Get a real job! Stop wasting your time! You’ll never have a career!
A guest post by Shaun Jay
These are words frequently heard by those who dare to dream. Artists, entrepreneurs, and freelancers are among the most frequently targeted. It happens to all of us at some point in our life. Quite often, lives (and even careers) are dictated by others who wish to see us fail! The real magic is learning how to handle this negativity in a creative way and use it to our advantage. All of us can do this by practicing the following three thought patterns: Recognize, Transform, and Learn.
The Law of Haters #1: “Recognize that the more successful you become, the more haters you will have!”
My parents divorced when I was 7 and eventually, my mother began a relationship with someone else. My newly acquired stepfather was (and still is) very rough around the edges. Initially, he was extremely generous and treated us very well. About 5 years later, I turn 12 and discover my passion in life. I had decided to become a professional magician! Yes, I am aware that all children have their “phases” and often fantasize about what they want to be when they grow up. This however, was no fantasy or phase and I was completely serious about it.
My mother has and always will be very supportive of my career path as a magician. My stepfather was less than thrilled to say the least! It really didn’t bother him that much until I started to talk about missing school and traveling to Jeff McBride’s Magic and Mystery School in Las Vegas to study with the best magicians in the world! Magic became my obsession and I was not afraid to discuss these things. With 100% predictability, my stepfather would visibly cringe and roll his eyes every time the word “Magic” was mentioned. He labeled it as “Shaun’s little hobby”. As time progressed, my mother saw potential and decided to help accelerate my success by driving me to local magic shows we booked in Raleigh NC and also teaching me about running a business (lessons she acquired from her past experience as a freelance photographer living in NYC).
Naturally, she was excited to see my career blossom and would mention my success to my stepfather. Instead of being met with happiness and encouragement, she consistently experienced discouragement, negativity, and sarcastic remarks which then often lead to an argument. Even at family gatherings or social house parties, my stepfather would leave the room if any of the guests requested that I perform a little magic! The father figure who I was supposed to look up to became more and more jealous and distancing over time which led to constant tension. To compound everything further, I was beginning to find out that many of the so-called “friends” I had were the same way… Then it hit me! I came to the realization that they all were jealous! It was only after I was able to recognize this truth that I was able to verify that I was on the right path towards success!
2. Transform The Law of Haters
#2: “We can transform anger and hatred from others into fuel for our OWN fire for OUR success”
Magic, at its core, is about accomplishing what was previously thought to be impossible. Instead of waving a magic wand to make your haters disappear, why not transform their anger into passionate and productive energy that can be used to accomplish your goals and fuel your success! It may be difficult to understand this concept at first, but it is very much like judo. You use your opponent’s force against him!
I’ve always accomplished 10 times more than I thought I was capable of after hearing harsh criticism from my haters. Their criticism makes me want to prove them wrong and therefore causes me to take massive action and catapult my success. As an example, I actually had another magician tell me, “You have no career!” After hanging up the phone (and never speaking to this person again!), I immediately received a jolt of passionate energy that propelled me through the day. I could not believe how quickly my mind started to work and how many creative ways I could come up with to prove him wrong! In my opinion, success is the best form of revenge. There’s no better way to boost your confidence and pave the way for future success!
The next time you find yourself overwhelmed by “advice” from haters, write down just one goal that you can accomplish using that newly found passion and energy. Make it a goal that upon completion, you know in your heart that it will be even more irrefutable proof of your success in your trade. Over time, your skin will thicken and your entrepreneurial muscles will grow! By the way, my stepdad I mentioned earlier is just now starting to realize that what I do is actually a legitimate career (I have all of my proof) and is starting to respect my career path. It only took 13 years! Transformation at its finest, folks!
The Law of Haters #3: “Learn the good, leave the bad.”
One of the most important (but often difficult) things we can do to use our haters to fuel our success is to learn from them! It is extremely important when in “learning mode” to have an open mind, no ego, and extreme emotional detachment. Emotions can quickly get in the way and it is so easy to fall prey to depression and self-doubt when encountering hateful people. I believe that there is always something positive or beneficial that can be taken away from every situation, even the negative ones.
For instance, your haters may have certain attributes about their business that are better or more streamlined than yours. Learn from that. Their marketing might be better than yours. Learn from that and take it as a free lesson in business. I can remember very clearly back in the year 2009 discovering one of my biggest business breakthroughs as a result of studying someone who hated me! It is because of this one person that I was able to vastly improve my marketing and web design skills.
Usually, one would have to spend tens of thousands of dollars in order to obtain this type of information, but I was able to get it all for free simply by learning and studying what this person was doing right. In fact, every time people like this pop up on my radar, I automatically go into “learning mode” to uncover as many positive aspects about this person and his/her business as possible. Haters will also tell you how NOT to act! Successful entrepreneurs and businesses always focus on building and maintaining long-term relationships. Hatred and jealousy are not good ways to build these types of relationships. During every minute someone else spends in negative thought, you can improve your business and shape your career in a positive way.
For optimum peace of mind, remember these three thought patterns so that the next time you experience the wrath of the “dreaded downer” or “cancer-causing cynic”, you can sidestep the typical emotional response and transform your “haters” into your “helpers”! Who knows, perhaps they may start to respect you a little bit more as did some of mine … Maybe not!
Either way, I wish you the best of luck applying this information to both your business and personal life!
Also published on Medium.