In the online business world or otherwise, people are going
to say things about you or your business in an attempt to
knock you for a loop, and destroy the credibility that you're
working so hard to build. Why? Maybe they like to get people
down. Maybe they have nothing better to do. Maybe the idea
of other people's success is threatening. It could be all
or none of those.
Regardless of the reason, it's still going to affect you,
and you need to know how to handle yourself when the time
comes. Oh yeah ... if you're successful, people ARE talking
about you. You just don't know it yet. So when you find out,
here's how to cope:
1. Don't let it get you upset.
The first thing we want to do when we find out people have
been talking badly about us or our business is to get angry.
Why? This won't solve anything, so why get your blood pressure
up, increasing your health risk, over rumors? Stay calm and
collected, and be ready to perform these other steps.
2. Ask "the messenger" what their views are on the issue,
and ask for specific examples to back them up.
The messenger? The person that told you about the rumors.
Whether they agree or disagree, ask them why. If they don't
agree and can give you valid reasons why not, then you have
little to worry about. If they agree and can give reasons
why, ARE they valid? Can they provide supporting examples?
DON'T think about this from a self-defensive point of view.
Be open-minded about what they have to say. Acknowledge your
mistakes and REALIZE them, apologizing for any wrong-doing.
What a way to INSTANTLY prove that you're not "the bad guy!"
Everyone makes mistakes -- but very few people have the courage
to admit to those mistakes.
3. Remember, the odds are already against you. Be prepared
for the worst.
Most people ARE closed-minded, no matter how much they disagree.
The messenger probably came into the relationship with you
based on some biases passed on from the rumor source. So,
don't be surprised when they give you supporting examples.
They've probably been LOOKING for things to support those
rumors, and were pretty much oblivious to the positive about
you. Such are the characteristics of closed-minded people.
The sooner you realize that, the better off you'll be.
4. Don't dig yourself deeper by getting defensive.
Doing this will only prove to the messenger that the rumors
are true! Don't get all uptight, don't be nasty, and don't
accuse the messenger of spreading the rumors. Remember, they
only relayed the message(s) to you from the source.
I know it's tempting to be self-defensive, but instead,
relax. Take a deep breath. If you got the "bad news" by e-mail,
don't respond right away. Come back to the message after several
hours, or even a day or two if need be. You'll have had time
to cool down, and will be able to respond with a level head.
5. BRIEFLY explain why the accusations couldn't be true,
and agree to disagree if necessary.
Don't be long-winded about this one, or you'll STILL come
across as being self-defensive. And as we all know, people
that go out of their way to prove themselves are guilty of
the crime 99% of the time -- or just insecure. You don't want
to be portrayed as either of those.
All in all, don't waste your valuable time defending yourself
or getting upset about rumors. The originators of these bad
tales have nothing better to do than to try to bring successful
people down instead of trying to achieve success themselves.
They won't hurt you as long as the rumors aren't true.
Although you CAN win a few "messengers" over and get them
on your side of the playing field, spend your time building
your current success -- not wasting energy and time defending
yourself against inevitable rumors. I guarantee you, you'll
be MUCH better off.
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