Ever heard of these guys?

If you’re at least a Generation X person like me, you probably know them. They are Statler and Waldorf, the grumpy old men that sat in the balcony on The Muppet Show. They mocked and ridiculed pretty much everything they saw. And I loved them.

They were, by far, my favorite characters. Yeah, it was funny to see Gonzo’s musical instruments blow up on a regular basis, and the Swedish chef try to get something to cook properly, and the goofy relationship between Kermit and Miss Piggy. But nothing compared to the old guys in the balcony for me. Perhaps my favorite line from then was when Waldorf said, “I’ve always regretted not studying Shakespeare when I was a kid.” Statler retorted, “When you were a kid you could have talked to Shakespeare.” Then there was Waldorf asking, “What do you think about Humpty Dumpty?” Statler says, “Not much. I hate off-the-wall comedy.”

(Oh, yeah, if you didn’t know, Statler was the one on the right, with no facial hair. Waldorf was the one on the left, with the mustache.)

I’m the only person I know that liked these bitter old codgers more than Kermit or Fozzy. But that’s somewhat typical for me. I’m always a little off, different from everyone else. When pro wrestling was at its peak in the 1980s, I rooted for the bad guys. I cheered for the Oakland Raiders as a kid. And when I watched the “Laff-a-lympics” cartoon as a small child, I didn’t openly root for the Really Rottens team, because I cared what people thought of me back then. However, I secretly laughed at the Really Rottens dog Muttley, who would lay traps for the Yogi Yahooys and Scooby Doobys, and stop halfway through the construction of the trap to do that laugh. I can impersonate that laugh perfectly. Drives my wife bonkers.

Back to Statler & Waldorf: Would you believe there’s a business application to this craziness? Of course there is. They represent the adversary. No, not your competition. (Your competition is good for you, but that’s another sermon for another post.) I’m talking about the critics. They could be family, friends, business connections, or your regular everyday trolls – the people that have a reason to oppose everything. Your business idea won’t work. There are too many people doing what you want to do for you to be successful. That new product won’t sell. That was a bad joke. (I get that a lot, and it’s usually earned 🙂 ). How do you deal with your Statler & Waldorf skeptics?

Sound advice – I began my VA journey with a training course from Rhonda Scharf, and am currently a part of the VA 101 Mastermind group led by Regina Lewis. I’m getting great coaching and training. I follow others on social media that have gone before me on this journey, and listen to their offerings.

Solid skills – I know what I’m capable of. I also spend plenty of time refining those skills and acquiring new ones. You always want to keep your skills updated, but especially if you are operating in the digital space, things change rapidly, so you can’t rely on what worked years ago.

Stay focused – Using your sound advice and solid skills, you continue to build your business and concentrate on that and the community you are a part of. The needless skepticism will become minor background noise.

There you have 3 S’s to keep the Statler & Waldorf curmudgeons away from you and the success you will eventually achieve.

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