How To Deal with Haters as a Business Owner

How to Deal with Haters | Xena Journal

Hey, Fempreneur, We See You.

You’ve been working hard to build your business and make a name for yourself – putting in the hours, making endless sacrifices, and finally, you’ve managed to turn your passion into something incredible…

But success also means attracting people who are sometimes bitter, rude and jealous. In fact, there’s a word for these people – “Haters”, and what they want is for you to feel demotivated and bad about yourself and what you’re doing. 

If this sounds like a story that’s all too familiar, read on!


The Problem with Haters


The biggest problem with haters, especially in business, is that they often come in the form of “help”. They may present themselves as “friends” or family members who care and are “simply looking out for us” when, in fact, there are other agendas at play. Other haters, on the other hand, come from a place of pure negativity.


Why Haters Hate


Most commonly, haters have a fear-based mindset that causes them to project their own insecurities and dissatisfaction onto others. This is closely related to the idea of “Risk vs. Reward”.

You see, oftentimes if something is too risky to justify a reward, people won’t take action. But, if we want to take the risk but don’t because we’re too afraid, then we quickly become wrapped up in a negative feedback loop filled with dissatisfaction and regret. And this is exactly why Haters hate – because they will always have an unrealised dream of what could have been.


How to deal with Haters


Step 1: Understand 

This may sound counter-intuitive but the first step is to have empathy for haters and understand their pain. The saying is all too true: “Hurt people
hurt people”. 

Let’s face it, nobody wants to be the bad guy. Haters aren’t inherently bad. They’re negative because of the cognitive dissonance between what they want and what they are willing to do. This causes them to become incredibly insecure when they see other people succeeding, and in truth, it’s nothing personal. 


Step 2: Take the Emotion out of it


We know, ladies. This is a tough one. But business is never a place for emotion to carry us away. You’ll give a lot of yourself away, and burn many bridges if you feel the need to always argue or defend yourself. 

Staying professional is one of the best ways to keep your self-respect and dignity intact. You need to realise that “haters” are looking for an attention fix, and when you react with bursts of emotion or anger, you’re feeding directly into what they want. 


Step 3: Lean on your Support System


We all need a solid support system, especially as female business owners. Having people that you can lean on for support and advice in tricky situations will make all the difference, whether it’s your friends, family, or an online community (like Xena!).


Step 4: Know the difference between Hate and Criticism


Feedback is only natural in business, and sometimes you need to listen even if it’s negative. Entertain the idea that you may be wrong… Is there some truth in what they are saying? Ask yourself if the quality of your products or services is exceeding expectations? If not, prove your haters wrong with action. If, however, the haters aren’t right and they’re just hating on you for no reason, then ignore them!


Step 5: Find an Emotional Outlet


It’s time to release that built up energy, girl! Find activities that help you to deal with your emotions in a healthy, constructive way. Some great examples are exercising, meditating, doing something creative or even just going for a quick walk. 


Step 6: Set Boundaries 


Sometimes haters will go too far. If someone is causing your business harm or harassing you (or your employees), you need to set some boundaries. Make it clear that you won’t be tolerating their actions and will be contacting the necessary authorities if things continue. 


They Hate Us ‘cos they ain’t Us


Let’s face it. At the end of the day, you’re going to have to deal with haters when you’re succeeding in business or in life. It’s all part of the gig. Luckily, there are steps you can take to deal with these haters, and with some time and practice, you’ll become a lean, mean, hater-blocking machine. 

Are you a female business owner looking to expand your network? Join XENA and start building your female empire today. The community is 100% free to all female South African founders. Apply by clicking on the JOIN XENA button in the upper right navigation. 

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