How Frank Ocean, Warren Buffett, And Other Badasses Deal With Soul-Sucking Haters

If jerks are being jerky to you, just “don’t ever forget the reason you started doing what you do.” That and five other smart tips on not letting the steez-challenged mess with your steez.

How Frank Ocean, Warren Buffett, And Other Badasses Deal With Soul-Sucking Haters

As we in the career hustle know, the moment you start doing awesome work, you become vulnerable to people stoked on shaming others. An example: Look at the torrent of heinousness that surrounded Frank Ocean last year after he came out.


So how to deal with haters? One option, as Neil Gaiman proclaimed and Ocean exhibited, is to make honeyed, soul-affecting music.

But what about for the people who don’t sing soul?

There is hope in the jealous working world, coming from Pioneers Press, the certifiably badass bookbinders from the prairies of Kansas. They recently blogged a few selections from their zine The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Fighting the Big Motherfuckin’ Sad, which is, according to author Adam Gnade, an antidepression handbook and a “guide to a freer, more lawless life.”

As proponents of living well-lived lives, please allow us to curate a few of his more punching points below, cordoned off in helpful block quotes.

1: “People will always shit on the things they’re scared of.”

So scare them. Innovation is heresy.

2: “Read more than you drink.”

Reading books is still one of the best ways to discover new things. Getting drunk probably isn’t–though a few beers may help you be more creative.

3: “Learn the difference between honesty and being a dick.”

Feedback is hard to give well. You don’t have to be a world-renowned philosopher to present criticism that’s accurate, helpful, and adhesive–but it does help.


4: “If you live with monsters, you’ll become monstrous. This can be good and it can be bad. You need to keep your perspective and know when it’s time to quit a bad scene.”

Like the epically avuncular Warren Buffett says, you become like the people you associate with: You are your network. If you only know jerks, find nice people.

5: “Don’t ever forget the reason you started doing what you do. When you do forget (and you will, if you get enough attention), find that thing again and get to know it. Have a second honeymoon with the things you once loved.”

When you’re wading through rejection, creation, and then rejection again, it’s easy to get burned out–especially if you’re constantly comparing yourself to those that succeeded you. To handle those inner and outer haters, Gnade says, find the reason why you’re doing your hardest work.

6: “Too many good ones are gone. Be the new good ones. And: You’ll always have critics, but if you listen to them we won’t always have you.”

As our friend (and comparative mythologist) Joseph Campbell once said, if we are to give any gift to the world, it will come out of our own experience and fulfilling our own potential, not someone else’s. So, just do it: Slay the vampires. And get the dirt off your shoulder.


[Base Image: Flickr user Mike Behnken]


About the author

Drake Baer was a contributing writer at Fast Company, where he covered work culture. He's the co-author of Everything Connects, a book about how intrapersonal, interpersonal, and organizational psychology shape innovation.