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Ideas. Insights. Inspiration.

Handling Haters

If there's one thing I've learned from publishing lots of content over the past few years, it's that negative comments are absolutely inevitable.

It doesn't matter if your message is positive, if your intentions are good, or even if your arguments are clearly based on facts.

If you manage to achieve any sort of scale with your work, there are going to be people who feel the need to criticize whatever you say in a very non-constructive way.

(It's important to note that the same is true for brands: for every person who absolutely loves Starbucks, Amazon, or Coca-Cola, you can also find someone else who think Starbucks coffee tastes burnt, Amazon's business kills local retailers, and Coca-Cola is obesity-causing crap. You become a massive brand by catering to a distinct segment of the population, but by definition, that means your brand won't be for everyone. And that's what you want: it's far better to have a brand that some people LOVE and others HATE than it is to have a brand to which everybody is equally indifferent.)

But what do you do when the critics come after you for no good reason? How do you handle the haters?

Here's a recent, personal example from a few weeks ago: Alex Lieberman, CEO of the Morning Brew newsletter, asked his LinkedIn followers to name the "coolest job in the world".

I responded truthfully, based on my experience:

As you might notice from the number of "like" and "loves" at the time I took this screenshot, my comment was generally well-received. Most of the replies were very positive too:

But as I said, negative comments are inevitable...