Stop Complaining!

Today’s post is a rant about something that drives me absolutely NUTS.

Recently a direct sales company did their very first online event.  And it was awesome!  They pulled out all the stops, and wound up creating an event that created a lot of excitement about the brand and its products.  Were there a few bumps? Of course!  It was their first time. But overall it really set their brand apart and was fabulous.  And my favorite part? They got out there and did it, and paved the way for the industry.

After the event, I went to the company’s Facebook Page to post about how much I enjoyed it.  But what I found there was consultant complaint after complaint about really minor details.  Are you kidding me?  Here your company put a lot of time and effort into creating a cutting edge presentation to help you do your business, and all you can do is complain?  In PUBLIC?

And unfortunately it’s not limited to this one company.  I’ve seen consultants complain on every direct sales company Facebook Page.  Don’t you realize that this is public, and that people can see it?  That it can show up in Google search results when people look up your company?  Are you TRYING to destroy your ability to do business?

People, it’s time to take serious stock here.  If your company goes out of its way to do something to benefit the brand and your business, be a decent human being and be supportive.  It is COMPLETELY inappropriate to complain about this on the company Facebook Page.  When you complain there, all you do is make the company, and yourself, look bad.

SO WHAT if there were a couple of things that could have been done differently? How would you feel if, after you did a sales presentation, someone stood there and criticized every thing you did that he or she would have done differently?

So today my message is this…stop being such critical perfectionists!!!  If you’ve got a serious problem, take it up with customer service.  But when your company goes out of its way to do something great, that will benefit your business, and then all you can do is complain, you’re completely out of line.  It’s wrong.  And if you see someone else in your company do it, call them out on it.  Don’t forget these are human beings in your companies who are working really hard to give you the best tools possible.  It’s up to you to make the most of them, and avoid raining on the parade.

So cut it out, OK?

Your thoughts?

51 Responses to Stop Complaining!
  1. Laurie Ryan
    November 13, 2010 | 12:34 pm

    Oh, Jen, I feel we could be best friends! 🙂

    Unfortunately, this kind of negativity and whining not only reflects poorly on the company and the complainer herself, but also on all the rest of us consultants. It is time we spoke up to the complainers to gently – but firmly – correct them.

    Could it be that some people know just enough about facebook to “make them dangerous”? In other words, they know how to post and how to comment, but just don’t realize how far-reaching their comments go, and that everyone can see what they post on the company’s public page? I, too, just don’t get why some people would bite the hand that feeds them. That figurative hand not only feeds them, but works so hard to do so.

    You’re right, Jen. I’m off to post on my company’s facebook page, and send a private e-mail of thanks to my home office, too.

    Thanks for that reminder. May we all remember every day to thank someone who has loved us, mentored us, trained us, etc. We would love the thanks, and so would they.

    • Jennifer Fong
      November 15, 2010 | 10:38 am

      Completely agreed Laurie. Folks need more training, and also just need to remember some common manners…and common sense! Thanks for spreading some “thankfulness” around to your home office. They deserve it!

  2. Dolce McArdle
    November 12, 2010 | 6:17 pm

    I rarely throw my hat in when it comes to this kind of stuff but I couldn’t help myself…

    It is important to keep your personal business personal.

    If you want to draw that kind of attention to yourself, go do Jerry Springer!

    AND you NEVER bite the hand that feeds you!!!

    • Jennifer Fong
      November 12, 2010 | 6:33 pm

      Amen Dolce!

  3. Jay Leisner
    November 12, 2010 | 5:36 pm

    Perhaps Facebook and other social media sites need to ask for “Nice Comments” instead of just “Comments”.

    Better yet, how about a “Suggestions” link so that complaints can be reworded as constructive suggestions instead of destructive comments?

    • Jennifer Fong
      November 12, 2010 | 6:33 pm

      Maybe that would help, Jay. 🙂 Thanks for commenting!

  4. Karen Austin
    November 12, 2010 | 4:49 pm

    As leaders we need to allow our associates the freedom to come to us with complaints, but not through social media, the phone should ring with the complaint. Yes, we all have them, but then as leaders, the complaint stops with us. Thanks Jennifer for being willing to tackle the subject.

    • Jennifer Fong
      November 12, 2010 | 5:27 pm

      Certainly Karen! And that’s the point. If there is a legitimate issue, bring it up via the right (non-public) channels. But if you’re just criticizing, keep it to yourself!

  5. Linda
    November 12, 2010 | 3:27 pm

    Oh…I think I love you! Thank you.

    • Jennifer Fong
      November 12, 2010 | 3:28 pm

      LOL! Thanks!

  6. Brett Duncan
    November 12, 2010 | 2:23 pm

    I think I could hug you right now!

    This has always fascinated me: how could people working in an industry so steeped in personal development so often have leaders that feel entitled in ways that blows my mind? I, too, work on the corporate side for a direct sales company, and I am daily amazed at the audacity some (albeit a vocal minority) have in their correspondence with those of us completely working our butts off … for them.

    It makes you grateful for the people who are grateful, and for those that realize there’s really not a whole lot that corporate can do to hold you back as a direct seller, if you really want to go after it. Typically, I think stuff like this is simply the most convenient excuse for those who simply can’t figure out how they need to improve.


    • Jennifer Fong
      November 12, 2010 | 2:30 pm

      I think the problem here, Brett, is that people just don’t think before they type. The internet has conditioned us to live “in the moment,” often without regard for the consequences. It makes me worry for the next generation. It really does. We need to get back to common decency and respect for the feelings of others. What our moms and grandmas (and dads and grandpas) taught us is still true: “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t way anything.” Not in public anyway!

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  7. Joyce Holthaus
    November 12, 2010 | 1:27 pm

    Thanks for the reminder to all of us. One thing that being a leader with a company has taught me is to focus on the positives! This permeates every area of our lives. People are exposed to so much negative every day that they don’t realize they are doing the same thing! If we can be solution oriented people it will influence our families, our organizations and other areas of life.
    Leaders focus on the positives and solutions to problems!!

    • Jennifer Fong
      November 12, 2010 | 1:29 pm

      Very good point Joyce! True leadership involves building people up. By focusing on the positive, we help all the folks around us.

  8. Cheri Semple
    November 12, 2010 | 12:58 pm

    Valid point. I’m pretty sure I saw the posts and there were a handful of interesting “opinions” shared. The sad part is that the few who do that won’t read your post or if they do by some chance, won’t get that it applies to them.

  9. Cheri Semple
    November 12, 2010 | 12:33 pm

    Very valid point and I believe I know which page you are referring too and there were several “opinions”. The sad part is that those people won’t read your blog post or if by some chance they do, they will not get the fact it applies to them.

    • Jennifer Fong
      November 12, 2010 | 12:34 pm

      And that’s why it’s up to consultants to self-police. They NEED to get the message that this is inappropriate. Enough is enough!

      • michelle kelley
        November 12, 2010 | 3:23 pm

        It’s also why leaders should “friend” their teams and stay connected with them. Not to be “big brother”, but to gently remind them about what is appropriate and to help them through some of their frustrations.
        Unfortunately, if another consultant tries to intervene, they are seen as rude or bossy.

      • Cheri Semple
        November 12, 2010 | 4:26 pm

        The sad part is they don’t get it – I see this big time on TV show related pages – Dancing with the Stars is a key one right now – there are awful things being said about a few of the finalists. Every season, when a contest show gets close to finalist levels, the odd balls come out of the wood works with their version of their $.02 and say some really nasty things on FB. I think you are right about people hiding behind a keyboard and saying things they would not say to someone personally. There are always going to be some who have zero common sense in life and the best thing we can do is carry ourselves the right way – maybe they will follow along.
        As far as companies are concerned – unfortunately that is part of the business just like in retail, etc. There will be a few that feel they need to be heard and will stop at nothing to ensure that happens. It doesn’t mean it’s right but again, the select few who act this way are probably not going to get the message and the companies don’t want to upset their leaders or field by telling them to back off. The rest of us, which is the majority, just need to lead by example. I think the numbers we are discussing are really pretty small in the scheme of things but unfortunately they are getting a lot of “air time” – maybe if we ignore them, they will go away…

        • Jennifer Fong
          November 12, 2010 | 4:33 pm

          You know, I have to say that if direct sellers are willing to step up and share with their colleagues that there are certain things that are just unacceptable, it would help. It’s reflection on everyone in the industry. We can’t just let this stuff slide, in my opinion, or just accept that “some people are going to do this.” Thus this blog post. We all have to do our part.

  10. Kristen Lands
    November 12, 2010 | 12:22 pm


    • Jennifer Fong
      November 12, 2010 | 12:33 pm

      Thanks Kristen!

  11. Pat Zahn
    November 12, 2010 | 12:04 pm

    You are totally right, of course. Whining is not a new concept, but I think it used to be specific to children and it was the adults job to teach them not to whine and to ask for what they need in a productive manner and in an appropriate place. However, somewhere along the way, it’s become socially acceptable for adults to act like children. One thing I’m trying to do is give shout-outs to the positive. There is a teacher at my daughter’s school who is just awesome, and your post reminds me that I need to write a note to the Principal and school district.

    • Jennifer Fong
      November 12, 2010 | 12:07 pm

      Great way to send some positive out Pat! Thanks for commenting. Great jobs need to be recognized.

    • Pat Zahn
      November 12, 2010 | 12:10 pm

      BTW, Jen what is the plugin that makes your FB like button also, an avenue to post?

      • Jennifer Fong
        November 12, 2010 | 12:33 pm

        WP Facebook Like, but any will do it if you use the xfbml option. Just learned that yesterday!

  12. Susan Nicholas
    November 12, 2010 | 11:51 am

    As an employee of a direct sales company, I just want to say thank you for saying what we, at corporate, cannot. Things do not just “magically” happen and many times that development happens over a course of months before the field is even aware of it. I work with a team that puts their blood, sweat and even tears into everything we create to move the brand forward. There really isn’t a shiny crystal ball in the main conference room that tells us exactly what our sponsoring, sales, meetings, trainings or product launches are going to be like.

    We, too, are trying to be cutting edge and innovative. But there is a learning curve with all things new. Technology is great… when it works the way we want it to. I know it’s easy to forget that the faceless, sometimes nameless, bodies behind the scenes have feelings, too. But we’re trying to drive business for our Consultants because without them, there is no company. Everything we do is to build the business. We worker bees rely on our paychecks as much as the field does with their bonus checks.

    Can things go smoother? You better believe the next time we do it, it will.

    • Jennifer Fong
      November 12, 2010 | 12:08 pm

      So true, Susan. I ran a direct sales company, and know exactly what you’re talking about. Nothing is worse than working SO HARD on something that you want to delight your consultants with, only to have people complain about the details. We can never forget that we’re ALWAYS dealing with people…even when it’s the company!

  13. Yusuf Chowdhury
    November 12, 2010 | 11:11 am

    Some folks have nothing else to do except criticize! You have well spoken Jennifer.

    • Jennifer Fong
      November 12, 2010 | 11:17 am

      Thanks Yusuf!

  14. Siobhan Wolf
    November 12, 2010 | 10:59 am

    We seem to be a complaining society right now. From kids to adults, everyone looks at and comments on the things that are wrong. As I see it, the only way to change this is to start to focus on what is right. Personally, I’ve stopped watching the news and listening to media programs that focus on the wrongs and started putting my attention and energy into those things that are talking about and showing all the things that are right in our world.

    If each of us were to do this in our personal lives, with our choices and also with all the people we come in contact with, imagine the wave that would ripple out and touch everyone with just what is great around the world. 😀

    • Jennifer Fong
      November 12, 2010 | 11:25 am

      Focus on the positive! What a great message Siobhan. Thank, you!

  15. Kristy Pool
    November 12, 2010 | 10:54 am

    I agree, I think since it is the internet and not face to face, people feel more comfortable with saying things they wouldn’t say in person. It is easy to type on a keyboard into a monitor. But you are right, people should stop and think about the consequences of documenting criticism on the internet like that. My favorite quote on the topic is from Judge Milian from the People’s Court. She says, “Say it forget it, write it regret it” not that we should say it either… 🙂

    • Jennifer Fong
      November 12, 2010 | 11:26 am

      How very true Kristy!

  16. Claudia Houston
    November 12, 2010 | 10:53 am

    Great post Jennifer! You have been telling everyone about this for some time and people still persist. For some reason, instead of consultants realizing all of the support, training material, incentives etc. that are supplied by their home office, they spend the majority of time complaining about mostly small things. Then home office folks get upset because they know how much time and effort they put into things-it sets up a “them against us” mentality instead of working together. Everyone appreciates constructive criticism (maybe you could do this next time?) but certainly not rants in public!

    • Jennifer Fong
      November 12, 2010 | 11:27 am

      Very true Claudia. It’s so important to remember and appreciate the people working so hard behind the scenes at home office. I remember when I was running my company, and we’d work SO hard on a promotion or something, and then all we’d get back was the negative. Certainly killed enthusiasm, let me tell you. Say thank you to someone in your home office today!

  17. michelle kelley
    November 12, 2010 | 9:55 am

    I’ve been on this same rant. It especially makes me crazy when these whiners are leaders!

    • Jennifer Fong
      November 12, 2010 | 10:02 am

      I completely agree Michelle.

  18. Jill Shea
    November 12, 2010 | 9:54 am

    Right ON!

    • Jennifer Fong
      November 12, 2010 | 11:27 am

      Thanks Jill 🙂

  19. J. Cusimano
    November 12, 2010 | 9:39 am

    Hi Jennifer,
    This is so true. People also will tell others IN PERSON every little negative thing they can think of when they are not doing their OWN best to try. They blame everyone except themselves. They never stop to think that they just dropped anchor on their own business and for everyone else in their company with the person they are talking to, and all the “rule of 250” people that person talks to.

    It amazes me about ALL the bad comments people place on social media about their life in general. They should “Wash laundry before hanging it out.”


    • Jennifer Fong
      November 12, 2010 | 9:41 am

      Very, very true! Thanks Jay!

  20. Rebecca Carroll
    November 12, 2010 | 9:38 am

    Thank you! How ’bout a million RTs on this, friends? Same goes for people on SM, who may not realize that their chronic complaining also affects perceptions of them, for jobs, business, etc. Great post!!!

    • Jennifer Fong
      November 12, 2010 | 9:41 am

      So true! Thanks for sharing it!

  21. Eryn Cadoff
    November 12, 2010 | 9:34 am

    WOOHOO – so well said! Love this.

    • Jennifer Fong
      November 12, 2010 | 9:41 am

      Thanks Eryn!

  22. Robin Feicht
    November 12, 2010 | 9:31 am

    Well said.

    • Jennifer Fong
      November 12, 2010 | 11:28 am

      Thank you!

  23. Jenny Dammann
    November 12, 2010 | 9:27 am

    A.M.E.N. sista!

    • Jennifer Fong
      November 12, 2010 | 9:27 am


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