Have you ever been afraid of what people might think of you? What if they completely reject you and your ideas? What if you put your everything on the line, all you have to offer and still you’re rejected?
Well I am here to tell you it is a promise that you will be rejected and this is actually a good thing, let me explain.
In 2008 I was working for a Big 4, I had clients like NIKE, T-Mobile and Amazon, billion dollar accounts I was managing. I spent evenings, for example, going to a soccer game in a suite to network with top executives from Amazon and other partners in the firm, by day I was part of eight hour strategy meetings to help C-Suit succeed and discussions around relationship building. I was amongst those flown off to a University to be trained in leadership. But what was I doing with my free time? I was writing my first book and started my first podcast. But my book and my podcast were primarily religious. And not just religious but down right edgy, spiritual and included things like dream interpretation and the supernatural.
Now it would be one thing if I was going to write a book and nobody knew who I was. But I was promoting it every week and I had to decide if I cared what people thought or if I actually cared about why I was doing what I was doing. At any moment any one of these executives could think “wow, she’s plum crazy!” or simply be turned off by religion. I definitely got some of those reactions, believe me!
However, what I was amazed by was that although I did receive some rejection the majority began to respect me in a greater way. One coworker decided she wanted to record my intro and outros for my podcast to make them professional, a senior partner said he wanted to help me get listeners and he sent an email out to all the partners in the nation telling them what I was doing and to listen to my program. Coworkers began to actually tell everyone that I was a host of an online radio program. A partner in the Federal Government industry suggested that I do a podcast for the Firm.
When we stand for who we are, what we believe and are not ashamed to speak it sure we will get plenty of people rejecting us. We will lose the audience that our content does not apply to and in some cases those we were never supposed to reach in the first place. But we also reach a level of success we would not have reached otherwise. I also noticed that even if people disagreed with my content they got to see my capabilities and that opened more doors for me.
I continued to work for a Firm for six years and was very successful until I decided I wanted to relocate and focus on being an entrepreneur. Now my focus has turned to helping others succeed and although my content now is primarily focused on entrepreneurs and people learning what their purpose is, I still find I face rejection daily. This time it is more from those who liked my religious beliefs but don’t like my business and achievement beliefs and they let me know daily.
Did I change? Absolutely not, I am just not as one dimensional to them anymore.
We do not have to be liked or agreed with by everyone to be successful. I know many people say don’t talk about religion, politics etc. in business. Maybe there is truth to that or maybe it is more powerful to be authentic and not care if others agree. There are different demographics of people who like things about me for different reasons. But it is not my job to change who I am so that anyone will like me, and it is not my job to care if they agree. I can sit down to a plate of cookies and they know nothing of my work, it does not change how I feel about them or how tasty they are to me. If that same plate included cookies I didn’t like would I throw the whole plate out? Absolutely not. Others liking you or agreeing with you have very little to do with the value behind what you know and have to offer. There will always be something someone disagrees with you on and not everyone will like you and that is what success looks like.
Number one rule to success is don’t care if people agree with you or not and do not care if they like you or not. Keep a take me or leave me attitude. Listen to your mentors and those that are smarter than you are, but never change who you are to be accepted. You do not have to be liked to succeed, you just have to create value.