If you do anything of substance, you’ll get haters. Terrible, but true.
If you build a company big enough, you’ll get bad reviews on Glassdoor from disgruntled former employees. If you sell enough products, you’ll get some one-star ratings. If you write a big enough book, you’ll get unflattering Amazon reviews.
If you really do something world-changing, you might even get horrible articles and hit pieces made about you. (Outside of politics, within which you’ll get hit pieces even at the dog-catcher level, and not because you’re doing anything that matters.)
Heck, if you build a band or blog or podcast or Facebook presence big enough, you’ll catch at least some crap for almost anything you create.
Once you’ve made a dent, the scrutiny ratchets. People will be ready. Everything you do wrong will get five times more attention than what you do right.
Sounds stressful, right?
Don’t worry. You can avoid it. It’s not as hard as you think.
Don’t do or say or build anything that might not be loved by all. Best not to do anything meaningful really, because meaningful stuff upsets apple carts. Apples don’t like that.
Hide behind padded career cell walls, with comfy copper handcuffs of mediocre pay and social status.
Hide behind obvious, normal decisions that are easily categorized, homogenized, and minimized.
If you ever write or share anything, hide behind massive explanations covering every possible misunderstanding.
Hide behind replies to every single objector making sure they know you really, really don’t mean to do or say anything that could upset them.
Hide your actions behind feel-good phrases and labels and job titles that cause everyone to always give you the benefit of the doubt.
Hide your ideas behind obscure, never-read journals so they can’t get poked (but you can maintain the fiction that they’re part of a rigorous give-and-take).
Hide behind achievements that are easily added to static resumes and bios for prestige, but impossible to see or experience firsthand, so you get the assumption of credibility without having to take the risks of real value creation.
If you’re really scared, hide behind subsidies, regulations, and other legal barriers to competition and the scary marketplace of ideas and reputations.
Haters are there, waiting at every turn. Every keystroke, every epiphany, and every melody is just the prelude to a chorus of haters. You probably want to avoid them.
It’s a jungle out there. Hide.