My Version of Critic’s Math

My friend Jon Acuff often talks about critic’s math.

His equation goes something like this:

1,000 compliments + 1 insult = 1 insult.

The point is, it’s so easy to let the noise of one negative thing drown out everything else.

Since I launched 31 Days to Finding Your Blogging Mojo 6 months ago I’ve sold over 1800 copies. The book has been in the Top 20 of Amazon’s “Blogs and Blogging” category for over a month now. And yet for all the wild mild success I’ve had, it still kills me when someone wants a refund on the book.

When I checked Amazon sales numbers for March this morning I saw this:

but what I really saw was this:

Four refunds! There were four people this month who read my book…something I spent countless hours on…something I poured so much of myself into…and they hated it so much that they wanted their $5 bucks back. They would rather have a footlong jalapeno tuna from Subway than my book. (Come to think of it, so would I.)

Time and time again I have to remind myself that putting something out there – a book, a song, an event, a product, or a thought – means that some people are going to hate it. There’s no way around it.

Is it worth the 4 rejections to sell 146 books? Absolutely. Truth is, it would be worth the 4 rejections to sell 4 books.

We create the things we create, not because we want everyone to like us or consider us invaluable, but because these things are on the inside of us clamoring to get out. We tweak and edit and refine to make these things as good as we can, but we can’t control how they are received. Trying to do so will drive you insane.

So as I finish this blog post, prepare for the Killer Tribes Conference this weekend, and even think about where I want to be in 12 months or 3 years, I keep reminding myself that it’s not about batting 1.000. It’s about pursuing my passions, experimenting, finishing things, and being willing to fail. (And having a blast along the way.)

And no matter what it is you’re passionate about, I hope you’re inspired to do the same!