We have blogged about this previously. This experience was also written about in our CEO's book "From Failure to Fearless" (available on Amazon) and published in March 2014. Time to revisit again as it is amazing when people will take what is written (even if someone writes under a fake name or anonymous) as truth.
A personal negative business experience for Just Fearless LLC to help other small businesses:
There is something so truly mind-boggling about the ability to write something about a business and/or person based on slander and lies online and on social media and people take it as fact. They don't consider the website it was written on, they don't look at the response below the complaint on sites such as Rip Off Report (which deliberately creates a huge separation from the complaint up top, then tons of ads, then any rebuttal response)and others like Complaint Board.
They don't look at the fact that someone used a fake name to write the same complaint (on multiple sites) and/or social media, they don't look at the date of the complaint (9 years ago) and even one last year for a company that we declined to fund via the angel fund (this women pretended to be a man from Boston even though men are not eligible for our fund - how petty can one get).
People complain all the time, these same sites (RipOff Report & Complaints Board) have complaints against Amazon, Whole Foods, Hay House Inc, Barnes & Noble, Wells Fargo, Pepsi, Sallie Mae, Taco Bell, Apple, T-Mobile, Avis Car Rental etc., and yet they are ALL still in business despite having hundreds and sometimes thousands of complaints on these websites and more. Yet people do business with them.
But if someone finds one or 2 complaints over a 10 year period for a small business and it is automatically thought to be true without any verification or even questioning it or reading the rebuttal at the bottom. This happened to us. Two complaints over 8 years apart, written by people under fake names and making up stories to get return fire for being fired (intern fired years ago and wrote the same exact false complaint over multiple sites) and a female founder (who was not chosen to be funded in our first round last year) who decided to be pretend to be a man (men cannot apply for the fund) and wrote a false report about it. We answered both in rebuttals and it still shows up until this day.
Anyone can write anything about anyone and there are no consequences unless you want to take the time to go after them legally but you know they don't have anything of value so why spend the money? However, at some point if it continues to affect your business, then you have to fight back and stand your ground and we will do that in the future going forward.
This is how we got to where we are as a society and country. This is how the US got Trump because people are taking anything that is written online as truth without due diligence, asking questions directly, and common sense before taking any action.
For any company that has every had to deal with this, especially small businesses, this video gives you tips on how to deal with that. Keep going and don't let anyone or anything stop you. Just Do It!
If people are not smart enough or willing to use common sense when it comes to discerning and questioning what's truth and what's really "Fake News", then they are not someone you want to do business with. Remember this the next time you do a Google search on someone or a company and something like RipOff Report or something similar comes up. Read it thoroughly including any rebuttals, Ask the company or contact about it directly, and consider the source of the complaint rather than making assumptions. Common Sense is not so common these days.
For someone to go by the logic of it is on "Ripoff Report" so it must be true, then that means you should not want to do business with them. In this day in age where fake news is really a thing, you will not be able to please everyone as you build your brand and business and there will always be haters who want to see you fail.
So don't be deterred by that, keep going. If you are a small business it is in your best interest to provide a rebuttal to a complaint no matter how ridiculous it is. It is also in your best interest to address it head on and be open about it. There is nothing to hide as no one is perfect and you cannot please everyone.
Keep going! Don't let the words of someone else stop you. If others can't see it. Your business serves a purpose and the worlds needs to know about it! Rise above it all! We are Just Fearless LLC!
For Decades, These Same 3 Issues Have Held Women Entrepreneurs Back. Here's What You Can Do About It.
Since my book Dive Right In – The Sharks Won’t Bite: The Entrepreneurial Woman’s Guide to Success was published in 1995, I have seen plenty of amazing changes happen for women founders, including an increase in resources, networks and opportunities. I have observed these positive shifts not only in my own work life, but also through mentoring women and being involved in a number of female-focused organizations, such as the National Association of Women Business Owners and the National Women's Business Council.
But despite these positive changes, overall revenues for women-owned businesses have stagnated. In fact, women’s share of revenue has actually decreased from 4.4 percent to 4.2 percent of all U.S. firms since 1997. What’s more, according to the National Association of Women Business Owners, only 4.2 percent of women-owned enterprises ever reaches the million-dollar mark. Why? That’s a tough question to answer, but I suspect that it partially involves various forms of gender bias or stereotyping. We have expectations about how women should think and behave, and how driven they should be when it comes to business, success and money. This bias, on the part of both men and women, has changed little during the past 20 years, although now it can often be more subtle.
But gender bias is not the only roadblock to building a thriving business. Women’s own fears and beliefs often stand in their way to success. Here are three of the personal barriers that continue to plague women and what they can do about it.
1. PerfectionismOne of the biggest problems I saw in the mid ’90s with women wanting to start businesses was their inability to choose one business and focus on it. They would tell me about all the businesses they wanted to launch but kept stalling. At first, I thought this was a commitment issue until I realized that it was a form of perfectionism. Everything had to be perfect before they would officially launch.
Today, I see this in the woman who won’t start a business until she has the perfect name for the company, the woman who won’t delegate tasks because she can do it better herself, or the woman who obsesses over the fact that a client complained about some minor glitch. Yes, the name of your company is important, but don’t let it keep you from launching. And doing everything yourself is a way to get tasks done perfectly, but it’s not the way to build a business. You need employees, partners or outside help in order to grow. And, of course, you want satisfied customers, but don’t let something minor through you off track. Women often blame themselves for minor imperfections. Don’t do that. You need to fix the problem and move on.
To read the rest, Click Here.