How To Deal With Criticism As An Entrepreneur — Jerry Fetta

Jerry Fetta
9 min readMay 3, 2023

Talking criticism today.

So if you’re reading this, you’re an entrepreneur, you’re a business owner, you’re a friend of mine, you’re a cleaner. I mean, maybe one of my critics is reading. Maybe you’re one of my haters and it’s good to see you back here again. (They tend to frequent the contents more than anyone else because they got to find something to hate on.)

So what is a critic? Why do people get criticized? How do you handle it? This is something we’ve all come up with in life, where people criticize our thoughts, our beliefs, differences, what we do, what we don’t do and so the first thing I want to cover here is, if you have ever experienced criticism, that means, you’re actually in the arena doing something! People who do nothing don’t get criticized.

So before you even get into, “why am I being criticized” or “how do I handle it?” I want you to actually have a win on it.

The fact that I’m being criticized means I’m actually doing something and I’m doing something to a big enough degree that I get noticed. I get attention and other people are now watching me.

I have now collected spectators. The first thing they are is a spectator. They watch someone else’s game rather than playing their own. So you’ve now collected an audience to have criticism prior to that. You’ve got to have someone watching you to be able to have critics. The only way to not get criticized is not be in the arena.

Now, why do people get criticized? This is my thoughts on it: there’s really only three things that cause someone to get criticized.

The first one is, you’re actually doing something right. All of us have that in common. If we’re receiving criticism it means you’re thinking big, you’re acting big, you’re creating results, you’re moving things around and someone’s noticing and they’re protesting that. They’re speaking up against it. They’re saying, “I don’t like that.”, “I don’t agree with that.”, “You could have done this differently.”, “You did that wrong.”, “You did this, you did that.”

The second reason is: those that are criticizing you don’t understand why you’re doing what you’re doing. They lack the understanding on you and your mission and your goals and the activities you’re doing. And that’s why they criticize. People tend to criticize things they don’t understand. And so what we have to think about when we’re being criticized is, we’re living in a population where more and more people who on a regular basis understand less and less about life. The intelligence level and the awareness level of the average human being has dropped substantially over the decades.

If you pick up a book from the 1940s and 1950s and you look at the words that were being used back then versus the words that are being used now… People can’t even do books. We need pictures and videos with captions and cartoons that pop up in a 15 seconds tiktok or we can’t understand and learn. That’s the average population you’re dealing with.

My response to that can be,I’m going to continue on with my message and I’m going to realize criticism is just part of the journey of being in the arena.

The great quote from Teddy Roosevelt, he talks about it’s not about the critic who can’t, it’s not the man who remarks when the strong man falls or says how we could have done better, it’s the man that’s in the arena. That’s who matters or the woman that’s in the arena.

So if you’re being criticized, it means you’re working, you’re in the arena, you’re the one that matters, not the critic. And it means, again, they don’t understand what you’re doing. So you can say, “okay, I’m going to stop doing what I’m doing in the arena and I’m going to introvert and I’m going to worry about what people think of me and what they say.” Or I can say how “I’m going to keep going and I’m going to realize this is a great example that was pointed out to me.” Let’s think about like the presidential candidates. When you get down to the final two, usually the people running for president, they don’t win by a landslide. They win by like one or two percentage points.

So that means that 52% of people voted for this dude, 48% of people voted for that dude. The 48 people that voted for this dude didn’t want this dude to win their critics of him. So if you can get half the country to criticize you, you have odds of being a presidential candidate, right? The president, presidential candidates, they don’t say, “Oh, I should stop and do less because I’m being criticized.”

They know their mission. They know their purpose. They keep going.

So when critics see it, they don’t understand it. Maybe I need to dumb down what I’m doing so that it can be more easily understood. And I’m not going to tell you which one you need to pick because that’s up to you.

For me personally, my audience, my staff, my clients, my teammates, my partners, my allies, the ones that I really want to roll with are in the arena with me. They’re not the kind of people that attack something they don’t understand.

I want criticism. I want a critic to identify themselves so I can cut them off from my environment and say, “get out right now.” It doesn’t mean I’m putting my attention on them and I’m going to stop playing my game to go deal with the critic. But I take notice of my win. I see who didn’t clap when I lose. I see the people that are spreading rumors and trying to give me sympathy and telling me the criticisms and all this stuff. I notice that.
And so I’m going to continue on with my message. I’m going to flourish and prosper and just understand that ankle biters are part of the game. Mosquitos are part of going in the woods, put on some bug spray and deal with it.

Now, the last reason why there’s criticism, there are those in your life, whether those are people or groups, that are going to feel threatened by your wins. You’re doing something good and you winning makes them feel like they’re losing. And where they’re losing or they feel like they’re losing, they feel threatened. Now, this is scarcity in my mind at its finest. The idea that in order for me to win, it means you have to lose.

There are people that have this, and they’re going to see that you’re doing something good, they’re going to see that you’re succeeding, they’re going to see that you’re helping others, and they have the innate desire to stop you from doing it because they’re afraid of what might happen if you win. They think they’re going to lose as a result. And so they have to criticize you and they have to try and pull you down, hoping that you will engage with them, hoping that you will slow down, you will shrink. These are the ones that that you really have to make sure you get out of your circle. They’re out of your arena.

So these are really the only reasons people get criticized. There might be another one that’s kind of a mix between the two. And I’ll go ahead and point this out is when someone criticizes when you’re doing something. That’s right. That’s good. That’s actually helpful. That’s successful. Generally, they’re doing that because they’re trying to make sense of why they’re not doing it.

They know that they should be trying to succeed. They know that they should be trying to do better in their lives. And so and since they’re not, rather than stepping their game up, they’re going to criticize you about it. So these are really the reasons why someone criticizes. Now, let’s talk about the critic for a second. What’s actually happening in their world.

So when you experience someone criticizing you for what you think or do, the first thing to realize is they’re in fear. People don’t win when they’re in fear.

They don’t give good advice when they’re in fear. When they’re in fear, they try to keep things from happening and they try to avoid risk and they try to keep their environment safe and calm.

The second thing is, in order for them to see something in you that they don’t like, it has to first exist within their own world.

So anything that someone criticizes you about, they’re doing that or worse in their own life. Otherwise they wouldn’t have the need to attack that person. They wouldn’t be aware of it. They’re not doing it right. So whenever I see someone criticizing, I automatically know what they’re doing is far worse than what they’re trying to criticize me for.

They’re trying to take their own bad actions and project onto someone else.

And then the other part to look at with a critic, back to the man in the arena thing, they’re not in the arena. They’re spectating.

He’s never actually played a game of his own. And so there’s not a lot of credibility that the opinion of a critic has. And that really is something that I look at. If they’re not playing their own game, they’re watching mine. That’s a spectator. They’re watching the game.

So how do you handle a critic?

The first thing I do is I promote more. When I get criticized, I realize shit’s working and what I’m doing is making an effect. I’m going to do it more. I’m going to do it louder. I’m going to continue now because I’m actually getting attention. Realized for every one critic you have, you probably have five or ten fans,

The second point on how to handle critics is, I basically promote the good I’m doing. You have to toot your own horn in this world. You need to let people know the good you do, because a critic, what they’re going to do is, they’re never going to usually be direct. A critic usually doesn’t have the balls to actually come and talk to you.

They’re going to be a coward about it. And the thing to realize is if they’re a coward, they’re also going to lie. Most of what they’re saying isn’t going to be true, but they’re going to go tell it to other people. They’re going to go tell it to your friends or to your clients or those that they know they’re in your environment.

They’re going to say these little whispers about you and try and get people to believe whatever they’re trying to get them to believe, to create this environment of those that believe their message. Because the more people that believe them, they’re going to feel more safe and protected in their own little tiny universe and in reality by trying to make you smaller.

If you know who it is and you want to confront them on it, you can. But again, they’re in fear. They’re very low on their confront. They’re not going to be interested in a one on one conversation. And here’s really what I want to wrap up on, because there are critics in life, for sure, But there’s also people that actually want to help.

And I want to share with you, how do you tell the difference?

Someone that’s criticizing, will just be giving you empty critics without pointing out a way to better your work or improve.

A person that actually cares about you will tell you what might be wrong and how they would came up with a solutions and want to help you. And they would come up to me directly to go over it not via a third person

You don’t have time to do that to other people because you’re so focused on your own game. And I would add that if you have time to notice the critics, you’re not working hard enough.

So those are my tips for you. I hope that this helps you. Don’t be a critic. Don’t listen to the critics. Keep on in the arena.

Keep it up because it’s about you and what you do in the arena.

Learn how I personally dealt with the critics in my life bby reading my newest book: “The Man In The Arena” https://store.jerryfetta.com/collections/books/products/the-man-in-the-arena

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Jerry Fetta

Jerry Fetta is the CEO and Founder of Wealth DynamX. Jerry’s mission in life is to help create millions of financially educated and wealthy families.