I have this Chinese fortune cookie fortune tacked up on my wall at work. I guess I was naive and thought it was unique to me, but a quick search of the fortune online gives MANY results of people who have the same picture and the same slip of paper.

Chinese fortune cookie fortuneIf you’re reading this, you have some connection with me as a person or as a company. Maybe I help with marketing for you. Maybe we know each other from church. Maybe we’re friends or family from long ago. One thing is for sure, we all have dreams. We all have these goals which are out there that we strive for (or at least should be striving.)

And then one day, something happens. Someone reaches out to us and tries to tear us down. It’s a gut punch that comes from no where. It’s not expected. It hurts.

Here’s the thing. Don’t let it shift your focus. If you’re really on your game, you can pause long enough to regain your breath and composure. Chances are, you should just ignore, but it could also be an opportunity which allows you to refocus on those goals.

Today, I got the gut punch. I received this email:

After trying to use your website, which is a total disaster, I will purchase from another vendor whose web presence is much easier to use. I want to deal with a company that is customer focused. Your website is so bad you can’t possibly be focused on winning new customers.


This is a little more than a gut punch. It feels nuclear in nature.

But then I gotta remember how much thought I put into the website. How much architecture and strategy went into it. Navigational usability. Content strategy. Using analytics to drive decision.

And then I realize that I can’t please everyone. There are 7.5 billion people on planet earth. There are going to be people who hate on everything you do. You can’t allow one negative comment to destroy you.

Now, what did I do. I replied. Marketing/business best practices tell you to do this. I reached out and apologized and told this customer to not allow a website impression to keep him from making a poor decision. And I hope that he does.

In the end, it really does not matter. There are MUCH more important things in our lives than letting single transactions dominate your focus.

Be relational. Not transactional. You’ll last a lot longer in business, and you’ll feel better at the end of the day too!

Don’t allow trolls to knock you off the good work you’re doing.