You’re getting somewhere.

The saying goes, “First they ignore you, then they mock you, then they fight you, then you win.” I was thinking about how to deal with the eventual haters the other day and, as I often do, found myself coming back to this statement. Apparently it’s commonly misattributed to Ghandi, who kinda said it, if not in so many words.

It bears repeating. Often.

Impostor Syndrome is real. There are no new ideas, only new ways of mashing them together and executing them. Doesn’t matter if you want to build a race car, a car show, or a business—it’s all been done before. All of it.

Fortunately, we live in a time when you can hang a shingle for next to nothing. And you can see real returns on your effort with a smaller audience than ever before. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that, if you haven’t been thinking about finding a smaller, quieter corner of the web to spend your time with real people, you know people who have.

It’s all been done before.

The existence—and stunning success—of RADwood doesn’t mean you can’t start a 90s-themed car show any more than the existence of LeMons means you can’t start a POS endurance racing series. Just ask the folks at ChumpCar or Gambler 500.

It’s Coke vs. Pepsi. Ford vs. Chevy. Juggalos vs. Slayer fans, ya know?

That’s the freaking ridiculous opportunity afforded us all by the internet right now. You can’t just straight-up copy what others have done. Of course not. That’s weak, shady, shit that will get you a conversation with legal counsel, no doubt—but you can do something derivative.

It’s all derivative, after all.

You could get a bunch of projectors together and have everyone bring their 80s cars out to an empty corner of the local mall to play old school Sega Out Run side by side sitting in their cars. Or you could organize the $500 stadium truck race series in Old Man Peabody’s back 40.

You could even start a new car company like Elon Musk or John Rogers.

There will always be haters. But the haters with no skin in the game, flinging poo from the cheap seats, aren’t worth your time. Ignore them. Block them. Have legal counsel send a friendly cease and desist.

Whatever you do, don’t let a fear of haters keep you from trying to build something that matters. You’ll likely find getting anyone at all to notice what you’re building is a monumental task. It will be a while before you’ve built anything big enough to attract their attention—and even then, it’s kinda like Ghandi kinda said—first they ignore you, then they mock you, then they fight you, then you win.

So let them laugh at you. It only means you’re one step closer to winning.

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  1. Wait, did that conman start a car company now?

    I thought he still worked for a car company somebody else started.

      • You suggested a person could start a car company like Elon Musk but I’ve already done that, I’m the founder and CEO of the exact same number of car companies as Elon Musk has started.

        Or to put a point on it, the Musk invested in a car company that somebody else already started and then he endlessly lies and floats bullshit and even went to court to get the right to call himself a “founder” because.. well, that’s the sort of thing that conmen do. They treat reality as flexible when it benefits them and for some reason a wide swath of society is eager to play along with it.. people who don’t are are haters (of.. conmen)

        Actual lions don’t have to bullshit about their position in the jungle.

        • Well I’ll be damned. I didn’t know that. You learn something new every day.

          I’m not informed well enough to debate the conman label, but trust you well enough to respect your position. Suffice to say, absent a sense of malice, I tend to like Musk’s often contrary approach to the industry at-large.

          Like what you say about lions, though. 🙂

  2. I like haters. Means you’re doing something right. Especially if the haters are the crowd you wouldn’t even piss on if they were on fire. 🙂

    • Exactly. And when you’re fully engaged with the people who matter, you don’t even notice.

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