Some people I spoke with recently were freaked out over the fact that they either got some unsubscribes from their email list or they received negative comments from people in their audience.

Talking to them made me reflect on my early days when I was first building my business, and on one incident in particular that I remember vividly.

I was at a conference. This was way back in 2004 and I was just starting to build my audience; I think I had maybe a few hundred people on my email list at the time.

After emailing my list that morning, almost immediately a few people unsubscribed.

Maybe you’ve been through this and responded differently, but this was my first unsubscribe and I was hypersensitive to it.

It hit me right in the heart.



I remember coming down from my hotel room down to the main lobby and where the event was and running into a friend of mine named Matt. Matt looked at me and instantly was like, “Dude, what’s wrong?”

Because he could see it in my face. I looked like somebody had just like stabbed me in the heart.

I responded, “Man, I just got an unsubscribe from my email list.”

Matt gave me a strange look and said, “Wait a minute. You got an unsubscribe and this is why you’re so upset?”

I replied, “Yeah, man. I don’t know why they would’ve unsubscribed. I just don’t get it.”

So I was suprised when Matt responded with, “Dude, an unsubscribe is a really good thing.”

“Dude, an unsubscribe is a really good thing.”

I was like, “What are you talking about? No it’s not.”

He’s like, “Yes, it is. Look, if you’ve got an unsubscribe, think of it as like a cleansing process. They’re just somebody who has said, ‘You know what, this stuff isn’t right for me,’ and that’s okay. Because now you’ve got a smaller, tidier list of people who are really into everything that you’re sharing.”

It was an amazing lesson for me because it gave me permission to continue being myself and sharing my message.

Now this is a lesson I try to pass on to others who are having similar experiences.

As business owners, we need to have a thick skin. Not everybody is going to agree with our message or care for what we have to offer.

And that’s okay.

A saying of an early mentor of mine that stuck with me is, “Love me or hate me, there’s no money in the middle.”



When you stay true to your message and create this kind of divide, it’s actually a really good thing because the people that hang around are going to be true supporters.

I would much rather have a small list of people who love what I have to share than a huge list of people who are indifferent to my message.

Because here’s the thing: When it comes to your marketing, you have to believe.

If you’re sharing content, you have to believe in your message. If you’re selling, you have to believe in your product.

Nobody wants to engage with somebody who isn’t confident in what they’re sharing. Nobody wants to buy from somebody who isn’t confident in what they’re selling.

Would you want to go into surgery with a doctor who was hesitant like that? Heck no. Would you want get into a plane with a pilot who was hesitant about their ability to get to the destination? Heck no.

You have to share your message and your products with confidence. If that sense of confidence turns some people off, that’s totally fine.

What you’re doing is you are getting closer and closer to the people who will really benefit from what you have to share.

If you get unsubscribes it’s a good thing. It just means you’re getting more and more dialed in to the few people who you can really help and serve.

Share with confidence. Create that divide. Identify the people who are truly engaged with what you have to share. Focus on those people and how you can continue to serve them.

You will grow a far bigger business focusing on the people who absolutely love you than you ever will trying to please the people who don’t.



  • Brittany Byrd

    Absolutely love this concept Stu! I always remember your story when I get unsubscribes!!! 🙂 Thanks for keeping it real buddy!

  • MendBrokenHearts

    o yeah – learning this lesson has helped me to survive in this business. Otherwise, I would have been long gone. I love the reminder that I have to LOVE what I do and believe in it. I am confident that what I have to offer mends hearts. And there is a certain percentage of those hearts that need mending that need my approach. Must keep at it as I find more and more of those hearts. Thanks, Stu! YOUR approach was meant for me!