If you go to Amazon and click on “Best sellers,” you might notice something surprising. Even though these are the books that are selling the most copies and they are loved by hundreds of thousands of people – their ratings aren't 5 star.
For example, 30 people dislike (2 star) or even hate (1 star) The 5 Love Languages so much, they took the time to tell the world.
Book 1 of Fifty Shades of Grey has a mind blowing 17,951 reviews. But guess what? 1,615 of those reviewers didn't like it (2 stars) and a whopping 5,119 reviews HATED it (1 star.)
Steven Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Successful People has been selling non-stop since 1989. Some of you reading this weren't even BORN in 1989. It's sold 25 million copies worldwide, with another 15 million sales of the audio edition. Yet it's received an average of only 4.2 stars on Amazon.
Even Dr. Suess has 1 star reviews, and who in their right mind doesn't love Dr. Suess?
The lesson? No matter what you do or how well you do it, no matter how successful you are, no matter how many people you make happy – you will never please everybody. It's just the way it is.
In fact it might even be said that until you have haters you are not successful.
“We armor ourselves against the cutting remark, the ad hominem attack, the person who just doesn't like our stuff.
But all of this is the feedback we get when we touch a nerve and are doing work that matters enough to care about.
No, the worst sort of feedback is no feedback at all. That means we've created nothing but banality.” -Seth Godin, March 6, 2013
I don't care what niche you're in or how nice you are – there will be people who don't like what you have to say or what you do. So what? Every film, every book, every movie star or radio personality has critics. Every product producer or service provider has critics. Heck, everything has critics. It's easy to be a critic – all you do is show up and open your mouth. It's much harder to be a producer. But guess who gets the real rewards? The producers.
Now, if more people are giving you negative reviews than positive ones, you might have to rethink your strategy. But if you're just hearing from one negative person every now and then, you are on the right track. Remember, nobody has ever made a stew without stirring the pot.
So next time someone posts a hateful remark on your blog or reports you for spam or does one of a hundred mean, nasty or thoughtless things, I want you to do just one thing:
Smile and remind yourself that this is yet another sign that you are on the path of success.