3 Reasons Why Being Controversial Actually Helps Your Business You should embrace controversy in the business world to maximize profits.

By Samuel Leeds

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

In the world of business, a lot of time and energy is put into creating an image, managing reputation and crafting a narrative. It is important to get your message across in a positive, clear and understandable way, but there is also a place for controversy. An authentic brand voice sometimes means saying or doing things that not everyone will like, and that's okay. In fact, its more than okay; done correctly it can be very profitable.

1. If you don't have critics, you're a nobody

People spend so much time worrying what other people will think of them that they avoid getting their name out there. If no one knows who you or your business are, you can't make money. Being known in your industry means that deals and doors open to you that are not open to other people. But being known also means some people won't like you, and they openly and publicly say so. Every successful person has his or her critics, no matter how positive an impact he or she has on the world.

A company with 100 percent positive reviews probably has 10 customers. An artist that has only had praise has only shared work with his or her family, and the business person loved by all almost certainly doesn't own anything bigger than a lemonade stand. The sooner you stop caring what strangers think of you, the sooner you can start making an impact on the world.

That doesn't mean you shouldn't care what anyone thinks; the feedback of customers and successful friends and mentors is important. But if someone doesn't pay for your services and isn't successful in your field of business, it's time to stop caring what they think.

Related: 3 Ways to Make Passive Income With Other People's Property

2. "Haters" can help you win

There is a difference between a "hater" and a "critic." There are people that will try your product or service and not like it for whatever reason. This could be due to a failure on your side, it could be a misunderstanding on their side, or it could simply be a difference of opinion. These people are critics, and it is important to listen and see if there is something you can learn from them. "Haters," on the other hand, are obsessive, dishonest and have their own agendas. That said, if you address these "haters" correctly they will help your business grow.

If a "hater" has a platform of a reasonable size, whether that be mainstream or social media, he or she will drive attention to you and your content. This attention will, of course, be negative. But if you address the false information they are spreading head on, once the initial wave of attention is over, you will have gained new loyal customers impressed at how you debunked the lies.

Of course, this is a careful balancing act as some "haters" earn a living doing these character assassinations, and therefore they will also benefit from the exposure you bring to them. But if you respond when appropriate, and use the attention they bring correctly, they can be an inadvertent asset to your business.

Related: 5 Habits That Made Me a Millionaire by 25

3. All change comes from the controversial

Playwright George Bernard Shaw said, "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man."

It is impossible to change anything or make a difference without controversy. If you "go along to get along," you will go nowhere. If you want to make your mark on the world and be successful, you have to be the "unreasonable person" sometimes. That isn't easy because the agreeable person has a much easier time of it, and he or she won't be criticized for making waves. However, the reasonable person will also be pushed about and forced to adapt to the status quo.

All great business people are that "unreasonable person" at times. They've said "yes" when the world has said "no." They've all pushed through, and even used, the controversy their vision generates. They've all stood out, rather than down. So be outrageous, bold and above all don't be afraid to be controversial.

Related: 3 Lies They Tell You in School That Hurt You in Business

Samuel Leeds

Founder of Property Investors

Samuel Leeds, founder of Property Investors, has one of the largest UK property schools and has himself done over 300 property deals, including a 20-bedroom castle with over 1,000 years of history. Samuel and his wife, Amanda, also run The Samuel Leeds Foundation.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Related Topics

Business News

United Airlines Says It Lost $2 Billion in 3 Years Since Waiving Change Fees for Flights

The company announced that over 10 million customers have taken advantage of the new policy since 2020.

Business Ideas

55 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Business Solutions

Get More Done with ChatGPT for Just $20

This ChatGPT course can help you streamline your business.

Thought Leaders

10 Simple, Productive Activities You Can Do When You Aren't Motivated to Work

Quick note: This article is birthed out of the urge to do something productive when I am not in a working mood. It can also inspire you on simple yet productive things to do when you're not motivated to work.

Growing a Business

Lifetime Access to Business Advice with This AI-Powered Service is Just $29.99

With Consultio Pro, you'll find expertise on topics like data analysis, financial analysis, innovation management, and so much more.