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Let’s face facts; we can’t make it without others. It’s impossible to do EVERYTHING alone, which is why we all have a set of strengths and gifts that are unique to “just us”. But let me tell you; not everyone you meet is happy to see you coming, and not everyone you greet is praying for your downfall. Let’s see if you know, or have experienced, the following “types”:

  1. The True Supporter/Your Biggest Fan: This particular person could be someone very familiar (like family or friends), or someone who simply looks at you as a point of reference for success. He or she is typically supporting your business ventures by showing up to events, sharing information about your brand via social media or other methods, and/or will find themselves encouraged by your overall example. Success does not depend on a “pat on the back”, but it’s definitely uplifting to have someone who fully supports you!
  2. The Watcher/Secret Admirer: This person is someone who follows your progress via social media or may even show up to events, but they are relatively silent or “low key” about their presence. They are not really “liking” anything that you publicly share, and they aren’t really congratulatory or welcoming when you see them in person; the Watcher/Secret Admirer is just kind of “there”, taking mental notes and wanting to be in the know. Sometimes, this person may be paralyzed by fear to move, but they watch you to see just how they may even get a start. The Watcher/Secret Admirer might ask you something in private, but you never really see anything come of the conversation that you had with them. However, you’ve decided to keep it moving…hoping that one day, they will figure out their passion or purpose. In the mean and in between, they continue to watch.
  3. The Copy Cat/“Frienemy Forger”: This one is a bit of a doozy. They try to “do what you do, how you do it”, but they never seem to hit the mark. That’s because they are attempting to create a vision based on someone else’s gifts or purpose…yours. This person definitely follows you, and even comments on your shares, shows up to events where you will be present, and may even congratulate you on a job well done. They attach themselves to you, acting as if they personally know you while around others, but the Copy Cat/”Frienemy Forger” only knows you professionally…or so they think. They end up failing miserably at their attempts to create their stolen business model and get this…they may end up angry with you because your “thing” continues to work. You may ask: “Well, how could they become angry at ME?” It’s simple, really. They don’t understand why you are successful in your purpose, and that they were destined to fail, trying to carbon copy your vision; so this is why the anger and resentment will show up. The Lesson: they will only find peace when they find themselves.
  4. The All Out Hater/”Confused Fan”: Now, what’s so crazy about this one is that they will support you, just like an actual Supporter would; will follow, post and like your shares; they will even donate to your causes…but they will also talk about you to others in a negative way. It’s so true that “people will often times speak badly about you in hopes that others won’t find you so appealing” (author unknown)…and that’s typically because their own insecurities have overshadowed any form of logic. It’s not your fault that they have decided not to grow, decided not to evolve from situations in their past, or that they’ve decided not to figure out what their purpose actually is. But when they see you, it brings up something on the inside that they aren’t willing to face. Haters really are “confused fans”. They dig your drive, they adore your ambition, even praise your persistence, yet they aren’t able to think beyond the current moment; so they aren’t clear on how to move. BUT, they see your movements and will always have something to say. It’s sad…but again, not your fault.

Each of these should fuel you to keep striving for greatness. Even though you have someone who supports and genuinely cares about your success, you still can’t let those compliments get to your head. You should know by now that someone is always watching you; either as a point of reference or to see if you will screw up royally. Copy Cats aren’t HORRIBLE if they are trying to “copy” your work ethic. On the other hand, if they are trying to completely duplicate your entire demo, that’s where it becomes problematic…but not anything that should stop your movements (unless they are infringing on trademark type materials…then legal actions must be taken). The biggest thing to remember about the haters (or “confused fans”) is that they are insecure. But you have to ask yourself two things: is their set of insecurities my fault? And, why should I care? Don’t let their criticism get to your heart. Keep working; keep succeeding; keep your focus!