Written by Tarla Makaeff
The journey as an entrepreneur can be a long, arduous one. Often when we see entrepreneurs at the 6 and 7 figure mark, it was years in the making. And I know this as a copywriter who spent six years in marketing agencies building my writing prowess and expertise only to then go freelance and find entrepreneurial success, creating a 7 figure brand in the process.
But along will come someone who conveniently works as an employee, collecting a weekly paycheck and never working to build an actual business from the ground up, to criticize you. Criticize something they don't have the faintest clue about because it's easy to stand on a lofty perch as a comfortably paid, salaried employee working for a company, especially a well-known one. Look, I have nothing against employees - I've been one. But I'm not cool with those who put down entrepreneurs.
I've been misquoted. I've had my character maligned. I've had factually incorrect things written about me. So trust me, when I say I understand what it's like to have haters, but always remember the hate in someone's heart is always a reflection of who THEY are and how very small they feel inside. They approach their human need for significance in a destructive way. Rather than pursuing the need for their life to have meaning and importance through a positive fashion like helping or contributing to others in meaningful ways, they pursue this need by competing with and criticizing others. It's their unhealthy attempt to feel significant.
Since I've been both an employee and a business owner, I can say that being an employee no matter how little or much you get paid is a cushy job. Someone just tells you what to do and sends you off with money every couple of weeks. But we, as entrepreneurs, are the risk takers, the dreamers, and the doers that others wouldn't dare try to be - because they wouldn't have it in them - not for one day, much less one second. No one tells us what to do and at any given moment we have to figure out what our next step is totally alone, often paving the way through trial and error as we go. That's why I respect any entrepreneur who has the guts to put everything on the line to fulfill their dreams and make a bigger impact on the world than they ever possibly could sitting behind a desk in an office.
This brings to mind of one of my favorite success stories of all time: that of Jack Nicholson. He's a brilliant actor, so you might be surprised to learn he didn't have this meteoric rise that we all imagine when we think of Hollywood celebrities (or what haters apparently think of all entrepreneurs). No, from his first B-movie film debut in 1958, it took Jack eleven years (yeah, that's 11) for his big break. In fact, he started to doubt acting was for him so much so that he briefly transitioned to screenwriting and directing. And it wasn't until the 1970s that his film career took off with his 1975 portrayal in One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest winning him an Oscar. That was 17 years after he started. Imagine if he'd given up. We'd have missed out on one of the greatest actors of all time.
In fact, they say it takes the typical celebrity 7-12 years to become famous. And it takes the average small business 7-10 years to become truly successful. In fact, if you look at any influencer online who is really big (in the 7 figure mark), that's exactly the timeframe it took them. And it was the same with my personal experience as a top copywriter. Those miracle stories? They're the exception, not a guide.
People are rarely popular overnight. Every business faces tough times, but that long wait for success eventually pays off. Yet we live in a delusional society full of critics who think if you don't make it in some grandiose way in a year, two, or even five in business, you'll never make it. Somehow they have amnesia when it comes to all the amazing successes in any field who took time to find their footing.
And online business? That's at another level. People who aren't in it don't have the slightest clue of what goes into all of the social media content creation, email marketing, funnels, digital product creation, and more. They can't fathom all the time, blood, sweat, and tears it takes to figure out your path (hello, crazy amount of choice online) much less make everything work once you do. Of course, you can get up and running fairly quickly and reach milestones, but it takes time to reach a formidable level of success. In fact, well-known email provider MailChimp's journey to success was 17 years in the making! I've said it many times, but I'll say it again for the millionth. Online business is A LOT of hard work upfront. You have to have a strong work ethic, emotional fortitude, patience, and faith while you are building your business and putting everything in place. So I tip my fedora to you because, girl, you are one badass boss babe.
For all the haters who hate so hard because they secretly wished they had the balls you do, know there are so many more who admire you for your perseverance, resilience, and originality. And I am one of them. Whether your business takes off in a year or many years later, the fun is in proving the egotists wrong... you know, the ones who think answering to someone else for 40 years is somehow superior to being your own boss and living like others only dreamed of in 10 years.
1. Remember that only a small person will criticize someone with a large mission.
They don't have the foresight because they've never been taught to think this way. They have an employee mindset. Their mission isn't theirs at all, it's someone else's. They are a follower. You are a leader. There's no competition because without leaders, our world would have no direction. It's super easy to criticize someone. It's harder to believe in others when you don't even believe in yourself.
2. Realize it means you are doing something right.
Last time I checked, when you have haters, it's because you've accomplished something or reached some level of success. People don't hate on people who have nothing going on. They don't pay enough attention to those who aren't making strides to even criticize them to begin with. Whatever you have accomplished has moved them to anger so much so that they needed to comment on it. They're literally spending their time and energy to talk about you. So who really has the power now? YOU. The bottom line? They are jealous of someone who shines. You know what they say... those in the dark will always try to tear down those in the light.
3. Use them as an example of how you don't want to be.
Hurt people hurt people. You will come across many negative people in your life. But girlfran', their opinions don't matter. I mean, it's almost laughable. Who are they? God? No one has any right to judge your life except the Creator Himself. When they behave with nastiness, remind yourself to provide kindness to others so you never become who they are. Instead of being someone who tears others down (and even delights in it), be the person who lifts others up and supports and motivates them. They can be the hater. You be the lover. Send compassion their way because they likely have significant emotional trauma from childhood to lash out that way, and they really need your prayers.
4. Get your success revenge.
When they tell you you'll never succeed, never accomplish your goals, or some other array of "you're a loser" feigned as concern or with an outright air of pity, instead of telling them to suck it (but feel free to do that in your mind), do this. Get your mother effin' revenge - not to prove anything to them because they certainly don't matter (although they think they do) but to quiet them up with all your achievements. Accomplishing your dream goal after they said you couldn't... let me tell you is the best feeling. What do you think people thought of me becoming a writer? Starving writer, right? No, I created a 7 figure brand. All the people who thought I was fooling myself because it didn't happen overnight, well, they ate their words. They didn't have a clue how business actually works. This isn't a movie where your fairy godmother sweeps you up and throws you in an enchanting life, it's real life where shit takes time to grow... especially when you're at it all alone while having to deal with haters.
So love, I salute you. You're magnificent. You're amazing. I know you have it in you. I believe in you. And I can't wait to hear about how you make all your dreams come true, no matter if it's 1 year from now or 10 years from now. Your journey is perfect however it turns out. Just keep living your life and spreading your sparkle everywhere you go. I love you.
Need help with your mindset? Then it all starts with self-love. Check out my texting community here created just for female entrepreneurs like you.
Tarla Makaeff is a self-made entrepreneur, online business coach, digital course creator, and the copy queen. She helps creative, heart-centered female entrepreneurs start and grow their purpose-filled business online.