After deciding to become self-employed, many people soon discover that business can be cruel – especially when competition is at play.
As you try to develop your business you’ll undoubtedly discover some hellish characters who will try to dent your confidence with criticism and negative babble. You might meet these people at networking events or even on Twitter but, for many people starting up in business, the most likely candidates will be former employers and associates.
How you deal with these people is what’s important and this is where you should learn to ignore them. That’s right – ignore. Block, hit delete and eradicate them from your life because life is too short to worry about people who don’t matter!
But if you still need to rationalise their bad behaviour, read through these reasons why former bosses or associates turn nasty and hopefully you’ll feel a lot better and quickly move on with your life…
You’ve made a success of yourself
The number one reason why your ex-boss dislikes you? You’ve made a success of yourself. In business, many egos are at play and if you have done well for yourself (or better than they have), they’ll be jealous – simple as that! What they often forget is how hard you have had to work to make a success of your business and for this reason you should be proud of your success.
You’ve got something they want
You might have an incredible product, website or service that your ex-boss wishes they’d thought of first. They’ll possibly attempt to copy and make their own versions… and when it doesn’t work and they realise the niche has already been filled? They’ll hate you for it and attempt to bring you down by discrediting your product or brand. Don’t let their strange attitude bother you! Just feel grateful that you thought of the idea first and you’ve worked hard to make it a success.
You’ve ignored their request for help
Often, businesses will ‘share’ work and help each other out. But if you’re too busy? You have to say no and turn them down. Some people take this personally and go on an ego-trip, bringing foolish pride into play. This isn’t your problem, you simply couldn’t help them out and if that’s an issue – then you certainly did the right thing turning them down.
You won a client over them
Ever since you ‘poached’ their client you’ve been an enemy to them. Even the mere mention of your name sends them into a flying rage and rant over how you wrongfully gained work that was rightfully theirs. Don’t worry about winning business over others, You’re not doing anything wrong. You’ve won the job and they haven’t – they should get over it.
You’ve beaten them in search engine results
Local SEO can become quite competitive, especially when you consider certain keywords. A phrase such as ‘Website Design Cheshire’ returns lots of results. If you’re above former employers, it might make you unpopular. Don’t sweat! You’ll need to be above them to get recognised by potential clients and that’s far more important than being liked by your ex-boss.
You’ve got more skills than they have
I’d guess that one of the main reasons you left your employer and went self-employed is that you always strive to better yourself. People who are confident in their abilities will focus on their own skills and work hard to improve them all the time.
Former employers and associates turn nasty because they lack confidence in themselves, their abilities and their staff. They’ll attack others because it makes them feel better. Let them worry about their own business and concentrate on your own. You can’t help it if others are struggling and you’re doing well. You’ve done nothing wrong, so just ignore their negativity.
I was inspired to write this after reading a similar post by the brilliant Katy Cowan on Creative Boom, but much of this is based on my own experiences over the past couple of years. If you can share or add anything else, just post your comment below.