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Online Business Advice: Teflon Coating Your Heart

ignoring negativity When you decide to take your products, services and business online… you must learn to “Teflon Coat” yourself!

The internet is such an amazing place to:

  • do business
  • make friends
  • expand your horizons
  • and much more!

It also opens you up to criticism, condemnation and negativity from time to time… and people can do it in a completely “anonymous” way which makes them much meaner than they would probably be if speaking to you face to face.

I didn’t attend Blog World Expo in Las Vegas this year (though next yer, I plan on attending) but I saw lots of people in my Twitterstream talking about what @AnthonyEdwards touched on… and it must have hit a nerve because people were tweeting up a storm about it!

From what I got in my twitterstream, he said “Please be more civil online”. When you interact with people, remember though it can seem a bit “impersonal” sometimes, there are people on both ends of the communication! Let’s pretend that every online interaction is a face to face one.

If you have an issue with someone online, either:

  • If you don’t have anything nice to say, Don’t say anything at all. (ancient concept from Grandmothers all over the globe)
  • If you do want to bring up a constructive criticism or debate, do so in a civil manner – just like you were standing face to face with the person, looking into their eyes!

Trying to be mean, cruel or “right” in an anonymous way just shows your true colors and is like throwing rocks and running to hide! No courage or personality needed whatsoever…

My advice to anyone who wants to start an online biz or be “visible” online, teflon coat your heart and focus on all the wonderful people out there because thankfully, they outnumber the trolls!

What is a “Troll” you ask…? Here’s a recent blog post from Seth Godin about trolls:


Lots of things about work are hard. Dealing with trolls is one of them. Trolls are critics who gain perverse pleasure in relentlessly tearing you and your ideas down. Here’s the thing(s):

1. trolls will always be trolling
2. critics rarely create
3. they live in a tiny echo chamber, ignored by everyone except the trolled and the other trolls
4. professionals (that’s you) get paid to ignore them. It’s part of your job.

“Can’t please everyone,” isn’t just an aphorism, it’s the secret of being remarkable. Here’s his blog)

Sometimes, we all let trolls get to us… but remember when someone upsets you… they are the ones who must live with themselves and that must be a “super sucky” (actual word) place to live…

And don’t ever let anyone stop you from being a Remarkable You!


  1. Britney Bennett on November 9, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    It is amazing to see how rude people can be when they are anonymous. The Web permits that, and sometimes the e-mail messages and comments I receive are just horrendous.

    You do need to develop a thick skin to succeed online.

  2. Rich on November 9, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    Great advice for anyone who is putting themselves out there on the web. Yes, there are bottom feeders who thrive on negativity and criticism, and there are those of us who are trying to make a difference. Let’s keep it positive and constructive!

    Thanks again!

  3. Maritza on November 9, 2009 at 6:13 pm

    Thanks for your thoughtful comments Britney & Rich, sending you love & hugs through cyberspace!

    I definitely want to help prepare people who are just starting online for it, because it WILL happen…

    Jeff & I have a file called “Best of the Best” for the good emails and positive comments.

    One strategy is to keep those together so when the trolls come out, you can refer back to the good comments about how you’ve inspired people and your work does matter… because we ALL matter and we ALL make a difference. It’s just up to each one of us whether we spread positive or negative I choose positive.

  4. Jen Hinton on November 9, 2009 at 6:47 pm

    What a great way to open this topic for discussion. I most certainly have dealt with a few trolls in my time. I have learned that ignoring the ignorant is the easiest way to deal with them. I’m not sure what ever happened to adult discussions. Send an email opposed to a nasty post…I guess that what separates trolls from the rest of us!


  5. Angela on November 9, 2009 at 7:47 pm

    Dear Maritza: you are so right, there will always be trolls. In my family we have a very important mission that we give the trolls. When they show up from time to time, we use them to remind us how wonderful and how much we need to appreciate everyone else. Teflon coating our hearts sounds like very good advice to me. Thanks a lot.

  6. Louis on November 10, 2009 at 2:26 am

    Great post.

    I’ve noticed since going solo in my practice, I have tended to be much more sensitive to questions and criticisms despite feeling confident that I have provided the best service I could offer. Like the old saying goes, “you can’t please all the people all the time”. Your reminder was quite timely for me. Thanks.

  7. Kimberly Bohannon on November 10, 2009 at 3:40 am

    Hi Maritza,

    So true! Trolls have nothing better to do. I just put on my troll kicking shoes and get moving on to the land of the giants!

    Like George Foreman said, “Don’t get scared, get hungry.” ( Got that one from Jeff’s blog 🙂 No troll’s going to pull me down… I have too much to offer to those who want to hear from me, and the trolls… oh, they’re too busy complaining to pay attention to how far I am going.

    Great post!!!


  8. Bhuvaneswari Calambakkam on November 10, 2009 at 7:46 am


    I have downloaded the think and grow rich book and am yet to finish it. Your positive thoughts in this post are the need of the day.
    I have tweeted this and would like to put a link on my blog. It gives out such a nice message. I have always thought that one should remain their own selves and let others too be.

  9. Daniela on November 14, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    Maritza: I love your comments on teflon coating your heart.
    I paticularly like the part about ” if you have an issue with someone on line, either”…. Those are rules of civility that apply to the internet as well as everyday life and for some reason a few people feel that not showing their face gives them a license to be rude. Consistency of behavior shows integrity, in my opinion. Thanks a lot for the wonderful posting.

  10. Payson on November 17, 2009 at 8:37 pm

    Great post Maritza, I really love it. The internet is an interesting place and, as with all parts of life, not everyone will like and appreciate you, but those that will far outweigh those that don’t. Many of us (myself included) have a tendency to focus on the one negative in a sea of positive, so if negative feedback comes our way it can take over our minds. It’s really important to remember to let it go and focus on all the wonderful things people are saying – those are the things that will motivate and inspire us to having the greatest life and sharing the most of ourselves.

    Thanks for the reminder!

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