The Still-Not-Forgotten Art of Complaining About Your Business
Posted on January 15, 2014
If you’re like me then you probably don’t even feel like reading this post. I mean, I bet that 90% of people (myself included) see themselves as those who know better or those who don’t do silly things like complaining about their current situation.
But on the contrary, we all have the tendency to do that. And when I give it a closer look, unfortunately, I do too.
So before you stop reading simply because this is one of the more ridiculous introductions you’ve ever seen, let me tell you what I exactly mean by complaining.
First of all, there’s not going to be any obvious stuff here (at least I hope), so you’re not going to see things like “I don’t have any money” or “my site has no visitors.” Complaining actually goes much deeper.
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The first rule is this: Complaining is not about noticing reality (like “I don’t have money” – it’s hard to argue with such a statement). Complaining is about thinking that you’re not in a position where you can change things (like “I don’t have money and it’ll stay that way”).
Essentially, complaining is staying in your comfort zone. It’s doing things that we’re comfortable with because going out and opting for change seems too risky.
Do you still not believe me that you’re a strong player in the art of complaining too? Check out these scenarios and be honest with yourself; Are you guilty of doing any of the following?
Complaining that someone else is at a higher stage
This is the most basic type of complaining and one that we actually feel good about. The whole idea is to complain that other people are more advanced at something than we are.
And like I said, the sole fact of noticing this is not destructive. What’s problematic is when it paralyzes our actions or makes us think that the ultimate goal is unattainable.
It’s mainly due to the impression that there’s no place left on the market. For instance, if there are four successful big competitors in your niche already then you might feel that getting to a similar level might not be possible anymore. On the contrary, if four people are successful, this only means that customers are interested in what they’re doing and that there’s surely a place for the fifth one.
Or you know what, picture this, does the fact that Usain Bolt is the fastest man in the world means that you shouldn’t train to be a sprinter? Of course not! Even if he’s way ahead of everybody, it doesn’t mean that someday, someone won’t be able to beat him.
In a nutshell, no matter how much more advanced someone is, you can still be better.
Complaining that someone else is to blame
Unfortunately, taking the responsibility is a long forgotten art. These days, we don’t like to feel responsible for anything. Especially for our failures.
Our business has no clients? It’s the competitors fault! Our sites go down all the time? It’s our hosting provider’s fault! Our car was taken? It’s the bank’s fault!
Well, sorry to be the one to break this, but it’s always our fault. No matter what happens.
It’s our fault that we’re not as good as our competitors. It’s our fault that we didn’t choose a quality web host. It’s our fault that we kept buying things we couldn’t afford and so on.
I know that admitting to failure hurts a bit, but it also gives us the chance to take control and learn from our failures.
Picture this, if you’re complaining and blaming other people, you’re effectively admitting that you’re in no position to change anything. But if you take the blame then you also take control of the situation which allows you to change it.
Remember, don’t complain that someone else committed the mistake. Rather, admit that you let them do it.
Complaining that Google is impossible to work with these days
Yeah, I know. There were algorithm updates, bans and other things that Google has brought upon us in the recent months. But this doesn’t actually change anything for anybody.
First of all, remember what I said about taking control and not blaming anybody. Secondly, whenever an update rolls out some sites get dropped but others thrive. And since there still are sites sitting at top spots, it means that some people still know how to work with Google. Hence, you can be one of them too.
Even if your site went down hard, you have to keep in mind that Google doesn’t hate you personally or anything. They are still more than willing to work with you if you just learn how to comply with their new set of rules.
Complaining about the haters
Having to deal with haters is one of the best things that can happen to you. Period.
And I don’t even mean that you should pay attention to other people’s opinions and always try to get some constructive criticism out of every message. No. You don’t.
Here’s what a hateful comment actually means: It means that the person who wrote it was moved by your work enough to devote their time to write a response and call you all sorts of different things. For me, this is great.
Instead of complaining that some people hate you, enjoy others who love you. I don’t know how about you, but I’d rather be hated by 10 people and loved by 10, than be the “okay kind” for the whole 20.
I’m doing quite a lot of writing and publishing on the internet and to be honest, one of the comments that I’ve enjoyed the most was when someone asked me if I was “f*** serious” about what I just wrote (literally what they said) and gave a shout to the admins of the site asking if there’s an editor in the house (probably so they can take the article down or something). Ah, great times.
Even though the comment was ultra-negative (basically, the person was just disagreeing with my point of view … only in harsh words), I was the one who was in charge (like the Writers in Charge movement teaches), so I knew I was doing something right.
Complain about the 24-day
Actually, this is about complaining about yourself and your poor time management and productivity skills. You know, it’s when you say something like “I wish the day had more than 24 hours, there’s so much to do.”
Hey, we all get the same 24 hours and somehow, some people can make millions during theirs while others can only accumulate debts in the same period. To write off unaffordable debts it’s important to see IVA.
Instead of putting yet another sticky note on your monitor, try to learn a time and work management methodology (like Getting Things Done). And this goes for all niches and professions.
Literally, there’s not a line of career in the world that couldn’t benefit from some good time and work management approach.
Also, try some tools out. By far, my most favorite one is FreeMind for mind mapping. Quite literally, I wouldn’t be able to get anything done without that tool. (Remember The Milk is cool too.)
Complaining you can’t get clients
Come on, 7 billion people on earth. ‘Nuff said.
So what do you think? Admit it, have you really not complained about the above things even once in the recent months?
I know I have, probably even in the recent week. But hey, nobody’s perfect.
In the end, the point of this article was not to take a look at our complaining nature and point out how crappy we are, but to realize that we’re in control and the earlier we realize it, the quicker we can stop complaining about anything.
The truth to the matter is that we all start somewhere. And no matter what stage we’re in, it’s just a step towards the next level. While complaining is simply taking us one step back.
Let’s make “power” the official word for online businesses and websites in 2013. Don’t complain that others have power, claim it yourself. Because the worst case scenario is that, eventually, complaining can kill your whole undertaking.