Once every other week, I host a Facebook Live Q&;A for my audience. Since I've achieved a few things in my business, there are questions that come up that I can't answer individually. During the session this past week a random person got on the session to call me a fraud. This isn't the first time someone has called me something and it won't be the last. As you build a business, there is no shortage of people that come out of the woodwork to "call you out" and claim they're better than you.
Criticism is part of the entrepreneurial journey. It intensifies as your business grows. The standard advice you hear is to ignore the "haters" but celebrate that you have some. Having a few "haters" is supposed to be some sort of indication that you've made it. That advice will have you ignoring lessons that give you an opportunity to learn and grow from. Entrepreneurship is about more than just business. You, as a person, is a big factor in how successful your business becomes. Here's what entrepreneurs need to understand about criticism.
The issue is with them, not you
People lash out when they are struggling to acknowledge their own issues. It's important to understand that it's much easier for them to project what they feel onto someone else. They are hurting, so they call someone out and try to rally others to hep them bring down that person
Handle their criticism in two ways. First, evaluate what they're saying. Is there any truth that can help you grow? See what can be learned even though they may simply be hurting. Second, realize that their issue is not yours. If you are adding value and conducting business in an honest way, what they're saying is not true.
Don't internalize negativity
Self-limiting beliefs take root when you internalize negativity. You get criticism that isn't true and you start to listen to it. As you listen, you start to question whether or not it's true. As you keep thinking about it, you internalize those words. This is in addition to the self-limiting beliefs that you already battle.
You should understand that words have power. What you put out in your Universe affects what's inside you. When you internalize the criticism of hurt people, you put yourself down a path that will make the criticism true. If you are going to build an amazing business, stay away from negativity at all cost and don't internalize the negativity you can't avoid.
You create and control your story
This is your life. This is your business. You get to create and control the story. No one else can force you into a story you don't want to live. Their criticism -- even if it has some truth -- doesn't have to be the end of your story. Confidence is an important part of entrepreneurship in many ways. Be confident in who you are and what you do. Take control. Build your story as you build your business. Change your story, if you must, but on your terms.
Let your success speak for you
Talk is cheap. There are more than enough words in the world of entrepreneurship. The online space is full of people talking about all the things they're going to do. Success is fabricated in many minds only because it looks good in a Facebook post. People won't hear your words. The critics will use those words against you. Your success is the best response.
Your success speaks volumes. It will be what people see and respect. Do less talking and make more power moves in silence. As you become more successful from taking action, you'll notice how quiet your critics get. Your success will repel them. Focus on what you need to do to build your life and business. Focus on what creating success means for you.
You're going to get critics and criticism no matter how positive what you do is. The world is full of unhappy and hurt people. Don't let what they do or say affect how you build your business. Evaluate and focus. Process what you're feeling when you get the criticism and move forward. Be true to yourself and what's important.
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This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com. Minor edits have been done by the Entrepreneur.com.ph editors