If you go to Amazon and click on “Best sellers,” you might notice something surprising.
Even though these are the books that are selling the most copies and many are loved by hundreds of thousands of people – their ratings aren’t always 5 star.
For example (at the time of writing), 53 people dislike (2 star) and 64 people even hate (1 star) The 5 Love Languages so much, they took the time to tell the world.
Book 1 of Fifty Shades of Grey has a mind blowing 31908 reviews. But guess what? 2733 of those reviewers didn’t like it (2 stars) and a whopping 7716 reviews HATED it (1 star.). I despise this book, so I’m not linking to it…
Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Successful People has been selling non-stop since 1989. Some of you reading this weren’t even BORN in 1989, yet it’s sold over 25 million copies worldwide, with another 15 million sales of the audio edition. But it’s only received an average of 4.4 stars on Amazon. Even Dr. Suess has 1 star reviews, and who in their right mind doesn’t love Dr. Suess?, He’s wonderful…
The lesson to be learned from this? No matter what you do or how well you do it, no matter how successful you are, no matter how many people you make happy – you will never please everybody all of the time and you shouldn’t even try, because it’s just the way it is. In fact it might even be said that until you have haters you’re not particularly successful.
“We armor ourselves against the cutting remark, the ad hominem attack, the person who just doesn’t like our stuff. But all of this is the feedback we get when we touch a nerve and are doing work that matters enough to care about. No, the worst sort of feedback is no feedback at all. That means we’ve created nothing but banality.”
-Seth Godin, March 6, 2013
It doesn’t matter what niche you’re in or how nice you are – there will be some people out there who don’t like what you have to say or what you do. Call me vain, but I was gutted when I first realized not everyone online liked me and what I do, but then I realized it doesn’t really matter, I refuse to change the person I am just to suit someone’s else’s idea of how I should be..
You have to grow a thick skin when you put yourself in the public eye. Every film, every book, every movie star or radio personality has critics. Every product producer or service provider has critics. In fact if you think about it, everything has critics. It’s easy to be a critic – all you do is show up and open your mouth. It’s much harder to be a producer. But guess who gets the real rewards? It’s not those yacking and making nasty comments from behind their computer screen, it’s those guys who actually have the strength and the guts to do something..
Now, if more people are giving you negative reviews than positive ones, you might have to rethink your strategy because at the end of the day, we’re not always right. But if you’re just hearing from one negative person every now and then, you’re probably on the right track. Remember, nobody has ever made a stew without stirring the pot, you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs etc, etc.
So next time someone posts a hateful remark on your blog or reports you for spam or does one of a hundred mean, nasty or thoughtless things, I want you to do just one thing: Smile, grit your teeth and remind yourself this is yet another sign you are on the path to success.