1. Respect the process and the journey.
2. Respect the individual and their experience.
3. Making a critical judgment and constantly finding ways to pick thinks apart shows very little respect for the person, both the process and the journey, but also the experience that a person has.
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Build a Badass Business: Episode #47: Stop Criticizing & Start Creating
Coming to you from the city by the bay, this is Build a Badass Business with Diane Sanfilippo. Diane is a New York Times bestselling author and serial entrepreneur. She’s here to teach you how to grow and develop a successful business you love, and how to create raving fans along the way. Here she is, your host: Diane Sanfilippo.
Diane Sanfilippo: Welcome back to the show you guys. Today I want to talk about criticism, because I see this as something that’s kind of rampant out there amongst entrepreneurs, amongst business owners; also amongst just people in general because of social media, because of what social media and these visual images that we all post open us up to as the people posting, but also open up a world to those who are just looking at the posts to then form opinions and judgment, and from that criticism.
So I have three concepts, three tips for you guys today on how to stop criticizing and how to start creating. Because I think the later part of that, the creation part, does inevitably pull you away from criticism more and more, and get you focused on what you need to be doing for your own business, instead of constantly looking at what everyone else is doing. And it will also keep you from comparing more, which becomes a huge root of criticism.
Alright, so number one; respect the process and the journey. Whenever you see something out there that you have this little inkling of a criticism of, maybe you have a thought or a feeling, and you're criticizing something in your own mind, or perhaps you see somebody post a comment in reaction to something. And typically if you notice it’s a criticism, you can imagine that that person has never stopped to think about the process that someone has taken to either create something or the journey that they’re on. Because if they did, they couldn’t possibly have that same criticism, or they would at least give pause before airing it.
So I think there’s a really big difference, also, between perhaps having a judgment or criticism in your mind and then getting out there and actually making it public, and putting it into words. Whether you’re typing it, whether you’re saying it to somebody. So number one is: have respect for the process and the journey, because the minute you do that, the minute you look at; look at something you’ve done. Something you’ve created; a business you’ve created, a product, a program, a book that you’ve written, because this is a big one that happened to me in the beginning, when Practical Paleo first came out and people were criticizing different elements of the book. Not a lot of people, but a few people out there.
Some people do this very often and they’re criticizing everything that everybody does in one genre, or that’s just their thing, they criticize. And I’ve never seen these people actually create a resource, create something at all similar that’s going to help people. So their sitting in their little room, typing, whatever they’re doing, writing criticisms out but not being productive. Not being positive, not being out there helping people, and creating something that will have a positive impact. So I think it’s really important to respect the process, respect the journey, and respect the work that’s involved in any of that.
Also, when it comes to social media, if somebody posts a picture, you have to pause before you post anything negative, because there’s just this element of being raw and being exposed when somebody posts that. Yeah, I think a lot of people get this hunch that people are posting pictures so that they can get compliments back; whatever. Who cares? There’s no reason for you to feel like, just because somebody posts a certain type of picture, that it gives you any right or reason to be negative or critical of them.
So, here’s the second thing. And I’m targeting this, you guys, as business owners, as entrepreneurs who are listening to this podcast, Build a Badass Business, who are listening to this and thinking; how can I build a business that’s really great? You don’t want to be that person who is out there who is commenting on social media. It doesn’t even have to be on your competitors. Obviously you’re not going to probably always be commenting on your competitors, but if you’re in the same world as them and the comments that you make are critical, whether they’re passive aggressive or not.
I’ve seen companies making passive aggressive critical comments that become very obviously targeted at another company and these people think they’re being sly, and they thing that they’re saying things that support and promote their business, but really it just makes them look bad because they’re being critical of another approach. It’s something that I work really hard not to do. Also because; back to point one, I respect the process and the journey. I respect the fact that other people have created products, programs, books, etc., and there’s a lot of great information behind it. There’s no reason for me to put it down; it just doesn’t make sense.
Alright, so the second point is to respect the individual and their experience, or respect the company, for example. So let’s just say there’s a book out there that you don’t agree with. I’m just going to use an example, I don’t know a specific book that I would call out, but let’s just say it’s a vegan book. You guys know that I don’t support or promote animal foods-free way of eating. Whatever; does that mean I have to then spend my time going to an Instagram account, or finding a Facebook post that somebody shared about that way of eating, and start making negative comments about it?
Sure, if something comes across my desk, somebody shares it with me and I just share my opinion; but making a critical judgment and constantly finding ways to pick thinks apart shows very little respect for the person who has created the thing; which I talked about just a minute ago, and the process and the journey, but also the experience that a person has. If you see a picture of somebody, and it’s their after picture. Let’s just use this example, the before and after. And you don’t think they’re after picture looks that great; maybe you think their after looks like your before. You have no idea where they’ve been. You have no idea any of that, so if you can’t have respect for the individual and their experiencd, what do you think is going to happen when you post something? You’re just creating a breeding ground for people to not have respect for you, for your individuality, and for your experience.
So right now, for those of you who are following me on Instagram and on Periscope, you might know that I’m following a 12-week meal plan. And there are people who are; there are not a lot of people who are disrespectful or making criticisms of what I’m doing, but I think it’s interesting that if somebody wants to jump to a conclusion and be critical of it, it shows an obvious lack of respect for the fact that I know what I’m doing, I have a lot of education and experience around this stuff, and I’ve made a conscious educated decision to follow a plan that somebody else wrote for me because I have different goals, and that’s what I want to do.
I just don’t think it’s that big of a deal, but I think there are some people who just want to jump really quickly, and make a criticism of it, and they haven’t done any sort of thinking around it or any introspection or any… They’re just showing a lack of respect for me as a person and for what I stand for. So I think that’s something that everybody needs to keep in mind. So number one is respect the process and the journey; number two is respect the individual and their experience.
And look; if you don’t respect them and their experience, but you’re following them, then maybe you need to reevaluate why you’re following them. Or, if you're new to following them and you can’t really understand what they’re doing, ask a question and make sure that you word it in a way that doesn’t come off as critical and judgment. Say; hey, I’m new here, can you explain that.
I’ve definitely had some people who’ve said, this sounds great, but I follow your plans. Why are you not following your own plans? And they’re really just asking out of curiosity, and that’s totally fair and I answer the question, and no big deal and we move on. So I think it’s important to keep that perspective as well.
So the third point that I have for you guys on stopping criticism and starting to create, which I’m not really going to talk about creation that much, but I do think that when you stop criticizing, you open up a lot of time and room for creation. It’s stop, drop, and walk away. So if you see something; how many times have you started to write a comment or a reply to something on Instagram, for example, or Facebook, and then you stop yourself, and you’re like; is this contributing anything positive to the conversation? Am I just fueling this with negativity? Am I sharing a perspective that’s valuable, insightful, might support somebody, or am I just being critical? Or am I just saying something for the sake of saying it?
Which is what kind of I’ve been talking about here, a little bit of the troll issue that happens on the internet. But it’s also just; it’s not just trolls, it’s people who feel like their opinion and their way is always the right way, or the best opinion. Which for sure, as business owners, we have to be really confident, we have to be confident in what we’re doing; but I think having that background of respect for the process and for the individual will help you to stop, drop, and walk away when you see something or there’s an interaction going on; whether it’s in real life, whether it’s on the internet, and just don’t say anything at all. You don’t always have to tell people what your opinion is of everything. Especially if nobody asked you.
And here’s the thing you guys; when somebody posts to social media, when somebody writes a blog post, or puts a book out; if you don’t like it, or agree with it, or find it interesting, or think you can learn from it; it’s not created for you. It’s created for people who are interested, who want to learn from it, who want to have a positive experience in changing their lives in some way.
So I wrote a book called Practical Paleo; I don’t care if you’re not interested in paleo nutrition. Don’t buy the book. I don’t really understand why some people will buy a book that’s obviously about a certain way of eating, and then come criticize the core of that way of eating. And I’m cool with people leaving a review on Amazon; you can leave a review; these recipes didn’t work for me, something like that. I think that’s fair; but I don’t understand why somebody buys a book about paleo, and then comes to leave a review, and complains about caveman, or something that just doesn’t make sense at all. I just don’t get that; it’s totally unproductive, and it keeps you from being out there creating more positivity and creating resources for other people.
So that’s it. That’s all I really wanted to share with you guys today. I just was thinking about this in terms of, as business owners, ways that we can be better at interacting with other people and the content that they create so that we continue to create and foster an environment that drops a lot of that criticism. Because the more we see it, the more it kind of breeds itself. And if we can get ourselves to stop doing that; if we can delete critical comments that we don’t like very quickly, don’t feed into the conversation. As soon as I see something that I just don’t like, I delete the comment. I don’t care if somebody comes back and says, hey you deleted my comment! Guess what? I delete the next comment too. I’ll keep deleting them if somebody is being negative or critical.
So I just wanted to share that with you guys because I think it’s important that we all take a step back, try and understand the process and the journey, respect the individual, respect the fact that you’re not going to agree with everyone and that’s ok, and that person probably doesn’t care that you don’t agree with them just because you have fingers behind a keyboard. It does not necessarily mean that that person cares that you don’t agree and you want to criticize them. So just don’t do it. Stop, drop, walk away, and leave some positivity. That’s all I have for you guys today. Thank you so much for listening. I’ll be back next week with another episode.
Hey guys, I’m so glad you’re loving the show. Let me ask you to do me a favor; come follow me on Periscope. You can find me; I believe you can search Diane Sanfilippo, or you can search @BalancedBites, which is my Twitter handle, which is the account name over on Periscope. I am going to start doing live sessions, really quick thoughts for the day. I’m not sure if it I will be every day, but it will be pretty often, and some Q&A on business topics and motivation, inspiration, etc. So make sure you’re following me over on Periscope. Download the app in the app store, and I will see you there.
That’s all I’ve got for you guys today. Don’t forget to subscribe in iTunes so you don’t miss an episode. And drop me a review to let me know what’s speaking to you from the show. If you want to get in on the conversation and you haven’t yet joined the group already on Facebook, head on over there and join the Build a Badass Business group. I share insights and tips regularly, as well as answer your questions right there on the page. Do work that you love, and hustle to make your business grow like your life depends on it, because it does. Thanks for listening, and I’ll catch you on the next episode.