving away from those definitions, they’ll push you to give up and come back to the fold. You, however, are a champion and will see the fire as fuel. It will push you to go further, won’t it? You bet your burning ass it will!
6. They remind you of your WHY
In everything we do, there’s a why behind it, right? In business, we have a why to remind us of all the reasons we’re doing what we do. In relationships, there’s a bunch of whys we remind ourselves of when things get difficult. Haters are important to your success because they remind you of your why, even when they don’t mean to. If you’re trying to launch a new company or design a new product, haters will tell you why your design is stupid or your company idea isn’t worth it (or wrong). Most companies begin because there’s a need in the world that isn’t being met. Haters help keep that vision alive by reminding how the current state of things isn’t working (and how your current ideas or products aren’t good enough). Use that reminder to reconnect with your WHY and go back to basics. It will make you better.
7. They sweeten the rewards of your hard work
This is by far the best reason for haters. When people defiantly stand in your way and tell you what you’re doing, who you’re being, or what you’re planning isn’t going to work, it feels sooo much better to prove them wrong when it, in fact, does work. Sure, reaching that milestone with everyone supporting you is awesome and will feel great. But, reaching that milestone despite the detractors and naysayers will feel significantly better. It’s the difference between celebrating with a small party of friends, and celebrating with a proverbial “screw you, haters” blowout that makes the news. The best revenge is a good life, right? Well, work your ass off and make your life as awesome as you want it, because throwing it back at your haters will only sweeten the deal.
The truth is there are two types of haters: 1, voices of reason, and 2, voices of envy. Sometimes the haters are there to talk some sense into you so you stay grounded, stay humble, and stay focused. Other times haters are there to express their own projections of jealousy and envy because you’re doing, having, or being someone they wish they could be. They’re projecting their dissatisfactions onto you, and it’s not your problem to fix, correct, or satisfy them.
You do you.
What have your haters motivated you to do or push to accomplish? How do you view haters?
If you have a story of your own, please share it in the comments below.