I don’t know if it’s originally a millennial term, but for the last few years I hear more and more the term “haters” being used in professional settings, especially with entrepreneurs.
The top definition for “hater” in Urban Dictionary says, “a person that simply cannot be happy for another’s person’s success.”
But I have also seen entrepreneurs wanting to feel important by having “haters” that they erroneously label people that provide some kind of criticism as “haters.”
It’s a fact, entrepreneurs can be very passionate about their projects and very protective of their ideas and leadership style. Many times to a point where they become blind to their erratic decisions or refuse to see or accept any flaws.
When talking to people about their business and asking for advice, many entrepreneurs don’t really want honest feedback, unless it’s positive or in a form of praise.
And so, when someone provides them with criticism, and that valuable feedback doesn’t please them, the entrepreneur is oftentimes quick to label the critic a “hater.”
It’s important to realize here that some of the harshest criticism you’ll receive will actually come from people who truly want you to succeed, not from “haters.” Be humble and open to this valuable insight.
Now, I’m not saying that all feedback you get will be good for your entrepreneurial objectives, but you should always conduct yourself appreciative and professionally.
Even better, know how to filter criticism, use it to your advantage, and turn it into something good; it may lead to positive results or spark new ideas to improve your business.
But when you put yourself in a position where you can’t take any criticism, you risk isolating yourself into an imaginary world of “me vs my haters”, where talking frequently about them becomes pernicious to your wellbeing while making you look weak.
When you put too much emphasis on your “haters” you are not only wasting valuable time and losing focus on your original business goal, but your objectives start shifting in the wrong direction as you give more importance to your “haters” by making your desire to beat them part of your goals.
Instead, convert that energy to drive you and your business forward.
Concentrate on the people you work with who rely on your leadership, focus on your clients whose positive experiences on your products and services are helping you grow your business, and focus on the investors who have put their trust in you believing in what you do.
Any amount of time spent on your “haters” is counterproductive. Additionally, your audience doesn’t care nor wants to hear about them, so quit talking about them on your social media posts or in public conversations.
If, on the other hand, there are people begrudging you in the openness of social media, don’t resent them, and don’t make their problem your problem. Continue with your life focusing on those that truly matter to you.
Dale Carnegie said it brilliantly, “no one ever kicks a dead dog.” If people are talking about you, take it as a great indicator that you are doing something valuable that is getting people’s attention.
The best way to avoid criticism is to do nothing and be a nobody, but as long as you are an entrepreneur who wants to accomplish big things, know that you’ll hardly be immune to criticism.
Learn that, although you may not have control over how people perceive and treat you, you do have absolute control over your reactions towards them and on how you let their actions affect you.
When you fully dominate this, you will see instantly that the “haters” have been reduced to nothing, becoming insignificant in your life.