The Official Blog of the SBA 504 Experts

504 Loan Blog

Dealing with Criticisms
  • more-shares
    • Save on Delicious

“Easier said than done.” That’s what I’ve always told my employees, my business partners and my coaching members. In business, it’s easier to say, “Just deal with it” or “just let it roll off your shoulders,” than to actually take your own advice. Believe me, I KNOW. As you might imagine, we’ve been “talked about,” copied and even slandered for years. We take plenty of shots . . . because we’re brave enough to be “out there” and say what needs to be said. And, we also try to Lead in whatever we do — doesn’t mean we’ll win at everything or even win all deals, but we just HATE losing. (Funny how that “sore loser” trait can pay off in life, away from the Little League and softball fields).

Why, just these first few months of 2008 have brought a whole new level of criticisms (the cleanest examples of these can be found here on our 504 Blog and also in the “Dear Chris” section of — you really should read it). I’ll admit it: I’ve never been very good at taking this particular advice . . . I’m a “work in progress” on it as they say. Having said that, KNOW that it is a certain fact in life that the higher up you go, the more people gun for you. You can deny this or try to make light of this, but I would argue you do so at your peril. I suppose we should call it the “Crab-in-a-Bucket” rule — that is, much like crabs in a bucket, if you try to rise above, escape, strive to climb out (insert your own analogy here) . . . the others will become jealous and try to pull you back down to their level. It’s said that this is a truism, but I believe if you ponder my words here, you’ll come up with a time when this happened to you, too.

We can pretend that everyone will be our cheerleader, like a proud parent, but it rarely plays out that way. Of course, it goes without saying that it is THAT important to associate with colleagues, hire employees, choose business partners, select vendors, and so forth that TRULY GET IT. Those that root for you in thick and in thin times… those that are your roving fan base, when others are certain to speak ill of you. The more you do, the more the criticisms will be leveled upon you. Most people have an envious streak in them. They often have a mean streak, too. It is best, if you’re a striver like I think you are, to try your absolute best to simply let it “roll off your back.” Certainly, this is easier said than done, but know that I (we) share your exasperation with their negativity. We’re right there with you . . . in the trenches battling the Incompetent, the Unwilling, and the Ignorant.

I’m sure you’ve probably heard of Pareto’s Principle, otherwise known as the “80/20” rule which states that all human behavior inevitably falls into the categories of 80% also-rans (average, mediocre, “normal”) and 20% strivers (successful and significant). While my experience tells me it’s hard to argue with Pareto, over the past couple years, I’ve come to understand a newer and more profound 5/15/80 percent rule. Basically, the 15% are above-average and on their way (some may make it; some may not), but the 5% are the super-successful . . . the folks we read about . . . the folks that accomplish BIG things. The 80% never changes, imagine that.

The 80% are the ones faithfully contributing to the national average of 4 hours of television watching per night, complaining about how they’ll possibly live in retirement when they haven’t saved much (if at all) and the government (their savior) is just as broke. They’re the ones looking for a hand-out in this election year . . . NOT more self-reliance and the public policies that turn self-reliance into entrepreneurial capitalism which creates jobs, lifts whole economies, and creates the lifestyles some dream about (others act on). The 5% and 15% are the ones doing fine in this supposed “recession” (a “recession” that may already be over by many accounts). The 5and15 Percenters’ heads are down working (NOT buried in the sand) and they’re contributing . . too busy to complain and too busy to affect the Confidence Index (whoever those people are). They have a Vision. They’re executing on it. And they’ll be damned if they’ll let (yes, I used the word “let”) the wheels fall off, just because some talking head in the Media says how miserable everything is. Listening to them is as bad as listening to some thespian’s political views when they can’t even state their own words for a living! The 5and15 Percenters are the ones that understand how true it is that once-in-a-generation deals can be had Out There in Wealth Creation through commercial property ownership. They’re the ones we’ll be reading about when the Good Times are Rollin’ again. I hope you’ll join us with them.

One Comment

  1. Bill Johnson says:

    great stuff here

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. All fields required.

Back to all Entries