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  • Writer's pictureLisa Liberatore

Handling Haters

This is an excerpt from Power of Transparency

“The only way to avoid pissing people off is to do nothing important” - Oliver Emberton

When a couple opened a new restaurant downtown, they created a lot of buzz and immediately got involved in everything. I tried and enjoyed their food and referred my customers to their place.

You can’t control what others say about you or your business.

People began coming in and telling me these new owners were talking about my restaurant in a negative light. My employees were very upset and wanted me to fight back, but I knew it wouldn’t solve anything. I felt my energy was best spent on what I could control and change, so I kept my head down and focused on my restaurant.

Don’t take everything personally.

I’d been open a few years at the time, and I knew my customers were happy. I was serving a quality product and had a friendly staff. If customers had complaints, I addressed them immediately. I always thanked people their feedback. It is important to know what isn’t working so you have an opportunity to find the solution. This is the only way a business can grow and succeed.

Don’t let haters distract you from your goals.

The other restaurant closed within a year. My business withstood the attacks unscathed.

Takeaways: One of Dale Carnegie’s principles in How to Win Friends and Influence People is you can’t win an argument. “Distrust your instinctive impression. Our natural reaction in a disagreeable situation is to be defensive. Be careful. Keep calm and watch out for your first reaction. It may be you at your worst, not your best.”

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