Tip for new hustlers: Either escape from or block all voices that make you second-guess in yourself.

by okayatarter. Posted on Sep 16, 2020    485    77

New hustlers: You owe it to yourself to zone out and avoid people who try to put even an iota of doubt in your head about your abilities.

Feedback is amazing. Especially from your customers and mentors. Seek it. But seek it from people who've been and overcome what you're overcoming. Not someone who has an "opinion" on it. Because, guess what...

Every single last person on the planet will have an opinion on everything in the world.

A sous-chef at a restaurant can have a strong opinion about Chris Hemsworth's choice to stay with or leave Marvel.

Doesn’t make him informed enough to make that opinion.

Most of people impose their own insecurities and doubts on other people. And the person on the receiving side can mistake that for wise advice.


Telling you from my mistakes.


An iota of doubt is enough for you to not give it your best shot.

And if you don't give your best shot, you, as an entrepreneur, are like a hesitant boxer in a boxing ring.

In short, fucked.

Your mind is your asset. Your mindset is your weapon against the daily bombardment of massive shit that WILL come at you from all sides.

That's the life of an entrepreneur.


I don't care if that's your family, your current friends, your ONLY friends...

Stay away from them. Don't discuss ideas with them.

Actively seek new people. Go to meetups. No meetups? Host a meetup.

But get out.

You deserve to save every ounce of time and energy you can. You will be the average of 5 people you spend most of your time with. Don't fuck around.

*Edit: I had no idea this would help so many of you. Thanks for all the awards. Although, I see a bunch of criticism as well which helps me understand how I might have missed including a few points like how blocking out negativity and naysayers doesn’t mean one doesn’t seek feedback and isn’t open to criticism. Feedback is critical to any kind of success. But it’s important to understand who it’s coming from and why. Especially when it’s family / friends, coz they are emotionally invested in you as well, their NO may be coming from a place of insecurity or a 100 other things.

Someone suggested “believability score” in the comments. It’s a great concept by Ray Dalio’s book (Principles: Life and Work). A good read. It’s basically about making sure the person youre getting feedback from has some experience / credibility in the subject.

Also, for a supportive community of founders / makers, IndieHackers is a great place. Eventbrite for hosting meetups around you. Give away free coffee / etc. to get people excited to come (unless it’s virtual, then maybe try ordering one of them a Tshirt or something). Just random ideas.

But don’t stay stuck with people who don’t believe in you. Life is too short for that. Love them. Have compassion for them. But get out.

The entrepreneur’s journey is hard as it is. Avoid struggle where you can.

Here’s a cool experiment Nat Geo did on the influence of your environment on your performance.

All the best!



Praise the The Most Creator and Jesus Christ. There is reason many successful people are religious.


This is a struggle on the daily.

I inherited a manager who I have discovered is just plain dumb. And I constantly have to remind myself anything he tells me, sometimes he might be right, but otherwise he is just so fucking stupid. The other day he was trying to convince me to change the name for some of our services so other competitors can't start offering out services. Like, What The Actual Fuck? How will new clients find us if we change the name to something fucking random so our competitors can't see the service?

Just do your fucking job better so customers WANT to work with you.


thanks bro this is the one


Needed this! Thanks.


Thanks...I needed this right now

stackered 1

Or listen to them and address them instead of letting some underlying problem become a serious issue

ryanhvaughn 1

Love this post OP. Curating your environment seems trivial, but even surrounding yourself with objects that make you feel good can make a profound difference. People 100x.

For those of us who still second guess (all?), I've found through years of meditating that it can be helpful to distinguish between resisting the second guessing and simply noticing it. The former ("I shouldn't be thinking this," positive self talk, etc), adds to its staying power. The latter ("Interesting, there my mind goes second guessing") gives it space to simply go away.

BurdenofPain 1

Confidence leads to competence.

JustusRamming 1

Great advice

BikiniGrandma 1

I really needed this today not just in entrepreneurship, but in my life. I'm not wasting any more of my time and energy on people who put me down or make me think negatively about myself. Thank you.

LavishlyLushBoutique 1

Nice advice!

platonic_thoughts 1

great fucking word man

rousseaux 1

If you wouldn't ask them for their advice, don't listen to what they think.

Sleepybrains1102003 1

what if you put the doubt in your head?

Jonlife 1

Third party people who are negative or a bad influence, keeping away from them is the easy part. But can you silence the biggest critic of all? The voice in your head. Most people are masters of self sabatoge.

The sad part is that they'll just keep blaming others for any little thing that doesn't go their way. Lots of millennials today are professional victims. They don't understand how consequences work.

Start taking responsibility for your actions. Learn from it and be a man about it. I've learned from bad deals I've been in. I only have myself to blame. When I lost I didn't lose the lesson. It's humbling. No, I'm not sitting there sulking in pain and negativity about my blunders. I'm not in my head. You are not your thoughts. I let it go in one ear, take note, then out the other ear, and then keep it moving.

I don't make decisions based on emotion. It took practice and time to get to that. I had to fix myself from within. You can't fix others, but you can fix yourself.

ChristopherGS 1

Joining a community like Indie Hackers is wise for this reason - everybody gets it.

writesinnottragedy 1

This might help: Occasionally when I have doubts, I daydream. I think about the future when my startup has already made it big and I have put it on autopilot and am gardening in my small farmhouse in a small village near the ocean. Once in a while, I visit office and see to wheels if they’re turning well. The more detailed the daydream, the longer the good vibes sustain. Just a tip from a 2X founder.

diarabee 1

This is exactly the advice I needed to hear.

EvilDomGM 4

Garbage advice man. Hearing people say negative stuff is a basic part of owning a business. If you can't handle people saying ridiculous and negative things then you just not going to make it.

guitarman181 3

What about the voice in the back of my head? He second guesses me a lot.

ilovefeshpasta 2

Read something interesting in another sub about them. The principle is giving them a name. So you dissociate them from yourself like if it was another person talking or another part of you.

Example : voices are talking -> say to your self 'oh yeah that's that guy Alfred talking again' should I listen to him or not?

BioEndeavour 2

How would you recommend hosting a meetup for let's say... like-minded aspiring entrepreneurs in my local community? (That's a really good idea btw)

  okayatarter 2

Eventbrite is free. Organize a free meetup for the kind of people you want (startups, tech, reading - book club, etc.).

Can also offer free coffee for the first 5 to show up or something. Do it consistently and make it worth for any and everyone who shows up. Even if it’s just one person initially (it can be). If you do, slowly they’ll bring their friends, and then their friends will bring their friends... and off you go!

BioEndeavour 1

This is not a thing in my country but I'll try something else like Facebook or something! Thanks though

rommelcedric 2

Good stuff. I'm honestly struggling with something like this right now and this is hit home. Thank you!

  okayatarter 1

I’m glad! All the best!!

SpadoCochi 2

Fully agreed. I went to a private school gorwing up and we were on partial scholarship for it.

Rich kids everywhere.

I went to college and dropped out.

My entire expanded circle of influence was shitting on me while I tried to figure things out.

Now i dont get shit.

growthconsultant93 2

I would add that it is critical to weigh the believability of who you ask feedback from. Opinions are free and can sometimes make you doubt the wrong things.

anushi45sahak 2

This is the post I needed right atm. The title says everything.

In my life, there's a period where I make big decisions and people around me make me second-guess my decisions but my gut feeling tells me to trust my inner voice so that's what I do

curioustohear20 2

This is morning motivation and seriously good advice. The stuff life throws at you is enough to knock you because yes opinions of people can fill your mind. But you said it right, mindset is an asset. Don't let people make doubt yourself, allow people in that will make you better !

Quantum_Pineapple 2

Hi, I'm a psychologist and I do this all day with clients of all kinds of backgrounds:

Until the escape velocity of your own conviction for change and goal setting shifts internally, you won't have the sustained velocity to overcome naysayers. This is precisely because you lack mental clarity to expedite results to provide proof for yourself that this is the right way. Once that happens nobody can stop you. Get to that point ASAP.

bald_manc_twat 2

Reminds me of this section from the book Shoe Dog from the founder of Nike. Most people are concerned about the uncertain 'there', and their opinions are born out of the fear of uncertainty. Good advice will come from those who understand the 'running', having been there before.

"Run. Its hard, its painful. Its risky. The rewards are few and far from guaranteed. When you run around an oval, or down and empty street, you have no real destination. At least, none that can fully justify the effort. The act itself becomes the destination. Its not just that there's no finish line; its that you define the finish line. Whatever pleasures or gains you derive from the act of running, you must find them within. Its all in how you frame it, how you sell it to yourself.

Every runner knows this. You run and you run, mile after mile, and you never quite know why. You tell yourself that you’re running towards some goal, chasing some rush, but really you run because the alternative, stopping, scares you to death.

So that morning in 1962 I told myself:

Let everyone else call your idea crazy...just keep going. Don’t stop. Don’t even think about stopping until you get there, and don’t give much thought to where ‘there’ is. Whatever comes, just don't stop.

That’s the precocious, prescient, urgent advice I manged to give myself, out of the blue, and somehow managed to take. Half a century later, I believe its the best advice - maybe the only advice- any of us should ever give. "

  okayatarter 1

This is awesome! I gotta fucking read this book. It keeps coming up!

ferthedoge 2

I've realized this not too long ago, when I decide to just go for something without telling people, I either get the exact outcome I expected or I learn something super valuable, either way extremely beneficial. The only problem is I'm still living at home and my family constantly tells me and asks me to do things other than my own plans and that makes me doubt and put off things that I want to do. My goal right now is to move out even though my entire family has told me all my life that its pointless and I should be saving money so that we can all move out together to a bigger house.

Theres a little more to my situation but no point in ranting, i know the direction i need to go in but thanks for this post, kinda motivated me even more to keep things to myself and just keep pushing and I hope you and whoever reads this excels and accomplishes whatever dreams they may have 🔥

whatswrongwithnate 3

I get the idea. I appreciate it. But, I disagree.

If I can't pitch my friends, family, and others close to me, how am I going to sell the vision of what I'm building? Some of my best ideas have come from people who know nothing about the space in which I work. I'd prefer not to avoid their feedback, but to give weight to people who have more insight.

I definitely agree that you should bounce your idea(s) off a wide variety of people, especially other entrepreneurs, but don't discount the feedback from people close to you just because they don't agree with you. Don't be the emperor without clothes.

  okayatarter 2

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. For as much love this post has gotten, it’s attracted some criticism as well. And I’ve learned from it.

To your point, it’s important to bounce ideas around.

In fact, I love Charlie Munger’s quote ”All I want to know is where I’m going to die, so I’ll never go there.”

One needs to listen to criticism and feedback.

My point was more towards the scenario where you’re surrounded by people or you only have access to people who are, in some ways, naysayers (which is, unfortunately, a reality for a lot of people) then you really stack up a fight against yourself that’s bigger than it needs to be.

And especially family. It can have quite the impact in your self-belief.

If just say not everyone is on the same plane. It’s easy to under / over estimate someone’s situation unless you’ve been in it. So, a person who always had creative friends, happened to have great empathetic teachers at school might not understand the pain of someone who was bullied and had short sighted teachers at school.

Just that some people are in these situations and don’t realize it’s not uncommon. It happens to a lot of other people, and it’s better if they get aware of it sooner than later.

I like your thoughts, btw. They make absolute sense.

whatswrongwithnate 2

That makes sense. I love when people criticize my ideas because it helps me develop strategies to overcome objections.

However, you're 100% on the money with people who are nay-sayers. There's a major difference between a tough critic and someone who just craps on everything.

I totally agree you. Compartmentalize those people and keep them away from things that bring you energy.


ShetlandJames 3

This is the kind of advice I imagine a MLM victim or self-help grifter would espouse.

It's stupid nonsense to ignore criticism. You listen, decide if it's valid and then ignore if it is. If it's not, you address it.

YouareMrRobot 1

agreed. The trick is being able to handle other's opinions properly. And that last part about you being the 5 people...? What if you just have cats?

laplumedematante 11

if one iota of doubt causes you to crumble then your idea is very very fragile.

if you have faith in what you're doing then you should be able to hear dissenting voices, dismiss them and move on.

there's no need to discuss your idea with people who have no clue about the industry you are in, their opinions are next to worthless anyway.

  okayatarter 1

I understand your strong worded statements. I really do.

Most entrepreneurs don’t start out with conviction. For founders, “100% founder conviction” can take months to come.

The point is that you will ALREADY have a lot of setbacks as an entrepreneur. A lot of disappointments, things not going your way, competitor stealing your clients, or what not.

The point is to minimize it. What I mentioned above are things in one’s control. What happens in the market isn’t.

So, getting rid of negative voices around you can be absolutely critical (and is something one can control/block).

And to your point about hearing dissenting voices, and dismissing them... I guess a lot of us aren’t as strong as you seem to be. At least I’m not. And just to back it up with a small experiment Nat Geo did on the effect of positive / negative reinforcement on a person’s performance, here’s a video you might enjoy.

Thanks for your thoughts, though. Helped me get more clarity on mine. Have a great week!

laplumedematante 1

i'm not super strong but i have developed a bit of resilience and if you don't learn to develop it then you have no hope.

i work in an industry that is known for constant disappointments and isolating yourself from negativity is an unrealistic approach.

i'm not saying you shouldn't cut out the super negative people but you can't eliminate it all and trying to do so will see you living in a super isolated mental space that bears no reality to the harshness of doing business.

ascandalia 1

Yeah, I think a better phrasing might be "Don't share your dreams until you're at a point in development where you're ready to find value in criticism.

Joe_Doblow 4

Including your own. I used to have a workout buddy who was a millionaire. I remember when I started bodybuilding with him and building up my body doing heavy weight I’ve never lifted before in my life I said “I don’t think I can do this but f it I’ll it a shot” And he looked at me straight in the eyes and said “no, you have to tell yourself you can do and you will do it”... I don’t know why but I felt that so strong. I realized his mentality. He literally could psych himself out. Believe anything he wanted to. He was craZy. But that’s one reason why he was so successful. He was able to convince HIMSELF. Sell himself a dream if need be

doot_doot 8

“If you’re the smartest person in the room you’re in the wrong room.”

Surround yourself with smart people. Listen to them when they disagree with you.

yung-n-nasty 8

I have 2 parents who have worked entry level 9-5s their entire lives. Don’t get me wrong, they’ve done well for themselves by working and saving; nevertheless, they’ve been complacent for 30 years. They want me to work a trade and retire at 65.

As an entrepreneur and someone who is always looking for a way to make money, I can’t listen to my parents’ opinions on my ideas. They don’t know anything about taking risks as they have never really done that. It’s always been a steady and constant income, but a low ceiling for growth. Sometimes you have to spend a few thousand to start up your business, and seeing their 20 year old son do it makes them think I’m going to fail or have unrealistic expectations for what I can make. They think I haven’t factored in taxes or expenses. Though their voice of reason will always be in my head as they are my parents, I’ve had to learn to shut that off when I get advice that hinders me on my path. All in all, I’ve learned that for them to respect what I’m doing, I’ll just have to show them through action.

Gereur67 4

You will be fine brother. I went through the same. Even with results, their feelings may never change. Be in peace with that. Keep striving and do what you know you can do. People are biased from their perspective and experience and that's okay. This includes your parents. Good luck!

enpe 10

My wife encourages me to do what I want. Some of my past friends told me that I’d never be able to accomplish my goals as they are “unattainable.”

Also, even family members can bring you down. Mine made me feel like I was crazy for suggesting to remove myself from a high paying career field with a handful of the most draining peers with minimal ambitions and nonstop complaints despite having one of the fairest employers in the nation.

I left the previous career field and I’m already ten times happier and more stoked about life despite an uncertain future.

yung-n-nasty 12

Average people look at you and maybe you make $80k a year with good benefits. You say you want to quit to start your own business? “Why would you do that; you’ve got such a good job?” What they don’t understand is that you’re not working (at the job) toward something better for yourself, but something better for the company. If you start that business, it could fail; however, that business could be successful and now that income ceiling is limitless as you scale the business. Now you’ve created something from nothing, and frankly it’s income you’re passing down from generation to generation of the business is continued. You can’t do that at a 9-5.

wishtrepreneur 3

Imagine Bezos kept his $500k investment job and didn't start selling books online because "it's stupid and will never work".

johnnyblazepw 14

I dont necessarily disagree, but where do you draw the line from this to someone like Kanye who has no one in his camp that knows the word "NO"or the phrase, "This is a bad idea"?


seems to be working pretty well for kanye who is a billionaire and fucks kim k every night

dgodro2 1

Proper judgement




^(Bleep-bloop, I'm a bot. This )^portmanteau ^( was created from the phrase 'Proper judgement' | )^FAQs ^(|) ^Feedback ^(|) ^Opt-out

thinkandlisten 3

You should listen to his recent Nick Cannon interview.

Funny thing is I kind of agree in regards to some of his lyrics but in the larger sense he has proved everyone of his doubters wrong, especially from an entrepreneur perspective.

Imagine if he listened to people telling him not to pursue design.

johnnyblazepw 1

Yeah I meant lyrically and some of his recent music, politics and Trump friendship. I used to be a huge stan but just got to a point where I couldn't defend him anymore. He is still hugely successful though, Ill give you that.

dhighway61 5

Well, Kanye's net worth is 1.3 billion. He does some dumb shit, but it's working for him.

TrendNowapp 11

The key is to evaluate the criticism you receive. Is it constructive? Is the person qualified to be giving it?

And seek out constructive criticism from qualified people to keep you grounded.

  okayatarter 1


laplumedematante 11

op is saying just block everything out that's even slightly negative. this is bullshit advice. you need to hear the criticisms and be able to dismiss them not live in some cotton wool wrapped bubble. if your idea is a good idea and you believe in it, then fuck the haters and on you go.

awesomedays1998 56

I'm having a big struggle. Some people around me tell me I can't do it or they discourage me. I don't have any family or friends who are entrepreneurs. I have no money, and no idea what i'm doing. I'm scared crapless. I am so blessed to have found this sub reddit. I really hope I greatly benefit from it.

Also what you said made me think of what Jen Sincero said. She said something along the lines of "Your family and friends have this idea of you being on their level, their buddy. You getting rich shatters that perception of you, and every time you speak of your business it threatens them. That's why they shoot you down."

FragrantBicycle7 2

Damn shitty family and friends to have, if that's really how they feel. Mine have never done anything but try to encourage my dreams, and help any way they can. In no way should jealousy be considered the default for how loved ones act towards one another.

awesomedays1998 2

That's good! My 83 year old grandmother is supportive of my business and everytime I tell her an idea she shows interest. She even checks up on me for it.

wishtrepreneur 4

Then you have a very nice family. My mom is actively dissuading me from getting into real estate investing as a way to diversify my portfolio and generate passive income. She thinks I'll be stuck managing that single property for 10 years and screw over my career for the rest of my life.

Is there some truth in that or is she out of her mind?

BikiniGrandma 3

I think she's out of her mind. Property is a great way to generate passive income. My father in law owns several homes around the country that he uses as rentals. Don't buy in a place where the rental market won't float a mortgage and revenue (and avoid HOA's) and don't buy in a place that isn't convenient for you to go to. If it becomes too big of a pain in the ass, you can always sacrifice some revenue and sign it over to a property management company.

dos4gw 3

Hang in there. If you believe in yourself, that's enough!

awesomedays1998 2

Thank you!!

  okayatarter 15

I’ve been in the same boat. I’m glad you found this useful.

For me, I surrounded myself with virtual entrepreneur friends, aka Podcasts, Books, People on Twitter, ans YouTube.

Try that. That won’t solve 100% of the problem, but will get you 30% there for sure. It’s a journey. You’ll make a lot of good friends. Join IndieHacker, too. It has a good supportive community of new entrepreneurs.

All the best! :)

ichthys_420 2

Any podcasts you would recommend?

ichthys_420 2

What podcasts would you recommend?

ChrisAplin 10

I think there's a happy medium between "You can do it no matter what" and "you can't do it."

Risk assessment is important. The flat out truth is many people try and fail in earnest. Their failure is rarely due to the motivation of others, but just that -- well, being successful isn't easy if you're not born into it.

You want to start a business? You want to make more money? What do you realistically have to offer? Hustling is great once you've found something worth hustling. You can't out hustle a bad idea.

I generally am supportive of people who either A) Have absolutely nothing to lose and B) Have a skillset or experience that they can monetize.

But, starting a business or going out on your own ISN'T your only other option besides "working the same shitty job you have". The majority of successful businesses are started by people who have years of experience in their field. You want to start a landscaping company or a painting business? Get a job as one, learn the business, and then do it. You want to start a tech company? Learn how to code and build a bunch of weekend projects and understand what success and failure mean.

I've started two companies in my life. The first one when I was 20. I made more money than any of my friends and then one day it was too much. Of course, my friends had minimum wage jobs so relative to them I was rich. It took another 12 years before I started another company, and it was because for the past 5 years I had been doing a job I knew I could do on my own.

In those 12 years I could have started more businesses. I had ideas, maybe I could have succeeded, but when I finally went out on my own again? It was easy. I had the experience, the connections, and 6 months later I had a 7 figure company. Second year in and we're looking at 8 figures. But even before then I had gone from $30k a year to $150k in salary with full medical and dental paid for my wife and child.

Don't let your impatience get in the way of growth. Opportunities will arise.

awesomedays1998 1

I'm not sure what to do, I don't have a skill set. Right now I'm just trying to sell print on demand T-Shirts to gain enough capital for my online business.

mortyscafe 11

These people suffer from what Steven Covey calls a “scarcity mentality.” Anyone who doesn’t want you to be successful is not really someone you want in your life in a close way..

lovelovebeauty 16

I’d like to say that sometimes or even most times, people’s discouragement has nothing to do with you. Their opinions are based on how they perceive their own ability to accomplish something. Don’t worry about them. Easy to say but over time, you’ll learn to ignore the naysayers. And don’t worry about not having money or not knowing know what to do. Do what you can, little by little, and overtime all those efforts will add up to something great. Good luck to you!!

awesomedays1998 2

Thank you! My boyfriend was weary of me getting rich but not for the reasons I thought. We spoke about it and turns out he's scared I'm gonna get so much money I'm going to leave him "Cuz I will realize that I can do better than him". Everytime I express worry that I won't make it he'd say "I don't care if we're rich" which to me hinted there was fear with me getting rich. But we spoke about it. I think he just has a money block, and a bad perception of money, like most people. I won't go to him (or anyone who is not on the same path as me) for business advice or venting for business matters. (Like the post said haha)

He felt better after I told him "No, why would I leave you? There's no one in the world like you why would I date some guy who just wants me for my money lol"

My father tho, always shuts me down. Everytime I tell him I want to sell this and that and sell on Amazon he always says "I tried that and wasted money don't bother" or "Amazon screwed me out of $5,000-$20,000" (the amount changes each time I think he's lying)

He's just a jerk to me and everybody. I try not to pay mind mom said "Please don't talk to him about business stuff ever he is an asshole he doesn't know what he's talking about"

Thank you so much for your support.

lovelovebeauty 1

Thank you for sharing your story. It’s so frustrating when the naysayers are people we love. You’re doing great by not sharing business information with those who just can’t see it. You protect your peace that way. I wish you all the best in your endeavors!!