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Stop Hating and Start Changing (aka Being a Douche Sucks)

This post may contain affiliate links.

The following guest post is from Jesse Michelsen, a freelance writer, developer, and system administrator. He can be found on twitter, writing for one of the Jestem sites (yay, our sites!), or at his new entrepreneurship blog, AntiNecktie, where he shares small business and freelancer tips.

For those of you subscribed to Crystal’s awesome newsletter, you’ll recognize the statement below that is shared as part of each of Crystal’s monthly income reports:

DISCLAIMER: Please keep in mind that this income comes from 70-100 hour work weeks divided between me and Mr. BFS and we do end up paying 30-40% in income taxes since we do have to cover the employer’s part as well. I also was working 100+ hours a week personally for over a year before I was able to leave my day job and do this full time. I just wanted to be clear that this isn’t easy money in any respect. I want to inspire everyone to accomplish their dreams, no matter what it takes. I am not saying it will be simple or fast. It just can be done.

If you’re new around here you may not know this but there is a story behind this disclaimer.

Crystal was always open about her income here on her blog. She used to share a monthly post that detailed her traffic, favorite posts, and her income so everyone could follow along with her success. She shared these for the exact reason stated in this disclaimer, “I want to inspire everyone to accomplish their dreams, no matter what it takes. I am not saying it will be simple or fast. It just can be done.”

2011 was an awesome year for Crystal. She quit her job, was making a good income, and excitedly shared intimate knowledge of her business here every week and those updates every month.

In 2012, things took an ugly turn. You see, someone didn’t like what Crystal was doing and took advantage of her openness. Whoever this hater was, they set out to get revenge on Crystal for being successful. They were obviously jealous of what she was doing and because some people are just like that, they started causing trouble — using the information Crystal made public to hurt her business.

Haters Gonna Hate

Jealousy is a disease we all have. For most of us, we are able to keep it under control with regular doses of happiness and friendship. For others, jealousy flares up and gets out of control. It burns holes in relationships and disfigures success.

It’s been said that haters (or haterz if you prefer) are a barometer of success.

While that may be true, hate still hurts, and in this case, it hurt someone’s livelihood. Crystal found a need in a growing market and filled it. She was invited to fill it by her peers based on her education, background, and talent. She became a necessity and her business flourished.

Another look at jealousy from the eyes of a recovering hater…

I’ve always known I had it, the green disease, and that it’d be with me all my life. I started feeling jealousy at a young age probably because I didn’t have much growing up and shared what I had with my six siblings. My friends were always better off than I was. Their parents made more money, they had more stuff and of course that meant they had a better life. A life I was envious of.

It was hard for me to look past this.

Younger Years

When I was in high school, the school itself sat right between two cities. One city was full of affluent lawyers, dentist and orthodontists and the other city, strawberry pickers, grocery store clerks and trailer parks. At least this is how things looked to me as a teenager. I shared campus with kids that got brand new cars for their birthdays, had the latest and greatest devices and went to their second homes by the beach during spring break. I worked all through high school,  20+ hours a week just to buy lunch, books and pay for the occasional new pair of shoes.

It was through hard work that I found ways to live with my jealousy, ways to bury it down deep under pride in my own abilities. I learned to live my life and let others live theirs but I wasn’t rid of jealousy entirely, it still lived inside me and if I’m not careful, it can resurface.

Recently

In recent years I’ve learned that when jealousy does resurface inside me, I have a choice. I can choose to be a hater or choose to join in on the happiness. To better understand this choice, here’s another story.

Meet Andrea. Andrea and I share a lot of things. Much like me, she worked in some crappy under-appreciated job she hated, struggled to make ends meet and turned to freelancing to supplement her income. Then she quit her job.

That’s about when I lost track of Andrea because I was gearing up to quit my crappy job too.

Fast-forward one year. I’m struggling with some personal problems and trying to get my freelancing back in order and guess who I notice is providing many of the same services I offer…Andrea.

I wasn’t too worried. I’ve been doing this for a few years, had a good reputation and this is only Andrea’s first, right?

Well, turns out Andrea is awesome. Here’s where my jealousy started flaring up and I had a choice to make.

Andrea was doing a lot of the same freelance work I was doing and her client base was building fast. I had a hard year and lost a lot of momentum while Andrea’s business continued to grow. She did design faster, better and was making a very good name for herself and her business. I admired her skill and was impressed by her eye for design but couldn’t help feel jealous of her success.

My Choice

I could have fumed about Andrea for a while, blocked her tweets and talked trash about her to anyone that would listen. I could have trolled her business and expertise in forums, comments and email. That strategy is laid out pretty well in the Hater Handbook.

Instead, I didn’t do anything for a while. I took some time to think about my business, my plans and Andrea. I decided to email her. I wanted to know exactly where our skills overlapped and where they didn’t. I wanted to know how she grew her business, how booked up she was and if she needed any help. I thought maybe if she was as cool as everyone said, we could come to some kind of arrangement to help each other out.

When Andrea replied, I found she was every bit as awesome as I had heard. She was candid, genuine and fun to talk to. We discussed business, tech industry woes and even came to an arrangement that would allow both of us to actually take a vacation once in a while — a rarity in the technical support industry.

Andrea didn’t stop there though. I was in a tight financial spot a few weeks ago and emailed her asking for help, hoping for ideas, praying for a referral. She responded saying she’d do what she could then emailed me again not ten minutes later with a gig that she could have easily done herself.

People like Crystal and Andrea don’t deserve haters but they tend to attract them because of how great they are. They work hard and their actions command success, their personalities encourage friendship. 

If haters weren’t so bent on hating, they’d fall for the charm and become fans of people like these two, but haters tend to hate from a distance.

So, when you’re out there living your life and start to feel jealous of what others, remember the choices you have. You can wallow in your own self pity, throw hater stones from afar at those around you that are working hard, or you can get to know them. You can connect with these real people and help each other succeed.

Finally, some words of wisdom from Tom:

Have you ever had a relationship hurt due to jealousy?

Crystal’s Comments:  Thank you Jesse.  Haterz are gonna hate, but we can all work on our own issues in the meantime.  I did move my monthly income reports to my newsletter because some douche decided to take me down a peg with Google.  It’s the way of the world.  But I kept writing, kept meeting new readers, and Mr. BFS and I are steadily carrying on.  It’s not 2011, but that’s okay.  We are loving life.  I’ll make sure I keep a lid on my own jealousy issues too…it really does pay to reach out instead or concentrate on being better rather than pooping on someone else’s parade.  More fun too.  Jealousy is natural but how you handle it defines your character.



FYI:  I worked at a dead end cubicle job from 2005-2011 for about $30,000 per year.  I went self-employed in July 2011 and make between $70,000-$90,000 through blogging, professional pet sitting, hubby's reffing, and our rental home.  If you’d like to start your own site (link to my free step-by-step guide), I highly suggest checking out Bluehost (my referral link with a nice discount for you, PLUS a free custom header banner from me!).  Please contact me any time at budgetingfunstuff*at*gmail*dot*com with questions or just to brainstorm! I’d love to help!
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23 thoughts on “Stop Hating and Start Changing (aka Being a Douche Sucks)

  1. Great article, Jesse. I think everyone has jealousy issues now and then. I’ve learned to channel my anger to the right places. If you are ethical and kind I will wish you all the success you can get. People like that (like Crystal!) deserve it all. If you are mean or unethical then I say bring the hate on. LOL! Actually, I just try to cut those types of people out of my life for my own mental well being. But if I am going to “hate on” someone, it is due to their behavior and ethics and not on their success. No matter who you are, someone is always going to top you in some way – be it they have more money, more success, more respect, more friends, or a bigger family. So be it!




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  2. Well said Jesse. Such feelings are undeniable. It takes a better person to realize these feelings and make a change. I infer about this topic on FS this week, and I’ve had a post in the queue for months now on how to deal with haters.

    I’ve got to admit I really enjoy haters online b/c they bring about a lot of attention, improves traffic, and motivates me to do more. In fact, the more haters you have the better things are because you know you’re making a difference. That’s the biggest reward!

    Glad you and Andrea are exchanging ideas!

    Sam




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  3. @Denise Yup, haters don’t realize that Karma is real, right? It’ll come back and bite em eventually 🙂

    I think avoiding those people when you can is a good move. They just bring all of us down.

    Thanks for the comment!




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  4. @Sam

    Haha you always have had an amusing way of dealing with haters. Let them come and bring their friends, right? Controversy and drama sell as well as motivate.

    Thanks for commenting Sam




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  5. Haters are similar to bullies in school! They are bullies (haters) because of their own shortcomings. I use competition as motivation. It is a much use of my time and effort.




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  6. @krantcents

    Yep, I’ve seen that to be true for sure. Glad you can get past the hate and let it push you further, that’s a good way to deal with it!




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  7. Great article. I didn’t realize Crystal was under such an attack. It is easy and natural to be jealous or envious of others. I use that to inspire me to do the things that need to be done to live that life too. Unfortunately not everyone thinks that way and really great people hurt.




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  8. @Leslie

    Yea she hides it pretty well, the only place you’d notice now is her recent disclaimer in the newsletter.

    True, not everyone thinks like that but some do and good for you! That’ll work out far better for you and those like you in the end.




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  9. Okay, I agree hating and jealousy is a bad thing. But this is the business world. Most business school ethic classes are a joke, because there are no ethics in American business plans, creative accounting or virtual businesses like Enron (most of the third party utility brokers in Texas), and most banks.
    So don’t publish anything a competitor can use against you. You can help people figure out how to get into the business without allowing others to set you up and get rid of competition. I say quit being so totally open . The commenters who want you to be open are probably the ones setting you up to fail. You can support other bloggers and let them know there are alternatives and services that you offer without giving details that would make people jealous or sure you are doing something wrong in their small minds.
    I say treat this as a business. You are spunky, vivacious, and imaginative, Crystal. That is why you ARE succeeding. Keep track of your successes, forget about the rest.
    Put this all behind you, and go ahead planning articles that will entertain, inform, and make people smile. Bitterness, regrets, and wondering about others intentions are a waste of time.
    The world’s your oyster, make a stew, look for a pearl, don’t just cut your feet up walking on it or trying to crack it open without tools.
    Onward!
    Yes, jealousy messes up most family relationships and is involved in our highly competitive nature. We all have to deal with it, but I do not think it is going to get Crystal down or slow her up one bit. Maybe she took a hit, but the sky’s the limit and she just learned to fly! I will be watching her soar past past mistakes. Remember you can only change what you control; Google should also think about the same. There is no reason to believe that if you control a market, you can rule as you wish. They will be learning that some time in the future. Not Crystal’s problem, but she probably needs to look like she adhering to whatever petty rules are being made, as other businesses do…just as long as you don’t look too closely.




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  10. This was a great post and I think a lot of people can relate on so many levels. I went to a private high school on a scholarship, where tuition was about $30,000 a year (yes, this is HIGH SCHOOL). Kids got new Mercedes Suv’s when they turned 16–my parents joked they would give me a bike. I remember swallowing my pride and working at the library shelving books for $20 a month. $20 a month is nothing, but at the time, it was SOMETHING. My friends never made me feel bad for it, and just because they came from better finances, they never looked down on me.




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  11. @Retired

    Thank you for the thought provoking comment. I agree, Crystal will/is recovering from the problems, has changed her game plan accordingly and will continue to succeed.




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  12. @newlywedsbudget

    Thank you 🙂

    Sounds like you had some great friends. Did working in the library help build a strong work ethic? There are plus sides to both side of the financial coin. Being wealthy creates opportunities just like being less wealthy, they just come in different forms.




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  13. I understand jealousy is natural and all, but I don’t understand why people invest so much energy in it. You can take that same energy and use it to improve your own business.

    Personally, I think jealousy is pointless because we all have different life paths. If we all had the same life path, the world would be boring. It’s the differences in experience, talent, etc that make us all unique.

    I hope things get better. Usually, the jealous person ends up biting themselves in the “you know what”. Keep strong girl.




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  14. I used to be the most competitive guy I knew. I will also admit that I rooted for people to fail in order for me to succeed. IN my (short) 40 years on this Earth, I can tell you that I have learned that when you root for EVERYONE to do well, you can NEVER go wrong. Go for it, Crystal!




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  15. It can be hard to not become jealous when you do the same job as someone and they get more recognition. I agree Haters are ridiculous, but that’s why God gave us a hand, so the haters can talk to it! BTW, I love the blog, so don’t let any haters get to you!




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  16. It must take so much more energy to hate than be positive. I think haters must just be all black inside. I’m pretty new at blogging so haven’t had the haters come after me yet, but in my other career, they are all about just waiting to bring you down. All you can do is rise above, like you did. I’m glad you took the higher ground.




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  17. Haters are everywhere in life. It stinks, but as others have said, it’s just more motivation to do well and keep fighting the good fight. If the haters really wanted to know how Crystal was making to much money they should have purchased her e-book :-), since she’s be kind enough to share with everyone many of her “tricks” for success.




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  18. Thank you, Jesse, for an awesome post and to all of the readers for all of the support!

    @Leslie, someone just reported me to Google. I’m fine. 🙂

    @retired, if I wasn’t open, I wouldn’t be popular because I wouldn’t be any more real than any other anonymous blogger, and there’d be no business. So I’ll keep thriving like you said and haters can suck it, lol.

    @Melinda, yep, I really do believe that in the long run, you get what you give. Thanks for the support!

    @Tony, thanks!

    @eemusings, that was the big stuff. A handful of bloggers were reported individually like me.

    @KK, lol. I will say that I had more free time in 2012 which is why I finally finished that eBook. 🙂




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  19. This is a great post! Jealously is a terrible thing sometimes. Good for you for turning your ‘jealousy’ into something positive. I hate that there are people out there who’s only goal in life is to destroy and bring down others. They all seriously need to stop hating and start doing.




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  20. People should always be careful about what they wish for other people. Karma is a b$tch. I always wish people well because why wouldn’t I? We’re all human and jealousy does rear it’s ugly head from time to time, but when has trying to hurt another person or wishing someone ill ever helped you? Instead, people should just focus on themselves and their own life journey. Great post Jesse.




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