The blog post below (he gets credit for the title as well) is straight from one of my mentors, and I found it suiting to share it today, just 48 hours after my first book made its public debut. Because the truth is, I won’t be able to please everyone with my creation. There will be a couple of grammatical errors (hopefully not too many), and I will share stories about a person or two that someone else despises. This is life my friends and as president Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed in one of his greatest quotes…
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
So without further ado I introduce you once again to the great words of a man known as Seth (search his name and it will likely be the first result on Google)…
“I don’t like your work”
That doesn’t mean I don’t like you.
The difference is critical. It’s impossible to be a productive professional if you insist on conjoining them.
Here are two useful things to consider:
- There is plenty of disliked work from people (and things) where I don’t even know the creator. I don’t like Wagner’s operas, and I never even met him. If it’s possible to dislike something without knowing the person behind it, I hope we can embrace the fact that they’re unrelated.
- If we need everyone to like our work in order to feel grounded, it means that we’ll sacrifice the best of what we could create in order to dumb it down for whatever masses happen to be speaking up. Which will make it more average (aka mediocre) and thus eliminate any magic we had hoped to create.
If someone cares enough to dislike our work, the best response is, “thank you.”
Thank you for taking the time to consider it, thank you for caring enough to let me know…
You can choose to listen (or not) to the rest of the feedback, but all you’ll learn is how one person reacted to something you built.