There’s a book I own called Barefoot Executive by Carrie Wilkerson. I was thinking about purchasing either the Nook version or the Kindle version because I read it years ago and I’ve been thinking about whether or not I want to read it again to refresh myself with it.
After checking the price on B&N I decided to see if there was a better deal on Amazon’s page for the electronic version. If you’ve ever been there you’ll have noticed that they have that intriguing ranking system where people can write reviews of the books or movies they’ve purchased. For whatever reason, even though I already own the book, I was drawn to the reviews of the book.
The book is ranked highly, 4.6 out of 5 stars. Around 91% of the reviews have given it 4 or 5 stars. And yet… that means 9% of the reviews gave it 3 stars or less.
I decided to read the bad reviews because I wanted to see the types of things those folks had to say. Some of the people didn’t think it offered enough specifics on how to be self employed. Some didn’t like the positive message without the detail. A few actually thought she was either bragging, self promoting or was a scam artist, part of what some of us know as the “make money online” group that may have only made money by telling people they were going to tell them how to make money when the only way they made money was to write a book on how to make money.
I thought “Wow, how could there be such a drastic disconnent”? How is it that the overwhelming majority of people like the book, but the few that didn’t either felt they didn’t get what they wanted or, gasp, didn’t like Carrie?
I decided to look at the rankings of a couple of books I’ve reviewed on this site to see how they were rated as opposed to how I rated them.
I started with Ask! by Ryan Levesque, which I really liked. Turns out 92% of the reviewers gave it between 4 & 5 stars, which means 8% didn’t like it. Once again, those who didn’t like it either hated what he had to say or hated him; ouch!
I then took a look at 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss, a book I would have given a 3 1/2 if that was possible but, if pushed, I’d have given 3 stars. On Amazon, it’s received 84% of reviews with 4 or 5 stars, which means 16% of the people agree with me. However, the first review showing on the site says “there’s a sucker born every minute”. Another said it was a “get rich quick scheme for the shallow”; ouch! A few of the negative reviews disliked some of the same stuff I did… just a lot more than how I felt.
A couple of years ago I wrote a post here titled You Can’t Please Everyone So Start With Pleasing Yourself. On my business blog in September I wrote a post titled Haters Gonna Hate… Do It Anyway. In both posts I talked about the need to be able to push aside your doubts about yourself and the potential derision of others and do what you think is right. In the second article I mentioned J.K. Rowling, the first author to become a billionaire only on book sales and how, even with the major success she’s had, there are detractors, people who’ve never written anything, saying they didn’t think she was that great a writer; pfft!
You know what? Blogging is harder than some people think it is. Social media is harder than some people think it is. You know what else? Life is harder than some people think it is. We can decide to act out of fear or we can decide to act out of courage and go for our dreams and goals. It all depends on what you want out of life. Fear is easy; courage is hard.
Take it from me, a self employed guy for the last 14 or so years. It’s not easy; I’m not going to lie and say it is. But it’s been quite the trip, and I’ve done things I never would have if I had stayed the course most people do, not trying to create anything, not writing my blogs or articles, or anything else I’ve done. Some things work; some don’t. What I don’t do is wait for everyone else’s approval; it’s never coming.
So… what are you going to do today?