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How to Deal With Criticism as an Entrepreneur

how to deal with criticismAs a 16-year-old entrepreneur whose blog is constantly experiencing growth online one thing I’ve come to discover is that as long as you’re progressing you’ll always be criticized, directly or indirectly. Yes! There is only one way to avoid criticism completely and that one way is not to succeed.

As an entrepreneur there are a lot of decisions you have to make, it will please some and it will displease others and some people will even go to the extent of criticising you publicly. It might be very difficult to move forward or comport yourself in cases like this but once you believe the two points below you’ll be able to overcome critics easily:

1. You Can’t Satisfy Everybody: I’m someone who has a strong belief in myself and my abilities, I take decisions by myself and one thing I’ve come to learn the hard way is that you can never satisfy everybody. Once you could understand this you’ll begin to see critics as minorities and you won’t take anything they say seriously.

2. Some People are Going Nowhere, and They’re Ready to Stop Others: If you’ve ever heard the term trolls online you’ll understand better. Here’s a definition of trolls in the internet slang (excerpt taken from copyblogger):

In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts controversial, inflammatory, irrelevant or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room or blog, with the primary intent of provoking other users into an emotional or disciplinary response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.

Once you understand the concept of these trolls and you know that they’re going nowhere it will be much easier for you to succeed. These trolls are the ones who will criticize your every move, they’re the ones who will go out publicly to insult you and you’ll find it difficult to succeed online until you can understand these trolls properly.

We all have our own freedom, we have our right to speech and decision and if I become your enemy because I took a decision you don’t support then it is obvious you’re an internet troll. I’ll also like you to understand that to succeed online you have to be strong at taking decisions and you shouldn’t be confused by anybody, you’re the one who built your business to where it is, you know how to do it and you shouldn’t be forced into doing something that will impair your growth.

Also, when you see these trolls criticizing you it’s important not to take their criticism to heart, in fact, pretend as if they don’t exist, if you do otherwise there’s every probability you’ll give up your entrepreneurial career in reaction to their criticism.

Now that you’ve known the two major types of people you should ignore we’ll now visit what you should do when they come around.

1. Do Nothing

I’ve taken some decisions in my life when I was supposed to do nothing, I took most of these decisions out of anger and I regretted ever taking these steps.

First try to understand that most of these critics are strong enemies of yours and it will be very difficult convincing them, any action you take to convince or react to them will give them an ego boost and will also fuel them to criticize you the more.

I’ve heard and read this saying several times and it wasn’t until recently that I began to realize how true it is, the saying goes thus: the best answer for a fool is silence. So short but true. Responding to every moves of a fool will make him think he is of any importance thereby keeping on playing his pranks, ignoring a fool makes him of little importance thereby leading to him keeping shut.

It’s important to first realize that any decision you take in anger can come back to bite you and anytime you read a negative opinion of critics about you it makes you more angry and furious so in cases like this it’s very important to do nothing. For weeks, don’t even think about it, once that anger in you has gone down you’ll be able to take the right decision.

Another reason why doing nothing might be the best option for you is that in most cases it makes the critics look like a fool since their main intention is to make you angry and strike reaction from your part but if they see no response from you whatsoever they’ll begin to see themselves as someone of no importance, and nothing can be more insulting to them than this so in a lot of cases they’ll give up. What if they don’t? The other points below will tell you what to do.

2. Observe Their Criticism

One thing I’ve come to learn over time is that I’m in no wise better than others, my decisions are always flawed and are not always the best so anytime someone criticizes me, directly or indirectly, I’ll read and re-read the criticism to see if there’s need for me to improve.

It doesn’t matter how hateful the criticism of your critics may be, there might be some truth in it so it is very important to observe their criticism properly.

When trying to observe the criticism of others about you it’s also important to look at the percentage of people who disagree with you, for example, if over 50% of your followers disagree with you there’s every probability that you’re the one who is wrong but if only 2% disagree with you and you got the full support of the others you should know clearly that you’re on the right track.

It might be difficult observing criticisms against you because sometimes there are some decisions in which almost everybody will disagree with you but is the best for you, in cases like this I’ll advise you to follow your instinct only (and only) after you have carefully observed their criticism to see if there is any truth in it.

3. See it as a Sign of Progress

If you’ve been observing WritersinCharge for sometimes now you’ll notice I’m gradually trying to cut this blog from the blogging tips niche and making it more of an entrepreneurial blog. There’s one thing I noticed in the blogosphere recently and that’s the same people saying great comment to the rubbish posts other people are writing. You’ll see bloggers blogging about themselves everyday and saying a lot of irrational things yet you’ll see a lot of people who call themselves effective bloggers commenting on these silly posts, why? Mostly because they also want the blog author to comment on their blogs. I see that as total foolishness!

Take a look at Darren’s Blog, Brian’s Blog and Daniel’s Blog, how many times do you see these type of irrational comments? Many of these type of bloggers don’t comment on big blogs because they know they won’t get any thing in return so they decide to comment only on small blogs whose author will reciprocate with them.

My Point: If you’re not progressing and you’re still maintaining the small audience you have a lot of people will support everything you say (even if it’s not right) because they want something from you but if you’re achieving great results and you’re not dancing to the tune of people you’ll begin to receive a lot of negative feedback and criticism.

Criticism can be a sign of progress because if you’re not that big you’ll hardly be criticized. It’s also important to take a look at those criticizing you, if it’s someone in the same niche/field as you whom you’re far successful than you should know that in most cases that person is doing it out of sheer hatred and jealousy, nothing more!

If you discovered that criticism on your part is a sign of you progressing you don’t need to do anything, in this case you should even be happy.

4. Prepare Your Audience

Critics can be very bad and since they have no goal or future ambition, all they want to do is destroy. They might even go on to confuse your followers.

Another great way to deal with criticism is by preparing your followers, let them know why you took the action you took and let them know how and why it will benefit them, make it clear that anything they hear otherwise is nothing but a lie. This might sound funny but it helps prepare your readers for it and strengthen their belief in you, instead of the critics confusing your followers your followers will be the ones fighting the critics for you.

CAUTION: When preparing your followers it is very important not to use your blog/website/influence as a platform to abuse and insult the fellow who is criticising you, it makes you look foolish and unprofessional and the best thing to do in cases like this is to keep shut and let the person see the kind of fool he/she is.

Once You Understand This…

Once you could understand that in this world there are two types of people – we have friends and enemies – it will be easier for you to succeed. If you think we only have friends you’d have failed before you realize it. Get my point, what I’m trying to say here is that you should prepare yourself too, believe you’ll be criticized soon so it wouldn’t be sudden and heart-breaking when it happens.

There’s a lot for you to achieve in life and the worst thing you’ll ever do is to allow yourself to be slowed down by critics, follow the above tips to deal with criticism as an entrepreneur.

Onibalusi Bamidele is a 16-year-old entrepreneur living the internet lifestyle, subscribe to his blog (via email or RSS) for updates from him, you can also download his guest blogging guide to improve your knowledge on guest blogging.

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Category: blogging

42 Comments on "How to Deal With Criticism as an Entrepreneur"

  1. Samuel says:

    Awesome post bro! Critiziers never last so the best thing to do is to “Pay no mind to them because you are two steps ahead of them” it’s always good to check what those who are critizing you are saying because you might need to pin up some loops and if you notice that you don’t have any loops to pin, you just keep smiling. I so much agree with the #4. πŸ˜€ is just like you are telling those people who are critizing you that “Before they log you out, you will time them out” Nice job man. Have fun.

    • Onibalusi says:

      Exactly Bro,

      You got it. The best way to overcome them is to treat them as if they don’t exist, at the end the frustration is all theirs πŸ™‚

    • Jocuri noi says:

      I totally agree with you.

  2. Hi Oni,

    I believe that criticism is something that one should get used to when it comes to blogging. As you’ve said, there’s no chance of satisfying each and everyone. Even if you have the best blog in the world by all standards, there will be people who don’t like it. That is because we are all different – some like one thing, while others don’t.

    • Onibalusi says:

      Exactly Daniel,

      You can never satisfy everybody and once you could understand this you wouldn’t have problems dealing with people.

      • Poker Tutorial says:

        I agree with you here, guys. No matter where you go, who you talk to, what you do, etc. there will always be criticism, or in today’s lingo “haters.” You provide great tips here Oni. I think it is always important to have thick skin so that small criticisms do not completely wear you down and break you.

        John

  3. Lye Kuek Hin says:

    Hi Oni,

    This is such a killer, you didn’t disappoint what you announced in your Twitter. Criticism will destroy you and the other thing that will bring you down is negative feedback. People tend to discourage you whenever you want to do something.

    This confuse you in believing in yourself. I like what you said in the post. We need to believe in our abilities to carve the route that we need to take, not easily influence by others.

    Thanks for sharing this great post.

    Lye

    • Onibalusi says:

      Exactly Lye,

      I wrote this post from my heart so I knew it won’t disappoint, and I’m glad it didn’t πŸ™‚

      One thing I hear most personal development bloggers say is, follow your instincts…once you know what you’re doing is good you would find it easier dealing with critics.

      Thanks so much for the awesome support.

      BTW: I just sent you a mail.

  4. Devesh says:

    Hi Onibalusi,

    Awesome post about criticism. You’ve made some super awesome points. Great work dude.

    Keep rocking.

    • Onibalusi says:

      Hi Dev ( a.k.a blokube :).),

      Exactly, I’m glad you loved the post.

      Keep rocking the blogosphere!

  5. Online business directory says:

    No doubt, you have to face critical at any spot. To criticize has become their occupation. It’s not there fault but their weakness. If some one want to get glory, than it’s sure that if he feel something wrong in himself/herself. He must root out that evil at the spot. On the other hand never attention on criticizers. Strive hard and get glory………….

    • Onibalusi says:

      Exactly,

      I wonder why some people find pleasure in it ;). For me, I believe the time I have is not enough to achieve what I want to achieve not alone wasting it criticizing others πŸ˜‰

      I’m glad you loved the post.

  6. SEO Consulting says:

    Hi Onibalusi,
    I totally agree, there is constructive criticism and then there is just plain mean…there is more than enough room in this world for everybody to succeed in there own wat at something and all those negative critics need to quit being so bitter…haters be gone

    • Onibalusi says:

      Exactly,

      You got it! They should quit being so bitter. It pains me to be criticized but now it’s a part of me, I don’t give the damn. The only thing I love about them is that they help me see my flaws and improve on them but I hate criticism out of sheer jealousy πŸ˜‰

      Thanks so much for the awesome comment,
      -Onibalusi

  7. Daisy @ Tinnitus Treatment says:

    Honestly I never read any blogger talking about this topic, but you brought a very good thing in front of us. We should not waste our time and energy on this criticism because following them can easily put your focus off the topic and lead more failures.

    • Onibalusi says:

      Exactly Daisy,

      I wrote it because I faced it, and I’m glad it could be of help πŸ™‚

  8. Patricia says:

    Hi Oni

    You have wisdom beyond your years. This is an excellent post and you have obviously learnt some valuable lessons very early on. Well done for sharing them and may you continue to be who you are….crititisers or not.

    Patricia Perth Australia

    • Onibalusi says:

      Hi Patricia,

      I must confess your comment flatters me (flattery helps me anyway ;).:).)

      Exactly! As long as you continue to be who you are you wouldn’t have problems achieving what you ought to.

      Thanks so much for the awesome support!

  9. Kok Siong says:

    Sometimes, i will afraid on the criticism. However, criticism is good for improvement. Without criticism, we do not know what we are doing now is correct or on the right path.
    Yes, i agree with you that we should learn how to deal with the criticism. Thanks to you Onibalusi for this useful information!

    • Fisayo says:

      Yes Kok,

      Paying serious attention to criticism could do a lot of good to your image and the health of your internet business.

      Though depending on how a critic phrases his/her words, one can easily get depressed but the truth is that there could be sense in some of the points made.

      It usually helps to allow a few hours or even days to pass then re-read ‘mean’ comments so that you can personally judge what’s said with wisdom and calm rather than anger and gloom.

      Bamidele, that’s some important stuff you talked about.

  10. Ding Neng says:

    Hi Oni, i think this is the first time i comment on your blog, even though I have read many amazing articles from you. I would say that this post would be very helpful for people who are transiting to be successful.

    It is sometimes said as a ‘glass ceiling’, that people cant go over and become a top blogger or achiever in their niche, because they can’t handle criticisms, and many times, they are pulled down by these criticisms of others.

    I simply love what you wrote here, on how to handle criticisms, because I’m having some right now, and not v tactful yet on how to handle them. Thanks Oni πŸ™‚

    Ding Neng
    Singapore

  11. Nice insights! I myself wouldn’t choose to do nothing, mind you, as one unhappy jerk can smear you a thousand ways online, but I would take the time to always take the high road and see how I can learn from the situation.

    Sometimes that takes a lot of patience….

    • Onibalusi says:

      Hi Barbara,

      Exactly! Most of my best improvement ideas were taken from being criticized so observing criticisms works effectively.

  12. Rahul @ MazaKaro says:

    thank you for sharing this great post !!!! very well done about how to handle criticisms !! good way for success !!!! thanxx

  13. Axel says:

    This is really a great post Onibalusi,
    I am still blown away from what you wrote although you are still 16 years old. At that age I was playing video games or something.

    You are right, in the world there will always be people who agree with you and people who no matter what you will do they will never agree with you.
    People will always be jealous of what others have and because of this they will try to bring them down.

    • Onibalusi says:

      Awesome Axel,

      I’m glad you could relate with my points.

      Thanks so much for the awesome comment!

  14. Remove Moles says:

    I totally agree with you, especially #3 “See it as a sign of progression”. If you have a lot of people criticizing what you’re doing it normally means you are very successful or envied. Positive energy is not the only thing that comes with success, as you also will receive a lot of negative energy when you become successful. You’re right though, if you’re experiencing a lot of criticism because you’re progressing and advancing then you should actually be happy about it.

  15. Criticism are indeed part of the game that you play. Its either good or bad mouthing about your business. All the insights discussed above are certainly reality. What I learned for those points of views that “you can’t please everybody” but as long as your doing your the right thing I am sure you’ll be rewarded even if there’s a lot of detractors along your way.

  16. i am really looking to start a business soon so these kind of things are really helpful to me

  17. Alan Mater says:

    Excellent post, Oni.

    I was just reading an article on Popular Science where a lot of commenters were flaming and berating the guy who was the center of the article. These trolls just wanted to get a rise out of him and drag him down to their level. Sadly, they succeeded.

    Your point about ignoring people like this and not stooping to their level is paramount. It only encourages them to continue, and it makes you look no better than they are.

    As you pointed out, criticism can be a good thing as your critics may be right. You can learn a lot from your peers, and it’s important to hear them out. However, trolls who do nothing but offer negative thoughts and do nothing to help or encourage you should be ignored at all costs.

    Overall, having critics and those who want to put you down is a sure sign that you’re gaining momentum and heading in the right direction.

  18. Jocuri says:

    We should not waste our time and energy on this criticism because following them can easily

  19. Jocuri noi says:

    It is really a nice post, it is always great reading such posts, this post is good in regards of both knowledge as well as information. Very fascinating read, thanks for sharing this post here.

  20. Jocuri y4 says:

    Criticism is good,if you know how to do it you can rebuild a lot of people.

  21. Jocuri online says:

    Long but great post. Since I’m an online entrepreneur I had to deal with this criticism…

  22. Dictionar Roman Englez says:

    Criticism is good for me. I hate when others are annoying me with their criticism, but it’s necessary. If you want to be a succesful entrepreneur, you’ll obviously have to take over criticism.

  23. This is really a great post Onibalusi,
    I am still blown away from what you wrote although you are still 16 years old. At that age I was playing video games or something.

  24. jocuri says:

    You are right, in the world there will always be people who agree with you and people who no matter what you will do they will never agree with you.

  25. I had huge fan of your weblog, I’d have an interest to see extra about this subject.. Bless you for publishing this great content.. Anyhow, So i’m gonna subscribe to the rss and I hope you make useful articles as soon as again rapidly.

  26. Armani Sunglasses says:

    Very fascinating read, thanks for sharing this post here.

  27. Really great article ,thanks for this useful information πŸ™‚

  28. Brother dr350 drum says:

    We can’t please everybody. Live with it.

  29. Ankit says:

    Really nice article…
    From my personal experience of blogging I realised that healthy criticism helps a lot to improve and some people have a habit to criticise no matter what ever you do..

Onibalusi

Welcome! I'm Bamidele Onibalusi, a young writer and blogger. I believe writers are unique and highly talented individuals that should be given the respect they deserve. This blog offers practical advice to help you become truly in charge of your writing career.

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