Hate It or Love It…

On January 28, 2005, rappers The Game and 50 Cent released a certified banger titled “Hate it or Love it.”

One day, I’ll play it for my infant children.

I want them to always remember that, even if they’re the underdogs, they can indeed be on top, and that they should always shine until their heart stops.

I also think that, in addition to being a great song for babies, “Hate It or Love It” is a great song for any entrepreneur or personal brand who’s caught some flack lately from the haters.

Here’s how the chorus ends.

“Go ‘head envy me, I’m rap’s MVP

And I ain’t goin’ nowhere, so you can get to know me”

And I think that’s a good mantra.

If you’re in the public eye pursuing your passion, you’re going to catch some heat every now and then.

But, in most cases, I think you should stay the course.

I was recently reviewing customer survey data for one of my clients.

He’s a New York Times bestselling author who has written a truly ridiculous number of books and sold tens of millions of copies.

In addition to that, he teaches writers how to get better at their craft and shares inside knowledge from decades in the writing/publishing field.

He provides a ton of value to his audience, which is one of the many reasons I love working with him.

(He also shreds my writing to pieces every time I send him something. And, surprisingly, that’s another reason I love working with him. His ruthless edits have made me a much better writer than I used to be.)

The good news is…

Most of the customer survey responses reflected the value he provides.

Meaning, most people were sane. They appreciated what he’s doing and applauded his efforts.

But we also had a few people who had been drinking Haterade.

I love those people.

Admittedly, part of this is because the venom isn’t directed at me. It’s directed at my client, and I can see the situation objectively.

Now, if you leave a nasty comment on this article, I’ll probably freak out. But I’d like to say that, after the initial anxiety, I could take the following view of the situation:

People who say mean things on the internet think they’re right.

From their perspective, you (if you’re the one receiving the hurtful words) have wronged them.

They’re hurt. And they’re responding naturally to that.

Now, whether you’ve actually done anything wrong doesn’t matter. Because in their eyes, you HAVE.

And not only that — you’ve done it MALICIOUSLY!

You evil person! How could you do this!?

Now, both you and I know that wasn’t your intention. You’re just doing your best. But this angry commenter doesn’t know that.

He’s just hurt. And he’s not sure how to express that productively.

“Hurt people hurt people.”

A few years ago, I was watching a Casey Neistat video, when he said the phrase above.

And it stuck with me.

Some people, no matter what you do, are going to hate it. They’re going to lash out. They’ll call you selfish, disingenuous, and anything else they can think of.

These people are just hurt. Either they feel wronged by you, the world, or something else entirely.

They’re just filled with pain and they don’t know what to do with it. So it seeps out into comments, reviews, surveys, you name it.

When you re-frame their feedback like this…

You begin to realize that whatever was said isn’t an indication of the type of person you are, but rather an indication of the type of person the commenter is.

So, keep that in mind the next time you’re running through customer data and someone is acting like a dick…or the next time your aunt Karen leaves a rude comment on your new Insta pic.

Just respond like 50 Cent, and you’ll be good:

“Hate it or love it, the underdog’s on top

And I’m gon’ shine homey until my heart stop

Go ‘head envy me, I’m rap’s MVP

And I ain’t goin’ nowhere, so you can get to know me”

Robert Lucas