No matter what you do, criticism is a natural aspect of anyone’s life. Especially if you are an entrepreneur.
Trying to avert it is useless. Instead, you should strive to master is the ability to control what you’re criticized for. You can do that by understanding the psychological viewpoints of every demographic group that you interact with.
Understand the Psychology of Each Demographic Audience
Criticism is inevitable. By embracing the nature of each demographic audience, you can predict what they’re going to criticize you for…
…before you even begin.
For instance, when developing this website, I knew ahead of time that it won’t appeal to everyone.
I figured out ahead of time that people with certain political affiliations would dislike our standpoint. I realized ahead of time that people with certain values would not agree with everything that our brand stands for.
…and the list goes on.
So, using my knowledge of marketing, I decided to develop the copywriting in a way that addressed my realization of these probable facts accordingly.
Therein, we wouldn’t market OMI to those demographic groups. And if or when we got negative criticism about the book from them, their words wouldn’t affect us as on a personal level. No matter how vile their statements may be, they would not stop, change, and control anything.
Their convictions would have been completely expected and part of the marketing strategy. As a result, I was able to psychologically arm myself against anyone who would reprimand it.
It allowed me to maintain my self-confidence and not base it on what other people think of my work.
The Five Types of Criticism
There are ultimately five types of criticism:
- Informed positive
- Informed negative
- Biased positive
- Biased negative
Biased opinions are a type of criticism that can be negative or positive. You should ignore them because they both spawn from perceptual realities devoid of deductive reasoning.
They lack objective facts in their foundation. Basically, they are futile statements that serve no purpose other than expressing an opinion. Often, without consideration of hypocrisy, or differing viewpoints.
For instance: “I love this product because it’s awesome and I’ve been a fan of this brand for years!” or, “I hate this product because it’s terrible and shopping online is just stupid!”
These are examples of the simplest form of biased opinions. Some may be a bit more complex, but ultimately still lack factual reasoning.
They state that they love or hate the product in question, but without logically articulating why they’ve been a fan for so many years, or why they think shopping online is “just stupid”.
Whether negative or positive, they retain a sense of neutrality. They are statements derived from simple observation without embellishment.
You should treasure informed opinions because they are clearly articulated statements that stand upon the foundation of why. They are backed up with evidence that holds their ideas together.
Informed opinions give insight into whether the intended message was or wasn’t correctly portrayed and communicated.
Informed negative opinions may hurt, but they’re often the greatest teachers.
Silence, by far, is the worst of all types of criticism because it sparks no reaction at all. These are the crickets in the audience that replace applause. This is sex without any notion of even arousal—forget orgasm.
Work was too weak to receive the honor any criticism at all, and will thus not bring value to anyone.
Yet, silence has value.
You should keep both informed opinions and silence as your strongest forms of feedback. They lead to the improvement of skill, clarity of mind, and educated wisdom from multiple viewpoints that you may have not thought of.
Be Comfortable with Who You Are
To conquer any type of criticism, you must first find and conquer yourself from within. Find peace in both the positive and negative aspects of who you are. Do it from the different viewpoints of whoever may witness your work.
An entrepreneur withdraws their vision from within and presents it to the world. Thus, it is from within that they need to fight the true war against critics.
Anyone who puts their heart and soul into their work would understandably get offended by robust criticism. However, anyone who invests the time and/or money into their product or service has the right to express their opinion on it.
Regardless of whether it’s positive or not.
Being Comfortable with Different Types Criticism Requires Effort
It takes unbelievable courage, self-discipline, and inner strength to live the lives that we genuinely want to live. To say and do the things that are truly within our hearts. To dream big, and to persevere no matter how many times we may fall or fail.
And to truly believe in life we need to believe that there are no limits. Only those within our own minds and that our strife is not for nothing.
It takes incredible integrity of character and rectitude to take the red pill and to stay true to that path. Regardless of what sufferings this decision would bring. Not to fall back in line when the going gets tough, or when the entire world seems to doubt, scrutinize, mock, and abandon you.
Accepting Criticism Is Vital for Success
We become the masters of our own realities by facing ourselves in our own minds and admitting the truth of ourselves to ourselves. By understanding that there is no actual box but what others create for us by the projections of their own expectations, desires, envies, and limitations of self.
We become comfortable in our own skin by becoming our own masters. By taking responsibility for our own lives and the decisions we make, and understanding that the ups and downs of life are not only inevitable but part of what makes our stories great…
…we free ourselves to do the extraordinary and become the extraordinary.
In this, the complete mastery of any field and the mastery of self are one and the same. As we attain it, those who criticize us and attack our personas begin to matter less and less.
How has criticism affected you in your past? How did you deal with different types of criticism? Share your stories in the comments below.
Mike Norton is an American award-winning marketing strategist with a BA in Internet marketing from Full Sail University.
He’s also a writer, entrepreneur, and a physicist studying part-time at the University of York who is a veteran of the United States military and the 7-time winner of the USS Dwight Eisenhower award for essays about world peace and respect.
As a mostly self-educated vagabond, he gains inspiration from a myriad of experiences wrought from the adventures of his nomadic lifestyle. He prolifically writes and journals where ever he goes in the world, from one country to the next.