I think often times as entrepreneurs we get too caught up in what's happening on our social media platforms versus staying focused on our actual objectives. Even when we say we don’t, we secretly check to see if our post got a like or share, or if someone commented.
Enter the haters.
For most of us know, if we’ve spent anytime online those little trolls like to do nothing but show up and blow up a perfectly good, thought-provoking post with their trivial antics and mindless chatter.
They will write the most outlandish things, often spewing nonsense. Even in their babble, though, we find ourselves offended and put out.
I remember when I posted on LinkedIn years ago when one of my two collaboration books made the Amazon best-seller list. I had this guy show up, a VP of some company in Wisconsin no less, who started badgering me on my post.
His first comment was, “I don’t know why you’re all excited your book became a best-seller, it’s all just a marketing ploy.”
At first I was a little put off. Then, I thought and responded, “Of course it is. Everything is a function of sales and marketing.”
Which I then added, “So, tell me what book have you written?”
He response, “Well, none … but, I know the business.”
Well, at least for me it was. As Brené Brown talks about in her work, referencing the quote by Theodore Roosevelt, The Man in the Arena, the cheap seats are easy … in fact, I ‘ve added a little to her quote:
“If you are not in, nor have you ever been in the arena, getting your ass kicked where you are bloody and marred, I am not interested in, nor am I available for your feedback, insights, or advice.”
I left it at that. Now, my community … well, that was another thing entirely. The blew up my feed and took that man down! Lol, got to love when you audience has your back.
Now, here’s the thing I want you to realize, I actually LOVE my haters. And, I do so for a few reasons:
- My haters give me access to new networks. Think about it. When someone posts on your thread, their community sees it, as well. I have actually picked up some clients this way. When I asked how they found out about my work, they tell me that someone they know always was commenting on my posts. So, they decided they needed to check me … lo and behold, they loved what they saw and became a new fan.
- My haters get my community all riled up. They spark engagement. Whenever one of the social media trolls decides to post up my thread, my community steps in and knocks them down. They share their thoughts, they debate, and they raise my algorithms in the process.
- My haters get me to pause and reflect, as sometimes they make a really good point and it gives me juice for another post, or an article. It helps to spark my creativity at times … and, has me check in with my own integrity and where I stand on something.
I will give you another example where a hater significantly impacted my business in a positive way. I received a call a few years back from a woman who asked me if I was taking on 1:1 clients.
I said that yes I was, and I was curious how she found out about me.
She then proceeded to share with me a situation that had happened at a local networking event (one I was not attending). She said my name had come up in conversation (I have no idea how), and that when it did, there was one woman who had plenty to say about me.
She very bluntly said that she didn’t like my approach or style. That while, yes I show up the same in every space, she thought I had no filter and was a bit too aggressive (I am laughing even as I write this as I don’t disagree … nor do I personally take offense to that. She isn’t the first person to say that. I tend to push people’s buttons. I know who I am, and I am not everyone’s “cup of tea”).
So, as she continued to talk about why she didn’t like me, the woman who reached out to me had an epiphany. This is what she told me: “The more she talked about you, the more I realized that I really didn’t like her style, and she definitely wasn’t the coach for me. I figured if she didn’t like you that much, you might just be the right person for me.”
That woman was a VIP client of mine for three years!
Ah, I love my haters. Ultimately, it’s not about me anyway. Their need to troll me, to light up my posts, and to follow my every move, just lets me know that their are secretly my fans.
They spend a lot of time following me and my work, which obviously triggers them. I consider that a win, as I know my work is here to disrupt old patterns, to stir some shit up, and to rattle some cages.
I am trying to help people wake up and remember who they are. That only happens when you get triggered, or feel like something is poking at you. Change does happen when we are comfortable. My work here is to push against the status quo, the numbness most people are meandering about in, where they are comatose and complacent.
And, I love the way one of my mentors told me once, “You haven’t arrived until the haters show up.”
So, I want to give a huge shout-out to all my haters.
You challenge me (and, often times make me laugh), you give me access to more people, and you make me see that my work is creating impact.
So, for all that and more … thanks.
I invite you to start loving your haters, too.