A successful entrepreneur shares her thoughts on business success and failure.

They're All Going To Laugh At You


They're all going to laugh at you.
They’re laughing at you.
Let’s face it. When you start a business, you’re probably going to fail.

I mean, you’re practically doomed from the start. 90% of all businesses don’t make it five years. Even if you have successfully run a business before, you’re probably rusty at that whole “starting” thing.

You probably won’t make it.

Your customers are going to ask for refunds. They’re going to take their lack of success out on you. They’re going to tell you you didn’t perform (regardless of whether you did or not.)

They won’t pay you. Their checks will bounce. Their credit cards will get declined. They’ll promise to pay…every week, for the next month…and never pay. Suddenly, their phone number will get disconnected.

They’ll call you up and attack you personally, spewing venom you never thought you’d hear outside of an R-rated gangsta movie. They will laugh at your feeble attempts to make it right. They’ll threaten to sue you. They will get their local police department to call you.

They will leave anonymous comments on the Internet about how awful your company is, and, by extension, how awful you must be as a person.

They’ll complain that you charge them too much. They will threaten to cancel. They will cancel, and then when your broken billing system decides to bill them again, you won’t be able to refund it quickly enough to spare the hate mail, hate calls, and hate letters.

In short, they’re all going to laugh at you. In fact, they’re probably already laughing at you. I bet you can hear it right now in your head: “You’re so stupid. You’ll never be able to figure this Internet thing out. You don’t have time for this. You’re not young any more. You have mouths to feed! How could you possibly consider quitting your job?”

If you’re thinking I’m about to make it all better, I’m not. What I just listed above (including the part where the police department called me) is all real. It all happened to me in the course of running my business. I once let a customer rant on the phone for just over an hour (I timed it) while I transferred the call to my cell phone, put on my headset, and drove home. I listened to him ranting in my ear about how awful our service was the entire time.

As you’re reading this, some emotions are probably coming to the surface. At least one of them is likely to be a memory of when something like this has happened to you in the past. And maybe it’s scaring the crap out of you. You don’t want to run a business like that, you’re thinking. Who in their right mind would sign up for that?

But some of you…some of you are different. Sure, there are probably fears and doubts in there, and you may even question your own sanity. But somewhere, deep down inside, something is fighting to rise up. Something is saying, not, “It won’t happen to me,” but “I will find some way to handle this.” Because it will happen to you. Don’t kid yourself. You can run a great company, and you’re going to get shit flung at you every single day. It’s just how business works.

This post is for the fighters out there. It’s a reminder that you can do this. It’s a reminder that we all get the crap beat out of us, if not physically, then emotionally. Life isn’t always a cake walk. No matter how big or small a business you run, no matter how much money you have…this world is full of people who will want nothing more than to tear you down and see you fail. Online or in person; customer, employee, best friend or family member…they’re going to want you to fail, for reasons beyond your control.

To be okay with this, you have to first acknowledge it. Only by acknowledging that the hate is out there will you be able to get past the fear that is inside you and take the next step.

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather wake up each morning knowing that I’m bringing my absolute best to the table than wake up looking over my shoulder and asking “What if?”

The haters will be there no matter what you choose. Choose something that will make you happy.

Now go out there and change the world!

Recommended Reading:

  • Download my free Blog Success Manifesto. Want to start a blog–or do you already run one? This is a must-download; I showcase how I created a successful blog without killing myself in the process. 63 pages; 30 tactical tips…and oh yeah, it’s completely free!


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I'm Erica Douglass.
After selling my online business at age 26 for over $1 million, I created this blog to help you grow your own business quickly.

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