This One is Dedicated to the Haters – Handling Cristicism 101

Jenna Kutcher 

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June 13, 2018


“You’re fat.”


“Enough with the underwear pics… you’re a smart girl, you have more things to say, unfollowing.”

“Do you know that your eyebrows are way darker than your hair? You should change that.”

“How did YOU land such a good looking guy?”

“10 emails in 3 days? Go F** yourself. Way to f’in annoy potential clients. F’in idiot.”

“You’re way too aggressive, I’m out.”


You might think it’s all rainbows and butterflies over here in Jenna Kutcher land, and it’s true – we have the most supportive, loving and just all around amazing tribe. But. I’ve found where there is a success, ugly things can creep in and try to attack too. I love to say “More followers, more problems” and a lot of times, we’re fighting battles behind our screens that people never see. I want to dedicate this episode to the haters today and share how I handle criticism.

To prove I’m not invincible, I thought I’d read you some emails that have landed in my inbox. These were hard to find because my team does a good job protecting me from them, but here are a few we could dig up: (I’m thankful that we had to actually dig to find these because it’s a testament to the great people we have supporting us!!)

Mary M said…

What a bunch of garbage and I am not a mac and cheese eating millennial and I don’t try advertising by Instagram and I never contacted you. I hope you get a real job that you can be proud of one day..(actually..I don’t care if you do or not). You will not succeed because you sent me that presumptive email which demonstrates your lack of integrity and intelligence. Have a nice day Jenna..with your cats.”

Then I said…

Hi Mary,

Jenna here (with my dogs!) I’m sure you didn’t think I would respond, in fact, I normally don’t but sometimes people need to know there are actual humans behind screens. I do have a job I am super proud of, you know what I do? I serve up content and teach people, I document wedding days that turn images into heirlooms, and I most definitely treat people with kindness, grace and respect.

If you leave knowing one thing about me, let it be this: a little more kindness, a little less judgement. So today, Miss Mary McDonald, I’ll be praying for you. Because hurt people like to hurt people and while I got a great laugh out of your message, my heart told me that maybe you need a reminder that good people do exist…

I’m sure you thought you’d get a rise out of me but you probably didn’t know that’d be this sort of one… because we rise in lifting others.

Happy Saturday,

Whoa. *Then* Mary Said…

“Hi Jenna!

You are a most gracious person and my apologies for my earlier. I was rude for no reason and beg your forgiveness. I am glad that you responded..let’s get started again. Nice to know that there are people like you! Mary xx”


Now that that fun is over, let’s talk about how to handle situations like this in your own business…

Put boundaries in place in my business

I consider my team to be my gate keepers. Even finding these messages to read you was difficult because they are dealt with and deleted so fast from my inbox by my team. I’m so grateful for them to protect my heart and energy.

Kill them with kindness

I’ll tell you 9/10 when I respond with kindness and let them know there is a real human reading the email they put out into the world, I’ll get an apology back.

Have a folder of fan mail for the hard days.

Caitlyn started a fan mail folder for me that I’ll click through on days I need encouragement from all of you. We have the best tribe on the planet and although I can’t personally respond to the hundreds of emails we get, but know that I read them – often on days I need it most, so thank you! Focusing on the good and deleting the negative has been really helpful with this.

Remember it’s a reflection of them and not of you.

The other thing I’ve noticed and try to keep in mind is that hurt people like to hurt people. Knowing these people are likely walking a tough road puts it into perspective and helps me move on from their cruelty more quickly.

If you’re pleasing everyone you’re probably pleasing no one – including yourself.

Here’s the thing, you are not going to be able to please everyone. These people that take the time to write you a mean message? They aren’t your people. Focus on the ones that are and the fact that everyone is not going to love you or your message is ok. It’s more than ok.

The more I do this, the more eyes I have on me, my life, my body, my business. Putting yourself out there open YOU up for criticism but I have to remind myself that when you’re doing the big, hard word, people will notice and sometimes it won’t be the RIGHT people but when you can sincerely learn to focus on the good, to keep your heart open, and to protect your energy to be poured into the right things, you’ll become more convicted in your message and you’ll be more prepared to fight for what you really believe in.

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  1. Diana Arenas says:

    Great episode, i loved it. very honest, thank you for sharing.

  2. Sending you so much love and sunshine Jenna. I gain so much insight from being a part of the TPL insiders and for all your helpful tips and tricks you share with such enthusiasm and conviction. You rock sister. xo

  3. Rana Hill says:

    Wow–what a great podcast episode, and to be honest, I almost didn’t listen! I am a conflict-avoider so the even the title gave me sweaty palms. Thankfully, my podcasts were on auto play and before I knew it I had been sucked in and gladly so. I appreciate your candid discussion about all the haters and also tips at how to disarm them. “Hurt people – hurt people” — well said! On a totally other note, you had made mention about your issues with lack of energy and being tired all the time. I’m a former registered dietitian, so I immediately perked up when I heard this especially given your gluten sensitivity (BTW– you can totally check out my street cred over on my website at http://www.thefoodieedit.com). I know you are most likely being followed by a good gastroenterologist and now that your growing a “little”, I’m sure you are taking pre-natal vitamins. I wanted to share a couple of related personal stories with a few suggestions. I have a 16 year old daughter that was having very similar issues with exhaustion (for no apparent reason). The first thing they look at (as I’m sure they did with you) was her hemiglobin/hematocrit to make sure she was not anemic. Both normal. Fast forward to cross country season, and her coach required her to get a ferritin level (blood test) that checks your iron STORES. Her’s was WAY low despite a normal Hgb/Hct. To back that up, I also have another dietitian friend who’s daughter has Celiac and incredible sensitive to gluten (can’t even touch things with it in it), and same thing… her ferritin level was so low they consider a transfusion for her. Not sure if there is a connection there with ferritin stores and gluten, but eat more red meat, girl!!! That’s really the best source of dietary iron (even above supplementation). If you haven’t had a serum ferritin checked, you might want to talk with your OB or GI doc about it. Good Luck & thanks for all the good content. I’m heading over to iTunes to write a review 🙂

    • Hey Rana, so glad you loved the episode! Caitlyn here from the JK team and I’ll pass on your note to Jenna. Thanks for taking the time to share, we appreciate how kind and involved our audience is! You’re the best!

  4. So much good content… doesn’t my know where to start! Great job!

  5. Tressa N James Benner says:

    Wow Jenna ,

    This is amazing . Being K I N D is hard for some reason for us humans , however when more ppl are K I N D the world works a lot easier .

  6. Martha says:

    Thank you Jenna. Your comments about negative, critical people are inspiring! I will try this response soon!

  7. Flo Eaton says:

    Great advice Jenna. Yes it is very true that “Hurting people hurt people”. You handle yourself well and you kill them with kindness and patience. I hope I am as gracious to do the same when haters come to my “door.” I am putting out my first videos this month consisting of an original and unique format based on my Theatre background. Family/Kid-friendly. Inspiring. Encouraging. I hope with all the great training tips I have learned on YouTube from various professionals will steer me in the right direction towards success. Keep up your good work because you are a success! Thank you for your guidance and encouragement and dedication to your fans.. May God bless your “growing” family. Sincerely, Flo.

  8. […] This One is Dedicated to the Haters- Criticism 101- episode 161 […]


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Before you get any further... Hi! I'm Jenna Kutcher!

A small town Minnesota photographer, podcaster, educator and puppy rescuer, my happiest days are spent behind my computer screen sharing my secrets with the world. I'm glad you're here.

I’m an expert at online marketing, a nerd when it comes to the numbers, and my obsession is teaching others how to make a living doing what they love (without it taking over their life). 

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