The thing about working for yourself is that SOME DAYS, it takes EVERYTHING you have to keep going.
These kind of days.
Lately, I’ve gotten a ton of criticism for the cursing I do in my emails.
Not sure why this has become an issue…my email sign-up forms and literally ALL of my blog articles are littered with bad words…so I’m not exactly hiding the fact that I curse.
This abrupt reaction reminds me of when I first started my blog. I initially got a HUGE backlash from readers about my foul-mouth.
It seems most people were pretty happy to accept me as I am, and let me do me. As long as I offered them useful advice that actually made a REAL difference, I didn’t hear much in the way of complaints.
Then a few weeks ago, several “why the #$&@ do you curse?!?!” emails started POURING in.
(I MAY have added the #$&@ for effect…wouldn’t it be awesome if people who hated cursing ACTUALLY cursed at me?? Couldn’t help myself 😂😂😂)
The reality is that I’m allowed to be MYSELF on my blog… (I AM the one paying for it!)
Here’s a tip — It’s your content: YOU get to choose how you put it out in the world.
Don’t let other people BULLY you into being someone you’re not.
Sometimes taking other people’s crap can wear on you a bit, and that’s exactly what happened to me. Since these emails just kept COMING, I spent the entire week frustrated af.
Then I had an inspirational-quote-style epiphany:
I’m only noticing the BAD because I’m not looking for the GOOD.
Critics were showing up in my email inbox, which is a place I’m FORCED to hang out. (BOO EMAIL!)
But I wasn’t actually looking ELSEWHERE to see how other people felt.
And when I began poking around, the response was MUCH bigger than I thought!
Sometimes, when you’re in business ALONE, you can only see the obstacles.
And that shit might make you want to quit. Like NOW.
But people appreciate you MORE than you know…all those people who keep quiet and never reach out to you?
They’re 100% shit-on-the-moon in LOVE with you, your product, and what you do.
(Fuck yeah! You TOTALLY rock that much!)
Because it’s SAFE to assume: if they’re not complaining, then they’re HAPPY.
And the haters WANT you to give up — but you’re giving them the MIDDLE FINGER by keeping your shit going.
There’s nothing ANYONE can say that will make me stop being ME.
Today I want to CHALLENGE you to reach out to another seller (or online personality), and tell them why you APPRECIATE their shit.
Because something tells me they NEED to hear it.
Probably more than you know.
In fact, I want to publicly thank the shop owner of An Ethereal Mind. She wrote me two sentences last week, and it pulled me out of a month-long funk.
Thank you for being a punk rock bad ass and slapping me upside the face with some LEGIT encouragement!
Once you’re done thanking your kick-ass person…Find your FAVORITE customer feedback quote, and get yourself a present:
Recognize this quote? I did this to remind myself that people APPRECIATE what I do.
(I designed myself a mug and shipped it to ME via Printful* – affiliate link)
DON’T SKIP THIS STEP!
I might seem all fluffy and stupid, but there WILL be days when this item is the MOST PRECIOUS thing you own.
(I fully intend to drink wine while dancing around my kitchen with this mug. That shit is NOT optional).
So when it might not ALWAYS be obvious that people think you are AWESOME with awesome filling, you’ll always have a REMINDER within easy reach.
Want a quick and easy way to deal with difficult customers?
Bullies are pretty much the most ridiculous thing that ever happened to the internet. It’s shocking that we have to do this as business owners, but I have an Anti-Abuse policy on my blog.
This policy protects me from having to interact with the people who are somehow offended that I exist.
(And by this I mean calling me names, demanding that I give them something for free, discriminating against me based on gender or other personal info I’ve shared online, etc).
You can create your own version of this sucker in your Etsy shop policies…If people are incredibly shitty to you in an Etsy convo, you DON’T have to interact with them. And you can SAY that in your policy.
You also don’t have to sell them jack shit.
Just to be clear, on Etsy doesn’t really define seller abuse very well. But here are some guidelines I’ve picked up from answering about 1000 Etsy convos:
If someone is initially very rude to you, this is never a good sign. These people are NEVER satisfied, and they’re very unlikely to leave you anything other than a scathing review. Kindly let them know that you’re not currently taking custom orders, and recommend that they try another seller. (Learn exactly how to deal with difficult customers right here).
If someone is freaking out about an order you already shipped, reassure that customer with one of these kick-ass convo snippets.
And if you’ve already sold them something, (and they’re being the world’s shittiest human)…You can CANCEL that order, refund them, and consider it an “asshole-removal” fee. 😉
BONUS: when you cancel an order, that customer WON’T be able to leave you a review after 48 hours.
I did not stutter. That shit is for real. If they try to review you and two days have passed, they’ll have ZERO luck.
Extra super bonus: most people won’t get their act together in time to review you within that 48 hour period. So if someone is treating you like crap, PROTECT YOUR SHIT.
Learn more about cancellations and see how to cancel an order here.
But for the times when it’s really bad…
If a customer or one of your blog readers is giving you shit, RESIST the temptation to answer.
When you DON’T answer, they never get the satisfaction of knowing they upset you.
Insert Maniacal Laughter Here.
In fact, the most infuriating thing you could do is send them a form letter. 😈😈😈
Like this one I use below!
(Permission to re-purpose this for your own website granted! — Don’t forget to change the links 😊)
I want to respond to this email to address a rising problem.
Many of the people who send me emails that tell me why I “suck” or they “can’t stand me” are actually mothers/parents.
These mothers have children who use the internet. And they would be absolutely CRUSHED if someone bullied their child online.
It breaks my heart that children have to deal with this.
But the reality is that WOMEN are actually the primary target of online bullying, in fact, over 20% of all women have been bullied online.
I am one of those women.
And I am usually bullied by OTHER WOMEN.
And when you send me emails telling me that you hate me for some reason, that is BULLYING.
The most interesting part? Most people who send me cruel or threatening things aren’t actually mad at ME, they’re angry about something else.
If you’re angry with me about my blog or emails, then just stop reading them. No one’s MAKING you do anything you don’t want to do. A blog is an awfully silly thing to get upset about.
Consider this your intervention…from me to you — I WANT you to feel better, and I want you to live a happier life, and I don’t want little things to BUG you or make you angry.
It is NOT normal or healthy to reach out to someone and call them names or tell them why you hate them.
I’ve sent you this email because you’ve done that to me.
What is normal? If something upsets you, just unsubscribe. Stop paying attention to it. Move on with your life. It is normal to do exactly what most people tell their kids to do — ignore it.
The more time you spend being angry with me, the less time you’re spending focused on the things that make you HAPPY.
Something in your life is making you feel toxic. You need to find a way to feel better.
NOTE: for my protection, I have an Anti-Abuse Policy on my blog. This policy is designed to protect me from bullying, and it means I do not have to interact with bullies for any reason. I am within my full rights to block anyone who is abusive on email, social media, and any other platform I choose.
** That means you will not be hearing from me again because all your current and future messages will be going straight to my lawyer. **
We take bullying very seriously here, and even a minor infraction is considered a serious offense. When you get away with little things that are cruel, it often leads to bigger things. Check yourself, Buttercup.
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Hi there, my name is Jenni. You’re reading about the Etsy shop that freed me from the worst job I’ve ever had (and a lifetime of working for somebody else).
Find out what went down here.
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