The other day I was doing an interview with Mia Freedman, the founder of Mamamia.
I told her that, if I printed out all the hate mail I got, I could bale it.
Mia: “Are you seriously suggesting you have people who hate you … you, the Barefoot Investor?”
Sure, I’ve got the best-selling book in the country this year — but it hasn’t been all bookmarks and semicolons.
Take this online review of my book:
“All in all, if I had to describe the book in one sentence it would be,‘The more I read, the dumber I felt’ — not because Scott made it so simple, but because it was apparently clear he really has no idea.”
That is a superb sledge that even the great Rodney Marsh (ask your father) would be proud of.
That and many other awful things are live on the interwebs for all eternity. My customers could read it. My nanna could read it (well, probably not). My kids could (eventually) read it.
How would that make you feel?
Not great, is my guess.
Yet the only way to avoid criticism, as the old saying goes, is to say nothing, and do nothing …
But where’s the fun in that?
So, let me tell you a simple trick I use to deal with haters …
Care With Both Hands
Truth is, most people worry about what other people say about them.
Yet here’s the rub: if you’re doing brave things — working hard, starting a business, kicking arse with the Barefoot Steps — chances are you’re going to make someone around you feel uncomfortable. And they may try to bring you down a peg or two … back to their level.
If you listen to them — or worry about what you think they’d think — it’ll eat away at your self-confidence. And that will keep you in jobs you don’t like, relationships you’ve outgrown, cars you can’t afford. Worse, it’ll waste the precious time you have on this planet.
What’s the answer?
Care with both hands. I can count the number of people I care about on two hands — chances are you can too. And when you think about it deeply (and I have), these are the only people who matter.
If you’re being a jerk, or hurting people, or behaving like a Kardashian — they’ll pull you up on it. And that’s the only time you need to worry about someone’s else’s opinion. For the rest, just talk to the hand.
Tread Your Own Path!