Are You Listening to Naysayers?

There is a story about a successful Hot Dog vendor in New York City. He had a couple of Hot Dog stands and was successful enough to send his son to college. He continued to grow his  business as his son was earning his business degree.

As his son progressed in school he urged his father to be cautious with his business expansion.  By the time his son had graduated the business had grown to 10 Hot Dog Stands spread around New York City. The business and profits were continuing to grow.

The father was shocked when his son told him that he had made a big mistake growing the business so fast. His son recommended that he downsize the business immediately. Considering his son’s newly minted business degree he decided to follow his advice. He quickly closed two of his stands and laid off several employees. Sure enough, as his son had predicted his revenue began to drop and the father was convinced his son knew what he was talking about.

So the father doubled his efforts and closed even more Hot Dog Stands. As his son had predicted the downward spiral continued.

Eventually the father was back to his original Hot Dog Stands and business stabilized. The father was so grateful to his son for “saving” his business that he couldn’t thank him enough. He commented that he didn’t know where he would be if his son hadn’t returned from college when he did.

You could say both father and son made many mistakes in this story but I’d say the biggest mistake was made by the father. His mistake was that he listened to a naysayer. A well meaning naysayer I’m sure but a naysayer all the same.

The father was literally almost talked out of business.

You will have naysayers show up in your life from time to time. Some will be well intentioned as the son was in this story but others will only be looking to bring you down. Down to their level most likely.

It’s natural to hear what they are saying but listening to their words is a choice. You must choose carefully. If you decide their words have merit then act on them. If you decide they do not then ignore them. Just because something was said, even if it was said by someone who may care about you, doesn’t make it so.

You must judge their motives for saying whatever they say. You must weigh what they think against what you know. You must believe in yourself even when those close to you may not. You must listen with your heart but be sure your head has some say in the matter as well.

There will always be naysayers around when it comes to your success and I wouldn’t waste a minute trying to tell them they are wrong. I’d suggest you invest all of your energy in showing them.

12 thoughts on “Are You Listening to Naysayers?

    1. I love it! Such a great example of how so many people miss what the have while chasing something they think is better. We just need to slow down to realize that we have so much already that it just might be enough.

  1. Steve, thanks for a great reminder. I needed this. Often, friends are naysayers because they don’t want us to get hurt. This compounds when we attempt something few have done before. In that case, most people wouldn’t attempt it. There are always many reasons to play it safe, but some failures are more costly than others. Sometimes a great motivator is remembering you would rather fail than not-try.

    Thanks again! Mike…

    1. You’re very welcome Mike. As a ground breaking leader I’m sure you have had your share of naysayers yet you succeed. You’re an incredible example of what faith can do in this world!

  2. I saw this in Reader and had to give it a read! I’m so glad I did! Thank you so much, Steve! I needed the reminder!

    Scheduled for reblog on Chateau Cherie

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