Has one of your friends, loved ones, or acquaintances ever said, “how’s that little store of yours doing?” These comments—intentionally or unintentionally!—can come across as condescending or demeaning. And they don’t just come from people we know. Sometimes the comments we get from strangers on the internet can feel pointed, too! 

While we can’t control what other people say about our retail stores, we CAN manage how we think about their comments. Read on to learn how.

Your Thoughts Determine Your Feelings

Whether it’s someone in person who judges your business or someone online who’s trolling and hating on you, it’s YOUR thinking that will determine your reaction, not their words.

What You Know to Be True

Think about one thing that you are confident about. No matter what anyone says, you KNOW this to be true. You would just laugh if anyone commented otherwise.

For example, if someone tells you, “You’re an awful human being with zero integrity.” You wouldn’t think twice about this. You wouldn’t be mad, and it would be easy for you to shrug this off (or maybe even laugh at it) because you KNOW that this is not the type of human being you are.

I recently asked members of Master Shopkeepers this question: “What’s one thing you are so confident about in your business that no matter what comment is made (by a stranger, an acquaintance, a loved one, or an online hater), it simply won’t cause a negative reaction in you?”

They responded with things like:

  • “Customer service! I know without a doubt we have the BEST customer service.”
  • “My location! A handful of people can’t believe I didn’t open in the bigger town 12 miles east. I don’t have a passion for that location and can’t imagine myself there.”
  • “My price point.”
  • “My instinct on purchasing and not following trends”
  • “My finger being on the pulse of what *my* customers want.”
  • “Commitment to ‘open’ and ‘close’ hours.”

What You Wish Was True

Now, think about one thing that people say that triggers an annoyed, insulted, or maybe even angry reaction inside of you.

For some of you, this may happen if someone comments on your “little store.” Our minds tell us they’re condescendingly suggesting that our work is just a hobby.

So why do you feel insulted or annoyed? Because you know that at this point, your business IS a hobby, even if you want more! You want to be profitable, you want to pay yourself consistently, and maybe you WANT to be a Retail CEO.

Some shopkeepers are getting “triggered” by the new Savvy Shopkeeper Quiz. They’re taking the quiz, getting their result, and some type of negative emotion comes in. But it’s NOT the quiz that’s doing this (even though some shopkeepers think it’s the quiz). It’s their thoughts about the results.  

In the early days of my business, this happened to me, too. It happened with the “size” of my business, how much I was making, and the suggestion that I couldn’t possibly be making enough.

You Can’t Control Others, But You Can Control Your Reaction

We all know that changing people can be very difficult or impossible. And it’s not our job to change people’s minds! People tend to say what they want. And with social media, there are keyboard warriors and people that hide behind the mask of the internet. Plus, some people are just plain old miserable, ya know?

If the “hater” or commenter is a loved one—keep in mind that their comment may be based on fear or lack of confidence. This is THEIR insecurity that they are passing on to you. They may not have the courage to do what you’re doing, and their brain is in protection mode (and in turn, they believe they are protecting you).

People comment because they want to or they can. Period. They always will. 

So why do you care? That’s the million-dollar question to ask yourself.  

(Of course, this doesn’t include defamation or derogatory behavior. I’m referring to everyday comments that don’t damage our businesses but may annoy and hurt our feelings. There’s a big difference here, and I acknowledge that.)

How to Deal With Negative Comments

So how can we deal with the haters? 

Step 1: Accept that people are people, and we can’t control them or their damn comments.

Step 2: When you feel some sort of reaction to a person’s comment, identify WHY. You’ll want to blame that person for your feelings. But the only person who can control your emotions is YOU….and that starts with your thinking.

Step 3: Remove the person and the comment from your brain/thinking (this will be hard, I get it!). Shift your energy to focus on your why, your goals, and start to head in that direction instead!

Walking myself through these three steps has done wonders for me, my businesses, my bottom line, my health, my relationships, my sanity, and most importantly, my CONFIDENCE and HAPPINESS.

I am always a work in progress, and you are, too. See how you can use this practice with your thinking. And don’t forget to be patient with yourself!



  • [01:02] Shopkeeper Shoutout
  • [02:58] Your Thoughts Determine Your Feelings
  • [14:17] How to Deal With Negative Comments

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