There is an aspect of being in business for ourselves that can be a hard pill to swallow… especially when you are in a business that is very “personally” focused. My business is very much a part of me and who I am (which I think is true for most of us in this day and age of social media – our businesses come from who we are and are a reflection of ourselves as individuals).
When you step out into the “limelight” of your business there are people who won’t like you.
Now it may not be that they don’t like you as a person per se – it might be that they don’t like what you are offering, they may not like an article you wrote, they may not like that you did A, B or C. Regardless of what it is that they don’t like it can feel like “they don’t like me.”
I remember this being a big part of my decision a few years back when I decided to officially “step out from behind the curtain” and write my book Becoming an Online Business Manager. Up until then I had been working as an OBM, I was a behind the scenes gal who wasn’t directly out there in the spotlight. But when considering writing a book, part of what came up was “what if they don’t like the book… what if they don’t like me?!”
And yet I know, if you want to do something big or bigger in your business, this is necessary. My friend and former biz partner Andrea Lee calls this your BOP – taking a Bold, Outrageous and Provocative stand in your marketplace. Being willing to step into, talk about and represent stuff in a way that maybe others won’t like… which on the flip side is part of what makes you *really* attractive to folks as well.
Almost like you can’t have one without the other – if you want to make a really strong impact/connection, you need to also be willing to potentially turn off people in the process.
Being a people pleaser at heart, this is a toughie… if you are going to step out in any big way, you are going to have to accept and find a way to be OK with the fact that not everyone will like what you do, what you offer and who you are. Not fun imo.
How to handle this? A few things that I do when I get negative feedback or comments from people:
- My first reaction is to feel sad – I will admit it. I’m certainly not in the place where I can automatically let these things roll off my back without a second thought. Yes, I initially feel ick/sad/bad about whatever it may be. I allow myself to feel that and then I move on to…
- What is valid in this feedback? Sometimes there is something to be learned from negative feedback – something you can do differently or better in your business. I believe this is an opportunity to consider that. OR in some cases it might just be that someone doesn’t like you and/or your stuff – which you can’t really do much about (nor should you try). My gut usually comes into play here, it tells me if I need to “step up” in some area or if this is more about the other person and not me. Then I give myself permission to…
- Not take it personally. As much as it might feel like a personal criticism, or even in some cases a personal “attack,” it’s really not about you. Especially when things are overly negative or harsh – that is about the other person and whatever painful place they may be in themselves. As one of my mentors says “You can be responsible TO someone but you can’t be responsible FOR someone”… in other words, you can’t make someone like you or not, it is ultimately up to them.
How about you? What do you do when people “don’t like you?” OR how do you let your fear of people not liking you get in the way of what you want to do in your business? Oooo lala, interesting to consider…