Lemonade from Lemons: Powerfully handling a negative comment and online haters

I want to talk about haters, and getting your first negative comment.

The fact is that as soon as you start doing something big in the world, there will be people who react with contempt, condescension, or even downright anger. Maybe they’re jealous they aren’t doing what you’re doing. Maybe they once tried to do something fun, and someone shot them down. And now they’re upset that other people are doing it. Who knows. It really doesn’t matter, and it’s not your concern.

What *is* your concern is that you keep your energy high, and that you stay confident. That is your responsibility.

When you get your first negative comment, you know you’re in a new level. People who aren’t creating and sharing with the world don’t get negative comments. Because they aren’t doing anything. If you stay on the couch, never going outside, and never share your work with the world, I guarantee you’ll never get a negative comment. You also will live a creatively unfulfilling life, and when you die you will likely regret not having shared your art with the world.

You only get to go around on this crazy trip once, and you were put here for a reason. You’re going to let a negative comment from a hater stop you from achieving your soul’s destiny? No way. Not you. You’re a tough cookie.

One thing about working online is that you have to develop teflon skin. It’s a good skill to have in life.

Here’s a story of one way I reframed a negative comment, and turned it into something awesome.

I hope it can provide you with some inspiration.

I do Facebook ads for my Tudor Planner. Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with the comments, but I try to check them once a day in case there’s a question I can answer. This year I got this gem of a comment on my ad: “Other than the cover, not remotely Tudor style. Lame.”

Negative commentHere’s the thought process I went through:

a: Oh no! Someone doesn’t like me, I must suck.

b: let me think about this. She must be right. Is it not Tudor enough? I’ve already printed over 1000 copies and done Facebook ads. How will I handle this if they really suck?!

c: Hang on, it *is* Tudor throughout?! I made it, I know that it is!

d: Well that’s just mean of her.

e: You know what’s lame? Making lame comments on someone else’s Facebook ad. That’s what’s lame.

f: troll


So here’s what I did. First, I posted about it in my mastermind group, which is one great way to handle it to get support.

Then someone suggested that I should do something fun with it, just to put it in a new context. So here’s what I did.

I found a public domain image of London. I added in the quote. And I put it in my shop, with a long product description, explaining what it was, and why. Here’s the shirt:
Making lemonade from a negative comment with this shirt

This, my friends, is called making lemonade out of lemons. So far I’ve sold about a dozen, which is $100 to the charity. That’s money they wouldn’t have had without that negative comment, so that’s a whole new, and empowering context to put it into.

So here’s what to do when you get your first negative comment.

  1. Wallow about if you need to. But not for too long. The more energy you give to it, the less you’ll have on other creative awesome stuff.
  2. Tweet me (@teysko) and tell me about it. It’s a super cool milestone, and means you’re up to big things.
  3. Talk to your mastermind and online support groups.
  4. Figure out a way to reframe the negative comment into something positive. Create whatever kind of awesome art you want to out of it, that wouldn’t have been created otherwise.
  5. In your mind and heart, thank the negative commenter for allowing you to experience the emotions that led to that new art.

Then, post a link to your new art in the comments below. I’d love to see it. Let’s turn a negative comment from a troll into beautiful art, and beautiful businesses.