I was going to post this on Facebook but decided not to. In fact, I’ve quit posting on Facebook to great extent. I even removed the app from my smart phone. The negativity is just too much to deal with and there isn’t one good reason to subject yourself to it. Not one.
For now, I’ll talk about just one aspect of that negativity, not only on social media but from people in general. The problem of people’s propensity to be discouraging and disrespectful towards your ideas and plans.
It’s hard enough to have the courage to do great things in life without the constant negativity of people’s bullshit raining on your thought process. If there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that not only will people not be able to see or appreciate your “vision”, they will not even respect it. They will outright disrespect it.
They will tell you how your ideas won’t work, and how you shouldn’t do something a certain way, because obviously they know better (despite 99% of the time never having done the thing you are talking about doing). They will shit on your ideas, offer “better” ideas, and overall just inject negativity into your thoughts.
Now, if you were looking for constructive criticism, then fine. But it’s not always constructive, and it’s not always the “analysis” being asked for.
Sometimes, you just want to share your ideas, what you’re working so hard on in life. You want to voice them, maybe hear some encouragement. This is normal, and it should be something you can do, but you have to carefully choose who you share your visions with. Only those close enough to believe in you or selfless enough to encourage you should be included.
The rest of the time, I’ve found it best to keep it to yourself and woodshed your ideas. Let them see you executing later, once you’ve done the work and made it happen.
“You’re too dumb to own horses…”
I used to talk about getting horses for my daughter. I’ve never previously owned horses, or even had been around them for that matter. But I knew I wanted to do that for her. So, I worked my ass off towards it. While doing so, I made the mistake of talking about it a few times, and got responses like, “Oh, horses are so much work, you don’t know what you are getting into.” Or, “They’re so expensive, you’ll regret it once you do.” Or, my absolute favorite, “Horses are a huge responsibility, maybe you should try something smaller.”
These were actual quotes from people responding to me talking about something I was working towards over several years. As if I had put no fucking thought into this idea at all, and I needed someone to tell me how fucking stupid I was for not thinking about basic things like cost of care and the work involved in doing it. Yep, I simply daydreamed that some goddamned horses would show up one day and we would all just romp through the pasture carefree…
Guess what fuckers? I’ve owned horses for well over a year now and it has not one time been a terrible experience that I even close to regret getting into. It’s actually been a joy. My horses are healthy, they perform great, and my daughter will be competing with her horse next month. Sure, there are challenges and expenses, and I’m certain there will be heartbreaks as well. But that’s life with animals, and it has come as no shock whatsoever. Nothing you said came true. It’s been a great experience.
Here is an important detail about every one of those people. Not one of those negative-ass people were horse owners at the time. I’m not sure that they ever were.
“You’ll never succeed in that business”
Another good example was back when I decided to go into the firearms training business full-time. Oh, the negativity was fierce for that move. Before I made it happen, I was telling people what I was planning, the responses I remember went something like this:
“You’ll never make any money doing that.”
“You will never be able to compete with the military and police that are doing it.”
“The field is saturated, too many cops and military trying to make money, no one is making money.”
I went on to not only make money, I’ve made more money in this industry than in any other job or industry I’ve ever worked in. By a giant margin. It also led to one of the most high paying corporate jobs I’ve ever had. And not only was I able to be competitive amongst the military and police in the business, I became good friends with many of the most successful ones.
I even became an instructor on the cadre of police associations and law enforcement training facilities. It has been my most successful and longest running business (out of 5 legitimate businesses I’ve started and ran). Going on 7 years now and I’m looking at manually scaling it back because I’d like to do other things in life. Sounds pretty successful to me.
Of course, not one of those negative people were successful in that business. But they sure had it all figured out why I couldn’t become successful in it either.
Protect your creative process
I wised up eventually, and considered my own moves in solitude. Yes, it sucks. Especially if you are by yourself or have family that is not supportive or understanding, which has been my case more often than not. But you don’t need anyone’s input, and if what you are doing is outside of what they have experienced or accomplished, you won’t want their input.
When I made the decision to uproot my life and move 1000 miles away to Florida, from Ohio, I didn’t tell a soul what I was doing. Only one friend knew because he was the one who helped me load my truck. I made the decision, executed the plan, and made the whole move before I told anyone. This took months to accomplish. One day I just posted on social media a picture of me on a piece of land in sunny Florida with an “Oh, by the way, I live in Florida now…” message.
I knew if I had talked about it, the majority of responses would be the 10,000 reasons why it wouldn’t work, why I wouldn’t like it, and how I would be back. Yet again, they would’ve been wrong. I’ve been here a year and a half and I have never loved a place more. I wouldn’t trade my today for any of my yesterdays. Not even a question.
I have several more plans that I am not talking about openly. There’s just no need for it, and the idea creation phase is too important to have it contaminated with negative talk from people who really do not matter.
This has always been a problem with people in general. But in today’s world with social media, it’s a chronic problem. I know it is destroying many people’s drive to do great things, to pursue visions and big goals, because they are afraid of the attacks from online.
Forget about them. You don’t have to tell anyone what you are doing. You don’t need validation. Could you be crazy and not thinking something through? Of course! You want to know how to get better at making good plans? Fail from not so good planning. You will learn more from failing than you will ever learn from a bunch of people spewing opinions about things they’ve never done. And that is how you get better. My most successful business was my fifth one.
In all things people understand the need for practice, except when it comes to businesses, careers and visions in their life. They think it should be one big shot and success. Let me break it to you, you need practice in those areas too. You have to fail. You will learn. And that is how you get better at all of it: ideas, planning and execution.
If you want valuable input, find a real mentor
If you want input specific to your plans, find a mentor who has done it, and who will be empathetic to your desires. If you want encouragement, figure out who is truly in your corner out of the people close to you and let them support you with encouragement. But for the love of success, you do not need the people of social media and their fucking opinions. Not while you are in the planning or building phase. When it’s time to sell them something, step forward with what you’ve built and show the results.
I am not telling you that the only way to do it is to hide. You can absolutely show your process if you want to. But showing the process is you showing yourself doing it, working on it. It’s not just talking about it or sharing your vision or plans. There is a difference. You will still get naysayers and shit posters, but if you are actively working towards something it’s much easier to maintain your belief in yourself than if you were just talking about ideas and getting beat down.
Control your own social experience
But if there is any doubt in your ability to do something that you really plan on trying to do, don’t let the nasty people on social media get into your head. Very rarely will the negative talk come from someone who has actually done anything notable in that field (or in their lives in general). If you do share your process or journey, BLOCK negative people as soon as they show up. Don’t give them space on your platform. Your social is for you, not them, and you don’t need to be “fair”.
Create your own online experience, or sign off for the most part like I did and just go execute your life visions out there in the real world.
At a time when society is tearing itself apart and tearing each other down over social media platforms, be your own beacon and just do work. Deal with people face-to-face and quit worrying about what some shithead on the internet thinks about something he knows nothing about, especially when that something is you.