Dear Entrepreneur: You Cannot Please Everyone, Unless You Want To Fail

By Soko Directory Team / September 1, 2018

Someone said that the surest way to failure is to try and please everyone. You cannot do it. You can at least try but at the end, you will fail miserably. You will never succeed in pleasing everyone.

According to Paul Hudson, “some people can’t be pleased no matter what you do.” He says that such people may not be pleased because they either don’t like you or don’t like your work or may not have a specific reason they can point out. It is the nature of human beings.

I have come to realize that everyone has an opinion and that to sail through life, you have to learn to accept the opinions of others. What many people fail to accept is that opinions are not necessarily facts and that not every opinion should matter in your life. Simply, you should not respond to every opinion.

Read: 7 Things You Need To Drop In Order To Succeed

As an entrepreneur, you should be the proverbial lion that never loses sleep when the sheep are holding a meeting about him. To truly make it, you need to please some and look bad in the eyes of some. Watch out, when everyone is always happy around you, praising you and say you are ‘perfect’, you are either an idiot or they are idiots.

Criss Jami once said that ‘to be truly positive in the eyes of some, you have to risk appearing negative in the eyes of others. In fact, Jocelyn Murray puts it bluntly that ‘if you are busy pleasing everyone, you are not being true to yourself.’

Businesses have numerous ups and downs. Some of your customers will be happy while some will be terribly unhappy with your service or product. Some of those who might be unhappy might have genuine reasons and to that, you have to learn from them and change. Some might have no reason at all, to them, you should not go ballistic but within yourself, learn the words of Bangambiki Habyarimana which he said ‘don’t go into the business of pleasing people. You can’t please everybody. Simply do your best at what you do.’

In this life, you can’t compete for likes and follows because certainly, you won’t win. The only thing you can do is to pour out your heart and allow love to flow to those who need it.

As a leader, you first have to acknowledge that people naturally hate change. Nobody loves change. Even if a change is good, it must have someone who will oppose it. What do you do in such a situation? Do you wage war against those who oppose your change? Do shed them off from the team? The answer is no. All you have to do is to explain to them why the change is necessary.

One major mistake that leaders make is to want to impose change on their team or followers. Be sure such a move will be rejected at some point. But a great leader will explain the stake that his team has in the change and why it is paramount to embrace it.

READ: The Less You Associate With Some People, The More Your Life Improves

Sometimes, however, it falls upon the shoulder of the leader to determine whether the change is needed despite the unpopularity among the faction of the team. It reaches a time that you have to force people to change, not because they want to but because you as a leader you know that they have to. In such a move, people might be unpleased and as long as you know that what you did is the right thing, you do not have to apologize or worry. Move on.

Borrow a leaf from Margaret McBride who said that ‘you can please some of the people all the time; all the people some of the time and some of the people none of the time, and these are the people you pray for all the time.’

The fact that you cannot please everyone does not mean that you become arrogant and ignore those who have a different opinion about you.

There are 10 simple rules that you can embrace when dealing with people, both those who love you and those who hate you:

  1. Listen – have a listening ear. Many people talk too much and listen too little. Sometimes, if we just keep silent and listen to the sound of silence, we shall learn a lot.
  2. Set your record straight – let people know you from the start. Let them know what you love and what you hate. Let those who will differ be. You cannot control them. Strive to be you and never regret being you even if it will hurt some.
  3. Expect little from people – sometimes we expect so much from people that we fail to see what they are capable of doing it. Expect little from them and when they deliver beyond what you had expected, thank God and move on.
  4. Don’t praise too much – it has been proven that when a human being is praised so much, they tend to think that they are the only one and you cannot do without them. Give credit where it is due and the best way to give credit, is to attribute it to the team and just point out unique individual contributions.
  5. Give a soft answer – a soft answer always melts away mountains of anger. Many people are aloof to this fact. Remember, someone said that in this world if you speak softly and carry a big stick, you will go far.
  6. Smile – it takes more muscles to frown than it takes to smile. Smile a lot. They say that smile is the only weapon that keeps your enemies guessing of your next move. Smile to those you please and smile to those you have failed to please.
  7. Learn to say no – when you feel you should really say NO, don’t say YES
  8. Don’t be a perfectionist – no one is perfect, says the Holy Book.
  9. Expect Contradiction – Don’t expect everyone to agree with you. Everyone has an opinion and an opinion is not necessarily a fact.
  10. Drop the need to be liked – focus on what is right.

Above all, be humble. Have the increased desire to seek and please God because the increased desire to please God and seek his approval will decrease the desire to seek approval from men.

About Soko Directory Team

Soko Directory is a Financial and Markets digital portal that tracks brands, listed firms on the NSE, SMEs and trend setters in the markets eco-system.Find us on Facebook: and on Twitter:

View other posts by Soko Directory Team

More Articles From This Author

Other Related Articles



  • January 2019 (256)
  • February 2019 (139)
  • 2018
  • January 2018 (291)
  • February 2018 (220)
  • March 2018 (279)
  • April 2018 (226)
  • May 2018 (240)
  • June 2018 (178)
  • July 2018 (257)
  • August 2018 (250)
  • September 2018 (256)
  • October 2018 (287)
  • November 2018 (286)
  • December 2018 (187)
  • 2017
  • January 2017 (183)
  • February 2017 (195)
  • March 2017 (207)
  • April 2017 (104)
  • May 2017 (169)
  • June 2017 (206)
  • July 2017 (190)
  • August 2017 (196)
  • September 2017 (186)
  • October 2017 (235)
  • November 2017 (253)
  • December 2017 (266)
  • 2016
  • January 2016 (167)
  • February 2016 (165)
  • March 2016 (190)
  • April 2016 (143)
  • May 2016 (246)
  • June 2016 (183)
  • July 2016 (271)
  • August 2016 (250)
  • September 2016 (234)
  • October 2016 (191)
  • November 2016 (243)
  • December 2016 (153)
  • 2015
  • January 2015 (1)
  • February 2015 (4)
  • March 2015 (166)
  • April 2015 (109)
  • May 2015 (117)
  • June 2015 (121)
  • July 2015 (150)
  • August 2015 (157)
  • September 2015 (189)
  • October 2015 (171)
  • November 2015 (174)
  • December 2015 (208)
  • 2014
  • March 2014 (2)
  • 2013
  • March 2013 (10)
  • June 2013 (1)
  • 2012
  • March 2012 (7)
  • April 2012 (15)
  • May 2012 (1)
  • July 2012 (1)
  • August 2012 (4)
  • October 2012 (2)
  • November 2012 (2)
  • December 2012 (1)
  • 2011