There were many things that my mentors prepared me for when it came to creating a successful business. The fact that I would lose most of my old friends, that my family would never get it, no matter how much money I made, and that the old cliché its lonely at the top can be pretty true if you dont have someone to share the journey with.
But no one ever really prepared me for the level of vitriol Id be opening myself to by popping my head up above the crowd.
The awesome thing about the internet is that it gives us the opportunity to contact practically every conceivable kind of person on the planet.
The horrible thing about the internet is that it gives us practically every conceivable kind of person on the planet the opportunity to contact us.
Now, Im not exactly a shrinking violet and Im not overly delicate. You wont find me draped over the bed, crying in anguish because someone was mean to me
I grew up poor in a beachside suburb in Sydney. My family of 5 lived in a rented one bedroom fibro shack, with an outside toilet. I shared a bedroom with my two sisters and my parents converted the tiny dining room at the front of the house into their bedroom. My dad worked on a factory floor and my mother ran a small secondhand bookshop with my grandmother it never really turned over any kind of profit (but I give the fact that my two strongest female role models ran a business, credit for my own entrepreneurial spirit).
Being poor in a beach-side suburb is the equivalent of walking around town with a Please Beat The Crap Out Of Me sign on your back. And they did. At the age of 8, despite the fact that I loved learning and loved going to school, I would throw up my breakfast in a desperate attempt to avoid having to go to a place where I knew I was going to get beaten up and teased.
Funnily enough, I think the beatings were the easier part to deal with. The psychological damage of being called fat and ugly while that was happening scarred me until I was well into my 20s.
But I grew up, I did a bunch of personal development, I dealt with it. And these days when people come on my threads and call me fat and ugly, it doesnt really phase me. This typically happens several times a day and the only conclusion I can draw is that those people are so threatened by someone who speaks their mind and does what she wants, that they have to lash out in some way.
But sometimes Im shocked by the voracity of the attacks. Ive had people threaten to kill me, to rape me, people whove sent me emails comprised of nothing more than my home address (or my parents address), people whove threatened to hurt my dogs.
And all because people dont like some post I made on Facebook. Which I would call a slight over-reaction. Use the block button, for the love of God.
At this year’s Traffic and Conversion Summit, I was really interested to hear Ryan Diess say that if he was starting from scratch, hed probably set up his business under an assumed last name, mainly to protect his kids.
Now, Im happily childless (strangely, thats often the source of the attacks I get) but I feel that. There are some REALLY angry psychos out there!
I havent, perhaps, always handled these attacks in the best way. I do have a tendency to engage that, I think, is a reaction against years of passivity and being a victim, of listening to my well-intention parents when they told me not to give bullies the satisfaction of a reaction (that never worked, by the way the thing about bullies is that theyll keep going until they get a reaction theyll ramp up, say worse things, hit you harder because they thrive on the power).
Funnily enough, within the hour its taken me to write this article, Ive seen four different, major players in the marketplace write Facebook posts echoing this sentiment so perhaps it really IS getting worse!
So Id be interested in knowing how do YOU deal with the haters? The flamers? The crazies? Whats your strategy for dealing with them do you just delete and block? Do you take joy in batting the bunny around a bit? Or does it sometimes get at you??