How to Handle Haters

Lessons in Entrepreneurship: How to Deal with Haters

As a business owner, how do you respond to criticism? Here are tips from the Startup Hustle TV cast on how to deal with haters. Read on.

The bigger your business grows, the more challenges you’ll deal with. And one of those challenges is handling the harsh reality of haters.

In our previous Startup Hustle episode about entrepreneurship lessons, we’ve discussed what haters are and what they do. Now, we’ll look into how you must deal with them as a startup owner.

With that said, here are some tips from seasoned entrepreneurs on how to deal with haters.

1. Empathize.

Sometimes you need to look at things from a different perspective. Who knows, you might find the root cause of those criticisms. Hernan Sias, the founder of Business Bros, suggests an empathetic approach.

“You’ve made an impact in somebody’s life. Hopefully, you’re making a more positive impact than negative ones. But maybe you just hit at [the] heartstrings of somebody who’s going through something and they’re just projecting their feelings, emotions, and struggles on you,” he said.

So, put yourselves in your hater’s shoes. Although it might not be a pleasant experience, being empathetic will often lead to better results. You might even end up finding the solution to the problem.

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2. Turn the other cheek.

Haters are inevitable. This is something you’ll have to accept as part of your entrepreneurial journey. You can’t get rid of them, but you can get better at dealing with them.

“If you have an opinion on something, there’s someone else who has an opposite opinion. And you are guaranteed to attract criticism. It would be almost impossible to get everybody to agree with everything you say,” says Matt DeCoursey, founder of Full Scale and Startup Hustle.

Kyle Steppe, COO of KC Hemp Co, shares the same sentiment, attributing it as a professional hazard. It’s wiser to just walk away from the trouble your haters are trying to brew.

“They’re always going to be there. Don’t spend your time worrying about what they’re doing,” he shares.

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3. Keep your cool.

Another tip on how to deal with haters is to simply ignore them. Don’t buy into the drama. Haters like to get a rise out of you. Take a breath, calm down, and show them how little they’re affecting you.

“You make the haters irrelevant when you don’t give weight to the phrase. Silence their voices. Stop taking things personally, stop making assumptions. And when you stop doing those things, their volume in your life gets diminished,” says Andrew Morgan, CEO of Marknology.

4. Surround yourself with positivity.

Dealing with difficult people can take a toll on your mental health. This is why it’s important to build your network of support and connect with a good community.

“I needed my inner circle to believe in me. They needed to be positive people going after their own goals and that could rub off on me,” says Andrew.

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5. Focus on your goals.

Let your success speak for itself. Don’t let the critics distract you from the things that truly matter. Instead, focus on the things that you can control, such as working hard on your business.

“The best way to overcome haters is to continue winning. Continue doing the stuff they’re not doing and do it better,” said Matt.

6. Capitalize on the situation.

“Realize that when these people are engaging with you, you’re in business,” said Hernan.

As they say, bad publicity is still publicity. Even haters will boost your numbers. At the end of the day, they are reading your posts, listening to your podcast, and increasing the traffic on your website. These are the upside to having critics.

It is impossible, indeed, to please everyone. Clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson would say, “In order to be able to think, you have to risk being offensive”.

Whatever content you put out will be subject to both praise and criticism. Be prepared to take the high road often and learn from these struggles. After all, resilience is one of the traits that make a successful entrepreneur.

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Want to hear more thoughts about entrepreneurship? Startup Hustle TV features seasoned entrepreneurs sharing their startup stories. Learn all about their challenges and triumphs in the business. It’s a show made by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs. Watch now!