I couldn’t have worked in sports broadcasting today. My skin is too thin.
Even if 99% of the Internet comments about my talk show or my play-by-play were great, I would dwell on the 1% that wasn’t. I would dwell on it to the point that I would consider tweaking what I was doing to appease the 1%.
Big mistake. Don’t be me. Be realistic. Be mentally strong.
Some things to consider about your critics:
1. They’re called critics for a reason
There aren’t as many newspaper/website as there used to be, but sports radio and TV critics do still exist. Their job isn’t to coddle. It’s to criticize. It draws more eyeballs. The fact that they don’t write good things about you doesn’t mean you aren’t doing good things.
2. It is mostly unhappy people who share opinions
Folks who like something generally don’t go out of their way to say so publicly. It is largely people who are negative by nature who go out of their way to be critical in blogs and forums. Misery loves company. It makes no sense to give credibility to people like this.
3. The only person whose opinion counts is your employer’s
The fact that your boss keeps putting you on the air should be all the validation you need. He’s trying to make money and he thinks you can help him do it.
4. Accept feedback
We all need input in order to improve, but be choosy about where you are getting it. Suggestions from industry professionals carry tremendous value. Something you read on a blog or message board from Joe in Sheboygan does not.
Here’s a tip for handling your critics: When possible, kill them with kindness.
When I was working in San Diego, there was a weekly radio/TV critic who always and without fail wrote negative comments about me when he wrote about me at all. One day, I stepped into the elevator at a Chargers game and there he was. I took those 10 seconds to introduce myself and tell him how much I enjoyed his work. In his next column, he wrote something complimentary about me. In fact, he didn’t write anything negative about me ever again.
And remember this: A lion doesn’t concern himself with the opinions of the sheep.