Build a Badass Business Podcast | Diane Sanfilippo

Build a Badass Business Podcast #29:How to handle criticism

Build a Badass Business Podcast | Diane Sanfilippo

Enjoy this Q&A episode where I address:

  1. How to handle criticism from people who think you are working too hard.
  2. The value I place on being in control of my day.
  3. How to up the level of your business (hint: get out there and meet people).
  4. How exchanging time for dollars won’t necessarily translate into earning a solid living.
  5. Perfection. Don’t be an entrepreneur if you don’t want to put out something imperfect.

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Build a Badass Business: Episode # 29: How to handle criticism

Coming to you from the city by the bay, this is Build a Badass Business with Diane Sanfilippo. Diane is a New York Times bestselling author and serial entrepreneur. She’s here to teach you how to grow and develop a successful business you love, and how to create raving fans along the way. Here she is, your host: Diane Sanfilippo.

Diane Sanfilippo: This question is from Merina. “Hey there from Germany! How do you react to all those people criticizing you for your workload? Like, you should take some time off. Or, wait a few years and you’ll see. It’s not good to work that much. You’re addicted to work. You have to learn to relax. And they’re not saying this in a caring way, but in a moaning way. I mean, I don’t walk around telling them that they should work more, but everybody thinks he has the right to tell me how much I should work.

Merina. That is such a good question! I love this question. So, how do I react, is one answer, and how maybe other people can react might be another answer. I actually don’t get too many people telling me I should work less, because I feel like most of the people who are around me who know how much I work know that telling me to work less is kind of not a good idea, because it’s not going to change anything. So most people know that telling me, you should do this or you should do that; unless I’m asking for advice, I’m not going to take the advice. And that’s pretty standard for most people who you try and dole advice out to who aren’t asking for it.

I think it’s different; we have close friends and loved ones, and we like to give them gentle reminders about things or a suggestion, but that’s a little bit different from what I would consider to be a criticism or just a rude comment that really has no place. I think a lot of times the people who have that perspective that you “should” do something; you should relax more, you should have more balance, what have you. I don’t think everybody understands the position that you’re in, as an entrepreneur, as a business owner, that you should try and work to make your business not fail. That’s the way I see it.

If you have a goal, and a dream, and you want to pursue things, then pursuing it in a way, whatever way that makes sense for you, whatever amount of energy and time you can spend on it, I personally don’t think that; I think if you have time to watch TV, and if you have time to recreate any way. And I’m not talking, just kind of your basic; of course you want to sit down and have dinner with your family. Do these things that kind of keep you sane and keep you connected throughout the day, but there are always these hours that you just find slipping away to things that maybe are recreational, as I was saying, or maybe it’s just something extra that you like to do that you’re spending time doing that instead of focusing on your business.

I think somebody who is telling you how to spend your time might be someone who is more apt to relax more and spend more time playing. And that’s fine, but, that’s not how you are. Then I think there’s a matter of letting them know; hey, that’s not the way I operate. And you can say it to me all you want, but it’s not going to change anything. And this is the goal that I have for my business, and I have to work hard to reach that goal.

Now, I think there’s always an element of; it’s important to have some self reflection, is it your significant other who is like, hey I wish you would not work so much. I wish you would put your phone down and have dinner with me, and we have a conversation or something like that. I think that’s a little bit different. Scott and I were just joking about this yesterday; we are with each other so many hours of the day. So while we were on our cross-country drive, we had not a lot of great internet, and when we would get to a stop in a restaurant, like a casual restaurant, that had internet service, we would be kind of be checking our phones, maybe doing some kind of post to Instagram, or something like that.

And I consider that work related, but we know what our life is like for that whole 24 hours. We know how we spend all of our time. So unless that person knows how you spend all of your time, it’s kind of not their place. Honestly, at the end of the day, the how you deal with it is to just kind of shrug and say nothing, or just let them know, thanks, I appreciate your input, and that’s it. It’s kind of the same as, what if someone is criticizing the way you eat, or criticizing anything about what you’re doing?

I do think there are times when you might have friends or family members who are not entrepreneurs, and they don’t understand that it’s not a 9-5. They don’t understand that you don’t get weekends off. But they also don’t understand that next year you might take a month off, you know? Or you take a day off whenever you want, and you don’t have to answer to anybody for that. I think there’s just kind of a shift.

Most of the people who are around me either understand my approach to my business, and that I’m very intense with it but will also basically have a week where I do almost nothing for my business. Or they are entrepreneurs. So if you are around other entrepreneurs, they’re not going to criticize you for saying, I need to take this call it will just be one minute. I’m sorry, and then I’ll bring my attention back to you.

This happens sometimes if I’m traveling and I’m offline for a while, and I’m in touch with my project manager or something like that, and the person I’m with, I say excuse me for just one minute, I have to talk to my project manager, we have this big thing going on. And most of the time, the people who are closest and they really get you; they get, and they know, and I think this is important too. When you are giving them you’re attention, you’re really giving them your attention.

I think for the most part, if people are being sensitive about how much time you’re feeling on work, it’s because they’re feeling like you’re not giving them your time, or your quality time. So that might be kind of at the crux of it. That might be the part that they’re just feeling a little bit rejected or a little bit pushed to the side, like they’re not getting enough of your attention. I don’t know too many people who would just tell you “you work too much” without some kind of impact to them or hurt to them, other than somebody who just does not understand being entrepreneurial at all, and they’re in the 9-5, they check out at 5 p.m. and think that everybody should check out at 5 p.m. That’s an issue with their own judgment. So that’s what I think about it.

If people are criticizing you, depending on how deep that criticism runs and how painful it becomes to you, you may need to just kind of decide to distance yourself a little bit more from those people or only spend time with them when you know you can give them a lot more of your attention. If you know that Sundays are an easy day for you, you don’t have to worry about your business as much. Just for example, it could be any day. But maybe that’s the day you choose to spend with them, and that’s kind of a way to get around it versus kind of battling any other balance.

I do think the one last thing I want to say here about this idea of having people criticize you about how much time you spend on work is; don’t complain. If you’re complaining about work, if you’re complaining about you have to do this or that, if you’re complaining that you can’t be social because you have to do work; you don’t HAVE to do it. It’s your own will, desire, and drive to be an entrepreneur; nobody is forcing you to do that. So if you are complaining about it, and they’re feeling like they don’t want to hear it anymore, then they might criticize you back by saying you’re working too much because all they do is hear you complain.

So there you go. That’s what I think you should do or what you should do about people who think that you’re working too much, and I would love to hear your questions.

Diane Sanfilippo: “How did I finally make the decision to leave UX Design and pursue my passion?” That’s a question from Autumn, I believe. So, I was tweeting about nutrition while I was working at my last job, and I would get packages of grass-fed beef and all this stuff; I was just kind of known for being the nutrition girl in my office, and I think I was in school at the time.

Honestly, my spirit was just so broken to go into the office every day. It wasn’t anything specifically personal about that job or the people there. I think it was the best it could be for me. I think my boss tried as hard as she could to make things happy and comfortable for me. The corporate culture was great, it’s just not a fit for me. I never was comfortable working in an office; I always felt like a caged animal in an office. And for me, it’s like, do I wake up in the morning and feel a huge amount of dread and that feeling in the pit of my stomach, it’s the reason why I quit two jobs that I had.

The one other job that I did quit, I guess, was my graphic design job when I went to pursue the organic meal business that I had. That one was a little bit harder to leave, because I didn’t really have that same pit feeling. I really liked what I was doing, I really liked the boss that I was working for. I will interview him on an episode of Build a Badass Business in the near future. That was a little bit harder, but I basically just feel like I need to wake up and be excited about the thing that I’m doing, and when I start waking up excited about something else, then I need to do that something else.

I just have a lot of trust in myself. For me, the risk/reward, it’s always better. I would rather not be making much money at all and wake up and feel like I’m in control of my day, so I left that job. It was a 6-figure paying job, and I moved apartments. I moved to a cheaper apartment, and that was kind of it.

Diane Sanfilippo: “What do you think it takes to up level your business? Mine is great right now but going slower.” I could not see your name; I missed your name. I think to up level your business, I’m going to say this every single time you hear me speak about anything business related for the most part. But I think everybody on this podcast, on this Scope, write this down. You may have already written it down if you’ve watched me before. But I think the number one thing everyone needs to be doing to up level their business, because this is what I’ve seen working the best in any industry, in any field, is getting out and meeting people in person.

Whether that’s a conference, whether it’s a meet up or an event that you host and hold; whether it’s a talk at a grocery store, or a library, or anywhere, I think everybody needs to take it off line and meet people in person so that then, those 5 to 500, however many people you meet, as they’re scrolling through Instagram, instead of just passing you buy because they just randomly followed you from a tag from a friend, they know you. They’ve connected with you. They sat in a room and heard you speak. I think it’s just the next level thing.

Anybody you see on Periscope who has tons of fans and followers; anybody you see who has a New York Times’ bestselling book; I will guarantee you 90% of those people, at the very least, speak and do live events. Nothing replaces human contact; exactly Jessica. So, I think the internet is great, social media is great, but what we love about it is the connection. And the type of connection that you have is so different in person. The podcast is another great one, because when you’re hearing somebody’s voice while you’re in the shower or while you’re driving to work, I think the type of connection you make there is fantastic.

Diane Sanfilippo: Dana; “what’s the number one thing you should invest your money into to get your business get started strong?” I think if there’s something you need to spend money on, it’s whatever frees up your time so you can work on your business. So, I think if that means you eat at Chipotle a little more often or you buy your Primal Kitchen Mayo and you don’t make your mayo, or you buy premade ghee. I think if it’s convenience foods, but healthy ones. If that makes your life easier, so you don’t have to spend an hour cooking and then cleaning, and you get that hour back to spend on your business.

So here’s a perfect example; while I was writing Practical Paleo, there were so many days where I ate Chipotle for dinner. Now, part of that was because my parent’s kitchen was being remodeled and I was living with them at the time. So that was part of it. But, the amount of time it would take to cook and then clean up, I was like, I would rather be working on this book. Well, I don’t know that I would rather have been editing, but I think that’s probably the first place.

From there; I did talk about this on a couple of episodes of the podcast, who to hire first. I think generally usually hiring an assistant when your business grows to the point where you can’t handle your own emails anymore, that’s usually the first person everybody hires, is an assistant or a graphic designer. Usually the graphic designer, you won’t hire someone to your team initially, you’ll hire somebody to do the work kind of autonomously. But that’s kind of, as I look back at where I would have spent money, that would be it initially, for sure.

Then from there, it’s definitely to build your team and make sure you have business services that you’re using. Things like MailChimp if your list gets too big and you have to pay for it. All these different kinds of services that we use online. I’ll try to do some episodes of the podcast about all the different tools and services we use in the near future.

Diane Sanfilippo: “What’s the number one piece of advice you’d give to an entrepreneurial nutritionist?” Kay nutrition. I’m curious what you teach about Kay; that’s awesome. I like your little picture there, too, holding that coffee cup or whatever it is.

The number one piece of advice I give to most coaches, trainers, nutritionists, and y’all can write this down, this is a good one. Don’t expect to earn a really solid living by exchanging your time for dollars. So, you can’t earn a great living. You may or may not be able to reach 6 figures. I think that’s kind of like a benchmark a lot of people have; they want to earn a 6 figure income. I think most places in the country, that’s a pretty solid income. I mean, I think less than that is totally solid, just depends on where you live and the cost of living and all that good stuff. But I think as an entrepreneur, I think a lot of people have that $100,000 a year mark as something that makes them feel like, ok, I’m there, or something.

But if you’re trying to do that by booking consults all week, you’re going to burn out, and you’re never going to get there. So really the best thing to do is to start teaching classes, create a program that people can do online. I was teaching classes for a long time, all different types of classes. And before I wrote the 21-Day Sugar Detox, I was doing one-on-one consulting, one-on-one coaching. But I found that a lot of people; I think once you get a little bit into your career, you find that a lot of people have the same problems. So if you can get 80-90% of people on the right track with a program that they can all follow, then you don’t need to do one-on-one with everyone.

You would not believe the amount of people who come up to me with either Practical Paleo or the 21-Day Sugar Detox book, which are both right here. You wouldn’t believe how many people come up to me and say, your book changed my life, or your book saved my life. And I’m like, you spent $20 and saved your own life! That’s amazing, how cool is that! And you can reach so many more people with a program like that than you can reach just on your own.

I personally burn out too quickly and don’t have the energy for one-on-one consulting. I learned that about myself very quickly. So if you do have that energy that works well for one-on-one, I do think it’s a great necessary service, and a lot of people really need that connection and that one-on-one. But I think the majority of people who will succeed with a nutrition program can do it autonomously if you just give them the rules to follow.

Diane Sanfilippo: Kara, “Got an opportunity to guest post on Instagram to 230,000, but I only have Instagram, no blog. Should I start one?” Should you start a blog? You don’t necessarily have to start a blog. If you want to post on an Instagram account that has a lot of fans and followers, and you’re like, shoot! Ok, I can bring them to my Instagram, but then what? Actually what I would recommend, if you want to write this down or if somebody wants to type it in a comment. That’s a really good question; actually, I like this question a lot.

Sign up for Lead Pages. I think they have a free option. So I don’t have an affiliate link or anything for them. Maybe one day I will, because I think they have that kind of thing. But, and also sign up for MailChimp account, which you can definitely get for free to start out. This is going to take some time, and you have to figure this out on your own, and it’s annoying, and frustrating, but you’ll figure it out.

Go to Lead Pages, create a Lead Page that is just an opt in. I’m giving you three things to do, actually; I changed my mind. Three things; so create a Leap Page, something where you say, hey, get my free whatever. Make a great resource for people. So whatever your shtick is, let me know what your shtick is? “Kara the Whole Mama. Don’t want to put something out there that’s not perfect.” That’s the dream; you’ll never be able to put something out that’s perfect. Practical Paleo released, there were typos. Just get over that. Don’t be an entrepreneur if you don’t want to put something out that’s not perfect.

So, if you want to promote to a huge audience, get yourself MailChimp and create an email subscriber list on MailChimp, that’s free. Create something free that you will send people. Maybe you have your favorite 3 recipes that you’ve ever made, or your most popular post on Instagram and here’s the recipes for them. Something great; something that you could maybe sell even for a dollar or a couple of dollars, but you’re going to give it to people for free. You can see examples of this all over my website; all kinds of things that I could be selling, but I’m not. I want people to have them. But in exchange for them; they’re free money-wise, but in exchange for them I’m going to ask for their email address.

So what you’ll do is if you start posting on this other account, you’ll say, “hey come check me out here, and the link in my profile will give you access to my best 3 recipes, I’ll send them right too you” so people can get your opt-in offer, and be able to sign up for your emailing list. Because you don’t want anybody to visit your stuff and not have a way to stay in touch with you. So having a website isn’t necessarily what you need, but you need a way to capture their email address.

So Lead Pages; I don’t create the actual PDF there. It’s what creates either the popup window. If you go the, which is in my profile; that’s a lead page. If you go to or, and you see the popup that comes up, that’s from Lead Pages. It’s called a Lead Box, that one. So we’re using that. And those are really great. Also, if you click on the SIBO guide; if you want my guide for SIBO, and you click on that, you’ll see it all popup. And that’s a Lead Box, as well. Those are great because you can track how they’re doing, and see all of that stuff.

Hey guys, I’m so glad you’re loving the show. Let me ask you to do me a favor; come follow me on Periscope. You can find me; I believe you can search Diane Sanfilippo, or you can search @BalancedBites, which is my Twitter handle, which is the account name over on Periscope. I am going to start doing live sessions, really quick thoughts for the day. I’m not sure if it I will be every day, but it will be pretty often, and some Q&A on business topics and motivation, inspiration, etc. So make sure you’re following me over on Periscope. Download the app in the app store, and I will see you there.

That’s all I’ve got for you guys today. Don’t forget to subscribe in iTunes so you don’t miss an episode. And drop me a review to let me know what’s speaking to you from the show. If you want to get in on the conversation and you haven’t yet joined the group already on Facebook, head on over there and join the Build a Badass Business group. I share insights and tips regularly, as well as answer your questions right there on the page. Do work that you love, and hustle to make your business grow like your life depends on it, because it does. Thanks for listening, and I’ll catch you on the next episode.

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