You Can’t Make Everybody Happy, and You Shouldn’t Try

I've got a regular reader here who hates the pop-up ads we've been using to generate sign-ups for our email list. I'm sure she represents some significant portion of my readership. She has complained several times directly and via Twitter.

It just so happens that we've stopped using the pop-ups (so there's no reason for you to jump on the bandwagon in the comments).

The reason we used the pop-ups is that they worked. They have been amazingly effective at adding subscribers. We stopped using them to test a different approach, which you may be viewing right now (that box with the big picture of me in it). We're going to see how this approach works for a bit, and then we'll shift again.

We were faced with a dilemma when the reader complained. Should we respect her wishes and miss the chance to gain more subscribers each day, or should we ignore her and go for the subscribers? Tough call, but we decided to go for the subscribers. It worked (although we may have lost her).

Sometimes our decisions annoy some of our readers. Sometimes you're going to do something that displeases some of your market. You can't worry about winning them all.

I was reminded of this lesson recently when we increased our initial consultation fee. We bumped it up a bit more than 50%. Some of our callers weren't happy, and they've complained.

Overall, however, our revenues are up, and the new fee is working. We can't make everyone happy. If we react to each of the complainers, we won't ever make changes—there will always be someone who doesn't like whatever you change.

For some of us, the need to be liked (loved) is powerful. We don't want to make anyone unhappy. Unfortunately, sometimes we've got to make some folks unhappy to achieve our objectives. It's a tough balance, but you've got to be willing to take the risk. When it comes down to being loved versus being successful, you're going to have to make the call for you. Don't be afraid to be successful.

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