I’ll be completely honest here, I had a completely different post lined up to publish, but was more inspired to write this post on a whim. I wanted to add some positivity into the blogosphere, where I recently came across some real negativity. Now again, to be honest, I try not to write posts like this, because I like to keep things around here uplifting and niche-focused. However, since my goal for sharing here on the blog is to help, educate, and be a resource for my fellow creative entrepreneurs, I felt it was necessary to post on this topic.
Most often in the blogging community, I come across encouraging, educational, and motivating content. I typically walk away from a blog post feeling like I learned something or at least gained a new perspective on a particular topic. I’m a fairly objective person, always striving to see both sides of the token, so even when I come across a polarizing post, I can still view it with an open mind.
As a business owner, it’s that much more important to keep an open mind, because in working with clients, I may encounter times when the client sees and wants something different than I do. This is one of my favorite things about being both a blogger and a business owner, being able to gain insight into how different people see and experience things. However, sometimes we come across people or situations that simply just rub us the wrong way. Sometimes, we’re not quite sure why, not being able to put our hands on it, and other times the issue stands out like a sore thumb. Recently, I ran across this very thing and it’s called shade.
If you watch any of the shows that come on Bravo or know what the “cool kids” are saying these days, then you’ve probably heard this term before. If you haven’t, well consider this an education to bring you up to speed.
Shade – acting in a casual or disrespectful manner towards someone/dissing a friend.
It’s basically be being a hater and not be supportive or truly happy for someone.
I was so surprised to see this within my very own niche, considering that the bulk of my niche is comprised of those whose goal is to help others. The worst thing is that I saw the shade being thrown in a very overt, yet masked way. It was nearly an insult to my intelligence because it didn’t take a genius to figure out who this individual was referencing. It was an attack on much of the creative community and it wasn’t coming from a place of experience. It’s one thing to share an experience that may not have resulted in the most positive outcome, but it’s another to share information that puts others down and that is extremely discouraging.
As a creative entrepreneur, I’m constantly on the lookout for others to support and add to my community. One of the best things about being within this niche and community is that everyone has something different to bring to the table, despite level of experience or skill.
[Tweet “Everyone has something different to bring to the table, despite level of experience or skill.”]
Putting others down in order to build yourself up won’t get you far, especially as a business owner.
Throwing shade on someone’s skill level is not okay, because everyone has room to improve. Moreover, throwing shade at potential clients, because they may not be able to make a large investment to grow their business just yet is wrong as well. This is one reason why there are so many of us offering tons of options to them because it gives potential clients an opportunity to make their dreams come true. Not everyone can afford to stay in a 5-star hotel when they travel, which is why there are nice 3-star hotels that still do that same thing: provide you with a place to lay your head, bathe, and relax.
I’m focused on results, which I know many of the others in my niche are as well. It’s not about getting there perfect, but getting there now and building your brand. A large part of the reason why so many people wait to start a blog, or business, or whatever in life is because of people placing false notions in their heads that it has to be “perfect” before its launched. For one, nothing in life is perfect and it never will be. Things will always be flawed, and all we can do it work towards providing the best product or service that we are capable of doing.
[Tweet “Putting others down in order to build yourself up won’t get you far, especially in business. “]
It’s unfortunate that as many supportive individuals that there are out there, with the mindset of ‘community over competition’, there are those who are the complete opposite.
These individuals are doing the community a disservice because someone who might be on the cusp of launching or starting can become easily discouraged and give up. It’s a scary thing to embark on a new endeavor, and sometimes the smallest things can give us an excuse to not tread forward on them.
Offering a way to help versus criticism should be the way to go, not highlighting negative things so that we can be seen in a better light. I almost can’t believe that someone within my niche would do this, but I have to remember that it’s a real world out there and that people do these types of things. It is important to be reminded of these types of things, although sad, every now and then because it keeps us on our toes. These type of things remind us to be positive, supportive, and uplifting to our counterparts. We should be this way anyway, but it’s easy to forget and not pay it any mind when we’re caught up with our own tasks.
How to Deal With Shade
If you ever find yourself in a situation where you experience shade or see it being thrown, like I found here’s a few suggestions for how to deal:
1. Take a deep breath. – Your heart may be racing at this point, but just relax and try to center yourself.
2. Keep your composure. – Although I don’t ever recommend entertaining negativity, if you do feel the need to, compose yourself and thoughts first.
3. Stay objective. – Remember that everyone has an opinion and that occasionally you will run across someone’s who drastically differs from yours’.
4. Respond constructively and positively. – It goes back to the old, ‘be the bigger person’ mindset. Plus, responding brashly with only fuel the negativity and potentially incite an argument. Not classy!
5. Talk to a friend or fellow community/niche-member. – They may be able to offer you some perspective and insight on the topic. Better to vent your rant to them, than attacking the instigator back.
6. Be encouraged to share even more positive and helpful things than you already do. – You’re putting it out in the universe, which means that it will reach someone. This helps combat the negative effect and could be just the things to uplift someone and push them in the direction of meeting their goals and living out their dreams.
7. Take it as a learning experience. – Sometimes we encounter things to teach us a lesson. Very few things we experience in life are truly random. When we experience negative or bad things, there’s always the option to come out the other side a stronger and better version of ourselves. We experience things to teach us, and therefore we can pass on more knowledge to others.
8. Surround yourself with positive people. – Being around people who support us and bring us up helps to combat even more against those negative feelings that people throwing shade try to evoke. They also keep us encouraged and motivated to keep at our goals.
You may notice that when shade is thrown at someone, that there is oftentimes a lot of hypocrisy backing it. This is all the more reason not to take it seriously or respond rashly to it. These individuals are making the poor choice of displaying ill feelings, which nothing good can come from. It’s fine to disagree, see things differently, and even share about.
However, there is a right way and a wrong way to do it. In doing so, we mustn’t put other down for personal, business, or financial gain, because reputation is everything. It would be a detriment to our relationships (and potential relationships) others and a dark cloud on our businesses to be known as that girl (or guy) who throws shade. No one will want anything to do with you, hence you having no audience, building no community, and making no sells. Don’t let this be you nor the one giving into it. Be positive, encouraging, strong, and set your sights high on success in doing. A strong positive mindset equals success, never a negative one!
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These are great tips! There is sadly plenty of shade to go around online. I try not to join in on that nonsense. I’m all about building up not tearing down. I believe you don’t have to throw mud on your competition to beat them. Staying in your lane and focusing on your prize seems to work best; the minute you start focusing in on someone else you lose sight of yourself and your prize.