Today I’m going to talk about something that’s not so cheery: hate mail. Even though it’s not a fun topic, it’s super important to address if you’re on the path to going big in your biz – because the greater your reach becomes, the more you open yourself to the possibility of hate mail – we can’t please everyone right? (what, you didn’t know that?).
So… you just received your first “hate mail”? Let me guess - someone wasn’t happy with something you said, something you did, or the price you charge and they decided to send you a nasty email letting you know.
After reading the hateful email, you feel like you have a dagger in your heart, you want to cry and you think things like:
You wonder if you should respond to their email. You think: “Maybe if I just explain myself, they’ll change how they feel.”
Don’t do it!
I give you this advice from personal experience. Although most emails I receive are warm and fuzzy, there’s been a few times in my entrepreneurial career that individuals have chose to share how they feel about me in extremely unconstructive and hurtful ways.
The first time this happened I was shaken to my core and seriously considered giving up on my biz. While one part of me couldn’t believe that someone could be “so wrong” about me, another part wondered if they were right. I got defensive and sent an email explaining myself. I even posted something on FB asking for validation from my peers (bad choice – do not do this!).
I wondered if there would ever be a time when I could let hate mail roll off my shoulders without carrying the negative energy and sinking feeling in my stomach around with me for a week.
I’m happy to say that I’ve reached that time. It isn’t to say that hate mail doesn’t affect me anymore. It does. In fact, I recently received my first hate mail in over a year from a woman who was appalled that I would charge $30 to attend one of my workshops.
When I first read her hurtful words, I felt a sinking in my chest and a fire in my belly. Then I took a deep breath and proudly hit “delete.” I did not respond and I did not allow her negative energy to penetrate my life. I simply don’t have time for that kind of thing anymore. I’m way too committed to helping all of the women who do receive value from my business!
I’ve been given the chance to learn this lesson by the “teachers” that the universe sends to help me practice. And I am grateful for them, because without them I wouldn’t have learned these important lessons…
1. There will ALWAYS be someone who doesn’t jive with you or your message…and that’s ok! When I was struggling with this concept at the beginning of my biz, my friend Hope, gave me a card with a quote by Bill Cosby that helped a lot. The quote said: “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.”
2. You only want people in your tribe who are interested in what you have to offer – not just your services and products, but in what you have to offer as a unique human being. Anyone who sends hate mail is not interested in what you have to offer. Just let them go and be done with it!
3. When you try to explain and justify yourself to a hate mail sender, you just wast your time.Someone who lashes out with hurtful emails is not someone who is able to reason with you or who will care to understand your perspective. Your time is valuable - don’t waste it by trying to explain yourself.
4. When you try to please everybody your brand suffers because you play small and end up becoming mediocre and unmemorable. To be memorable, you must take risks, own your opinions, and for heavens sakes, stand for something!
5. There is a difference between hateful criticism and constructive criticism. Be grateful and respond to someone who gives you constructive criticism because it means they care enough about you to share something that might help you improve. Ignore someone who dishes out hateful criticism.
6. Hate mail says a lot more about the person sending it than the person receiving it. Anyone who is willing to intentionally hurt someone else is obviously suffering. Although you won’t respond to the hate mail, take a moment to send them some energetic love and joy.
7. It helps to create a “Love Notes” folder in your inbox where you keep all the emails people send you who love you and your biz. When you receive hate mail, go through this folder to remind yourself that you are deeply loved by many people. Because you are!
Use the power of timeless archetypes to unleash your brand's core strengths.