Haters Gonna Hate: Turning Criticism Into Empowerment

As my business grows, I’ve noticed something else that’s been growing.

No—not my inflated ego!

I’m talking about the number of haters, trolls, and other unpleasant people who seem obsessed with undermining my success.

Recently, I found out that an acquaintance had been badmouthing me to other people and saying my business practices are “unprofessional.” Sadly, I thought this person was kind and supportive of me.

The comment really stung, especially because I didn’t expect this person to be critical. I’m still feeling a bit hurt because while I don’t present myself like a humorless business women, I believe my business practices are professional.

Have you ever met a hater in your life? Do you know someone who never thinks you’re good enough?

Instead of wallowing in self-pity, or worse, lashing out at the person, mull over the following truths about haters.

Remember That Haters are Cowards

Ah, the internet. It’s essential to my online business, and it provides me with endless amounts of funny cat videos.

But the internet also makes it incredibly easy for haters to post anonymous hateful comments. These trolls often like to post obnoxious comments just to stir the pot and get a rise out of people.

Haters can hide like cowards online, but they can also act cowardly in real life. The person who was talking smack about my business was telling everyone else what she didn’t like, but she never talked to me directly.

Some people talk big when the person they’re criticizing isn’t around to defend herself. It’s a shameful way to act. If you have an opinion, go ahead and own it instead of hiding.

I adore Gabrielle Bernstein’s video about responding to criticism. There’s always something you can learn from an unpleasant situation (ie, to be more loving). Sending the hater peace and love helps you stay true to your values and not sink to their level.

Consider the Source

Sometimes the person judging you actually knows what they’re talking about and might want to help you improve. If that’s the case, you can take in the information and decide for yourself whether you want to act on it. I often appreciate constructive criticism from other coaches.

But there will always be those people who don’t have a clue what they’re talking about. They’re not in your industry, they don’t understand the systems you’re using, or they’re just the type who has to share their 2 cents about everything.

The person who criticized my business doesn’t fall into my ideal customer vision. She’s not the kind of person who would ever hire a coach or therapist, and her method of handling challenges wouldn’t sync up well with my coaching style (these are things I normally look out for during my Ready, Set, Go! calls).

Not only that, but she has never started her own business. Isn’t that always how it is? Someone who has never done what we’re doing is often the most critical. If the source of the hate doesn’t matter, then the comment doesn’t matter either.

Get Back to Work

You’ve heard the saying that living well is the best revenge. It’s true—the quickest way to get over a hateful remark is to keep doing what you’re doing and prove them wrong.

So what if they don’t understand why you dyed your hair purple? Get out there and rock it!

So what if they think you’re a loser? Celebrate the fact that you’re a stronger person for facing adversity instead of coasting through life without any challenges!

And to those of you who don’t understand me and my so-called “unprofessional” ways? I’d love to chat, but I’m too busy helping women find out how truly sweet their lives can be!

Get back to work, do your thing, and go for it! The haters want you to slow down, doubt yourself, and give up.

Don’t do it. Don’t let them win.

You are special. You have value. And I believe in you.

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  1. richelle on August 5, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    Another excellent post, Sage! Great advice for dealing with haters.
    People who pull that kind of crap are usually attempting to mask their own deficiencies. It’s hard not to be hurt by it, but it helps to remember it’s their problem, not yours.
    We don’t need to pay any attention to the haters, there are plenty of true fans out there. and we will only find them by being ourselves.

  2. Sarah @ This Is What I Eat on May 29, 2013 at 8:17 pm

    Wow, I’m really sorry to hear that you’ve been dealing with a hater. I think you are amazing, strong and inspiring and I love that you aren’t a carbon copy of every other coaching business out there. That’s what makes you special and while you may inject a little humor and personality into your business, you are far from unprofessional. That’s a ridiculous accusation and I admire how you can take criticism and turn it into empowerment. That’s what makes you a GREAT coach.

    • Sarah @ This Is What I Eat on May 29, 2013 at 8:18 pm

      Oh and PS, I love that pic, you look great and I love the outfit!

      • Sage Grayson on May 29, 2013 at 9:57 pm

        Thanks for the kind words, Sarah! I can’t please everybody, and I wouldn’t want to try.

        I love this outfit too! Every piece is from Ann Taylor Loft, except for the shoes–Payless. My necklace looks like huge pink gumballs.

  3. Sandee on May 29, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    I’m sorry that happened to you, Sage. Haters are definitely gonna hate, so having a positive attitude like yours and sending them light and love works best!

    • Sage Grayson on May 29, 2013 at 9:54 pm

      Thanks, Sandee. I know you understand this! 🙂 Just kill ’em with kindness, right?

  4. Molly on May 29, 2013 at 9:44 am

    I’m sorry to hear that someone was saying hurtful things about you. Shame on them for that! How you’re handling, though, is terrific! I agree with everything you said here and try to keep that in mind when going through these types of things, too.

    I think you’re a wonderful person who is both professional and fun. Anyone who has you as a life coach is very lucky!

    • Sage Grayson on May 29, 2013 at 11:21 am

      Oh, thank you so much, Molly! I feel lucky to be able to work with the women I coach.

  5. kate@stillroomtogrow on May 29, 2013 at 6:45 am

    I think you are great Sage! I always feel inspired and motivated after visiting your site!

    • Sage Grayson on May 29, 2013 at 8:59 am

      Thanks, Kate! I think I just needed to remind myself that I’m doing good work too. 🙂