Negative Feedback

A newsletter subscriber cancelled their subscription today. That’s not unusual. Every week I get several cancellations and usually about the same number of new subscribers. His/her note was simply the comment: “You’re NOT funny!” That’s not unusual. I’ve received comments like that before. What was unusual was that it’s been about three years since I’ve received a comment like that. It’s not that other subscribers haven’t thought the same thing in the past three years. It’s just that most people are too nice to be so blunt. Of those who cancel their subscriptions, about 90 percent make no comments. Of the 10 percent who leave a comment 99 percent of them usually say something positive or neutral, like: “Don’t have time to read all my mail,” or “changed jobs, newsletter no longer relevant.”

There have been times in the past when a negative comment may have bothered me. But now I’m comfortable with people having their own opinions. And negative feedback is offset by the many fans and followers who appreciate what I do.

Not everyone agrees with my all of my opinions. I don’t like much of modern “music” which in my opinion does not meet the definition of music. But the creators of that “music” live in extravagant mansions. Obviously, millions of people disagree with me. And the music I like, they probably hate. It would be a boring world if everyone were cookie-cutter clones of me.

It’s even more rare that I get blunt feedback after a live presentation. But 15 years ago a member of the audience shared after the program: “I didn’t think you were funny. I didn’t think one thing you said was the least bit funny.” Fortunately most of the audience laughed in all the right spots. My interaction with that audience member has become one of my signature stories.

And the comment I received today is right now becoming a blog post. When life gives you lemons…well, you know what to do.