#5 - Dealing with negative comments, focusing on the right numbers, and plans you can stick to

Francis has finally posted last week's tweet which prompts Ben to talk about some of his negative experiences on Instagram. For some reason, the negative comments always stick out the most — especially when they are about things that you, yourself already had doubts about. But that might just be a natural consequence of gaining more of a following. As you grow, so do the number of supporters, and so do the number of people that might potentially have something bad to say. Maybe it's best to just focus on the connections you make, the good comments you receive, and the people you have helped (but easier said than done).

The feedback you receive is important to make sure you're on the right track. But it's super easy to get hypnotised by the growing numbers and start to turn your attention towards optimising them at all costs. But likes and follows might look good for showing off to others—but in Ben's opinion, more qualitative things like comments, DMs are the highest quality data to pay attention too. And if you want a more numbers approach, looking at the save-to-likes ratio might be a good one (especially if your content is educational).

Don't forget the reason you started doing this in the first place, it isn't to collect likes and follows (likes and follows don't pay the bills). We always say the best way to get going with this is to do something you enjoy, and take the enjoyment from knowing you're improving in creating whatever you're creating. Then eventually you'll find what resonates with others and what they find valuable, and then you can work to monetise it.

Doing something you enjoy makes it easier for you to stick to a plan. Even if you could be doing more, or if there's a more "optimal" plan out there, it's not worth anything if you can't stick to it. And then once you've made that simpler plan a habit, that's when you can start working on adding more, or being more efficient. Remember this quote from the software world, "premature optimisation is the root of all evil". Don't worry about scaling your efforts in the beginning. Get going first. Do the unscalable things first.

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