May 302017

How And Why To Embrace The Naysayers – Revisited

How do you react when naysayers inevitably tell you that you cannot do something that you’re trying to accomplish?

Do you let the naysayers’ negativity get you down and cause you to stop pursuing what you’ve set out to get done?

Or, do you let it fuel your fire and make you more determined than ever to accomplish your goals and dreams?

I used to let the naysayers get me down and cause me to question what I was doing. That was during a time when I was more concerned about what others thought, and in reality, I guess, I was trying to please them more than myself.

It’s kind of absurd, isn’t it, that sometimes we live our lives more to please others, even total strangers, than we do to please ourselves and those who should truly matter to us? I find this to be especially true during the current age of social media, where given the overexposure to the lives of others, there’s a constant temptation to measure ourselves against others on trivial matters, rather than focusing on trying to make progress in areas of our lives that really matter.

In my own experience and observation, few people are more exposed to the full-on assault of naysayers than are entrepreneurs. Naysayers have a field day with entrepreneurs because, by definition, an entrepreneur is trying to ‘do their own thing’, to start a business, rather than just working for someone else.

The mentality of an entrepreneur, which includes a desire, even an eagerness to chart new territory and to turn the status quo upside down, is anathema to the mindset of a naysayer, who typically is very committed to keeping everyone just as miserable as he or she is! They do not want to see change, and they certainly don’t want to see anyone trying to do his or her own thing, which may lead to success and make them untouchable to the negativity of the naysayer.

In my experience, most naysayers do not have a great self-image. This can be the case due to the way they’ve been treated in the past or due to failures that they’ve had. In reality, it can be due to a whole host of factors, but regardless of the source(s) of their negativity, over the course of time, it becomes their identity. It’s simply who they are and they see it as their job to point out what is wrong with everyone else’s activities, ideas and opinions.

So, what’s an entrepreneur to do with so many naysayers and so much negativity in the world?

I think the answer is that you should embrace the naysayers! I know it sounds counterintuitive, but it can work. It has worked for me.

What do I mean by embrace the naysayers?

I mean you shouldn’t try to ignore them.  You shouldn’t try to ‘talk sense into them’. You should listen to what they have to say (one time) and take it into account as you carry on toward reaching your goals and dreams.

In fact, I take it a step further and say that you should appreciate them and you should realize that sometimes they have valid points, even if inadvertently. You should also appreciate the fact that, given how negative they are, they’re very unlikely to ever present any real competition for you! With such a glass-is-half-empty mentality, their probability of success in entrepreneurship, an endeavor that requires enduring and learning from many failures before you achieve success, is quite low.

So, be glad naysayers exist and give them their due, but then move on and do your thing. Surround yourself with as many positive people as you can, but don’t avoid those with opinions that differ from your own! If you surround yourself with ‘yes people,’ then you’ll essentially be ‘drinking your own bath water’ all the time and will greatly increase the probability that you will get blindsided in your business and in your life.

Have you hugged a naysayer today?


Paul Morin