My Encounter With A “Credential Loving Critic”

“I don’t think you  are Qualified to hold the title of pro blogger”

Those were the cold words from someone on Facebook on a post I published.

(I made a post on facebook asking my friends if they think I should include blogging to my niche entrepreneurship since a lot of people approach me asking for help in blogging a lot)

I know I have been confronted many times in my life but this one was blunt and hurtful.

I felt really bad about myself.

I wanted to end it all and just pretend I never existed.

I never knew that just one comment from a random guy online could affect me so deeply!

“May be he is right….who am I?…why would anyone listen to me?” Those were my thought. I practically fell into a state of despondency and depression.

I doubted myself, my ability and all I am. It was such a difficult moment for me. I couldn’t deal with the cold words as of that moment.

But looking at his profile, he has a dog as a profile picture.

A dog? What? I have been listening to a dog all this while?

Seriously why would I listen to some random faceless guy online?

Why should I give him so much power to control my emotions? Who is he that I should give him that permission to control my feelings?

It amazes me why people will dedicate their lives to making others feel miserable?

What do you gain from that? Ok I get it. You want to show people that you’re one hell of a smart brain.

But hey, nobody cares how much you know until they how much you care. There’s no benefit in putting others down and making them feel bad.

You can never make your light shine brighter by putting out other people’s light.

One of his comments was:

“And for entrepreneur??

Come on dude, how far entrepreneur have you gone? Did you read some wiki articles on entrepreneur.com and feel you’re called to show us the light? You need to be an entrepreneur (a pro entrepreneur) to be able to teach us how to be a successful entrepreneur.”

And also this one:

“And for blogging?

Cut the crap, I don’t think you are qualified to hold the title of pro blogger. You don’t have the years, skill, experience and income to earn it. Unless you can prove otherwise. I am a d!ck but I am moved by logic and facts not sentiment. Show me why I should invest in Maverick?”

(Read through the comment section and you’d find the ridiculous comments by this faceless fellow)

Wow!

So, someone will just spend a good amount of time just to make others feel bad in the name of “giving their honest opinions”?

This is the problem we have in this country. People are more focused on credentials than potentials. So, a man who can actually do the job is denied an opportunity because he does not have the almighty CREDENTIALS!

Those who have a solution to a problem are told to display their credentials before they would be given a chance.

This is really sickening!

Little wonder people do whatever it takes to get the piece of paper called “credentials”.

Woe unto Africa!

We  have left potentials for credentials, that’s why we are far behind in almost  every life endeavors.

When did any major breakthrough in medicine, ICT or education occur in Africa? None! We are busy looking for credentials.

In your journey to becoming successful in life and business, there will always be that 1% who will never see the good in anything you do.

They will actively seek out for any opportunity to bring you down and make you feel bad.

Some said on Facebook: “If your haters see you walk on water, they’ll say it’s because you can’t swim”

If you listen to them, they win. You’ve got to develop a thick skin against the critics and nay-sayers.

Remember, what they say, “no stone was ever raised for a critique”.

Those people are not going anywhere in life and hate those who are making progress in their lives.

Never allow other people’s POV to hold you back from living your dreams. Ten years later, they’ll be exactly where you left them. You’d get trapped in their drama once you start listening to their old wife’s fables.

They are not worth your precious time. Avoid such people like plagues. They are time wasters.

Don’t use the excuse “I am not an expert or professional” excuse to stop you from pursuing your dreams.

You must know that nobody was born an expert. A master was once a student. Improve yourself everyday so as to silence the critique when they raise their ugly heads against you.

Don’t be trapped in the “credential” propaganda so that you become scared of starting something.

As long as you’re not a doctor or lawyer, to hell with all the credentials in the world. If you’re  getting results from what you’re doing then credentials should never bother you.

According to Arjen ter Hooeve:

“An expert is someone who has enough knowledge to help other confidently”

I  couldn’t agree more with that definition. So, being an expert is not a matter of having credentials or not but it’s about having the right knowledge and being confident to teach others what you.

 

Why in the universe do I need to spend years chasing some magical credential just to prove to someone I know a particular thing?

Ramith Sethi of I Will Teach You To Be Rich recommends two ways to shut up the “credential loving critics”

“Listen, ask questions, and follow their advice if the critic is a successful entrepreneur you would change place with or someone you respect their judgement or you actually want their life, if not kick them out of the window” (paraphrased)

Secondly, if you can deeply understand someone’s needs and solve their problems better than anyone else, that’s what matters. And if you can’t, no credentials (in the world) could make up for it.

It’s no secret that the world is changing and you no longer need credentials, connections, degrees or anything like that to succeed, especially online.

Instead, you need to have the right knid of information to succeed and forget what every other person is saying.

Those who usually criticize other are no way better than you. Most times, they wished they were in your position.

After I read those loathful comments on my post, I wanted to reply and give him a piece of my anger but thank goodness, someone sent me a private message on Facbeook encouraging to keep doing what I’m doing and forget about the naysayers.

This is it in his exact words:

Good evening
 
I dont normally do this, but since this showed on my TL, I just want to give you my 2 cents
 
You are doing very well and raising your vibration, and you are going to get haters who will tell you that you are not qualified to teach anything. I encountered the same thing inside of Network Marketing, when I started my blog and my work
 
I will advise you to cut those kind of people out of your life. They will hold you down. If they are family, block them from seeing your content, but still remain friends. Dont let anyone stop your work, or make you ordinary.
 
some people might feel they have seen you finish and are not ready to accept that positive impact can come from promise excel
 
remove those people and forge ahead
 
*end of rant*

I felt so encouraged after reading that message. It came at the right time when I desparately needed it. It feels more special because I was getting this encouragement from someone who is a well respected professional network marketer.

Who would you rather listen to? Someone who has your interest at heart or some random faceless internet troll?

Although, I felt bad after reading those comments, I was more motivated to push myself more, do more and become better in the process. I can’t afford to let other people’s blind POV to get hold of me.

Credentials or not, do you have any idea how many lives I’ve touched with my blog. Do you know how many people who have emailed me to tell me how my blog has changed their lives in some way?

Do you know how many people who have been encouraged, inspired or empowered by the messages on my blog?

Without exaggeration, at least one million people have read/viewed my blog, read my article or heard about my name Promise Excel or my brand Maverick Excel somewhere around the internet.

I have been featured on over a dozen of blogs. My articles have been published on major blogs in Ngeria.

Time and space will fail me to display all the encouraging feedback I get from people every day.

So who is that troll who needs me to present my credentials before I speak?

Oh please!

I have come this far in life to let people’s blind opinion about me get to me.

I can’t allow the opinion of one broke guy behind a PC or smartphone make me feel bad. Since, they are not where I desire to be in life, their opinions are as useless as the ‘P’ in “Psyschology”.

If I need credentials to mentor, inspire, support and empower young people to pursue entrepreneurship and build successful businesses online, then also ask your parents to show you their credentials before you listen to any of their advises. Period!

If credentials was that important in life then the woman who roasts yam and plantain on the road should display her credentials before we buy from her.

While you’re struggling to get that credential or that degree, a boy somewhere, right at this very moment is creating the next app that will make your credentials more useless.

Unfortunately, it s our love for certificate that is holding us back from achieving our goals in this country, Nigeria.

When shall we be free from the disease of “credentials”?

Do you realize that people STILL ask me about my credentials? 

People are obsessed with knowing your credentials because it’s the only worldview they know.

I don’t need fancy letters after my name to make a positive impact. And neither do you. Put another way, most of the successful, influential people in the world don’t have PhDs.

Critics love to throw around this “gotcha” question to make you feel inferior. “What makes YOU think you can teach this? What are your CREDENTIALS?”

They look at me expecting me to wilt like a flower in the sun. I smile back politely. “I think credentials matter for certain industries, but my biggest credential is the results I get for my communities.”

To me, the best thing I can do to prove them wrong is succeed. Not argue, not debate. Just show them through my actions.

If you’re thinking about starting something new, it is INEVITABLE that you will get critics questioning you. Do not be surprised. Expect it. Plan for it.

And know that one of the most common questions you will get is about your credentials.

-Ramith Sethi

You should know that most times that these people will appear as “friends” who have your best interest in their heart. SO, they’d tell you they’re giving you a constructive criticism while in real sense they are nothing but internet trolls.

If it is a critic, look at the issue raised and if what is said is true then address it accordingly.

In the case of an internet troll, you have to first all confirm that you are dealing with an internet troll.

How to Identify an internet troll according to Makeuseof.com

Fortunately, it’s easy to spot an Internet troll from a distance. They have their own sets of socially unacceptable behaviors.

  • Trolls generally use provocative and confrontational language. A clever one will mix it up with relevant and friendly posts.
  • Trolls hardly ever stick to the topic; they beat around the bush with the intention to confuse the reader.
  • Trolls of the subtle variety flag off their attack with innocent questions. You will often find them dressed up as new members of forums and chat rooms.
  • Trolls lack understanding of a topic. They will not respond with a proper answer to a proper question.
  • Trolls (especially the clever variants) use catch phrases to win sympathy. For instance, they may portray themselves as victims or specially challenged.
  • Trolls use web addresses or fictitious online identities that lead to dead ends.
  • Trolls may make desperate efforts to make themselves liked. Sugar coated responses or overt-flattering comments are signature troll moves.

How To Deal With Internet Trolls

Avoid them like plagues: That’s the best thing to do. Avoid them as much as you can. This will frustrate them and make them more angry. Aloow them rant.

Don’t argue with them: “The best way to win an argument is to avoid it”. This has worked for me a lot of the time. When I come contact with someone whose major purpose is to annoy or mock you, I simply ignore them and never go into any kind of argument with them. In the case where a lie is spread against you, debunk the falsehood once and move on. This is not to satisfy the troll but to justify yourself for the sake of other people who will read the comments.

Block: Sometimes, you’d have no other choice than to block this person and take control of your online space. As long as you allow these trolls to be in your online community, they will continue to annoy you. So, just block and move on. This applies to the social media. In the case where it is on your blog, the best you can do is delete the comment. Of course, this why all comments on your blog must be moderated

Reply with a funny comment: I’ve done this one a couple of times and it worked. In a scenario where someone wants to be a troll, find a way to say a joke about their comment but if they reply with another inappropriate comment, ignore and move on.

Life is too short to concentrate your energy on trolls and critics who are not where you wish to be.

Place zero weight on what people think about you.

When startin something new, there will be lots of critics and naysayers who wil tell you, you’re not good enough or you’re not qualified enough.

Forget about what you can not do and focus on what you can do. The more you focus on a thing, the better you become at it.

In fact, nobody is asking you to know everything before you can teach others what you know and consequently make money from your knowledge.

SOmeone rightly said that you only need to know 1% more than your audience to make money from them. I couldn’t agree more. People want results. They want you to fix this or that. Hence, they care less how much you as long as your knowledge can solve their problems.

Whether there are critics or not, you have to be confident in your business and what you do. Why would anyone be confident and trust what you do if you lack confidence on your business?

In fact, if you know what you’re doing, you won’t allow any negative remark about your business get to you.

This is a story about self-confidence that absolutely resonated with me:

“Some months back, a young man walked up to me after a training and said he needed my help with his 10years old business that suddenly was not doing too well.

I was excited about the opportunity to help him out. I spent nights thinking, reading and drafting out strategies I thought might help his business stabilize.

We met again and I began to pour out my strategies passionately while he listened with rapt attention, and then in a sudden flash of embarrassment, I began to think to myself. Who was I to tell this man what to do? How could I possibly think that all what I was saying actually makes sense? This is a man in his late 30s who has built his business to a level where he has 10 staff and can afford to go on a vacation whenever he wants to. For me, a small boy who just started out as a small business coach with truthfully my first client. Who should be telling who what to do?

But as I engaged my client, he suddenly busted out, “yes, that is it, let’s try this one, I think it will work”

It been a few months now and my relationship with him has gotten to a whole new level with ofcourse more business opportunities and the company is doing just fine.

The solution to his business had come through me despite the fact that I doubted myself.

A lot of times, our capacity to solve problems for people goes beyond who we are and what we know, though those are important, but more importantly, we need to be confident about who are we willing to become?

You are much powerful than you think you are.”

Emmanuel Effiong

I will end with the words of Ramith Sethi:

Always ask yourself: Is this advice-giver in the situation I want to be in? Are they giving surface-level advice (“social media!!”) or, if I pressed them, would they be able to back it up and give examples?

You don’t have to listen to everyone.

You don’t have to give equal weight to critics.

Just remember, everyone has an opinion. Not everyone deserves your full attention.


What’s your experience with internet trolls and lazy critics? Share with us in the comment box below.

 

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