I’ve got some negative feedback in my time, and I can tell you I don’t enjoy it.

I get that sick feeling as I read down the email that begins with “I was very disappointed…” or the phone call that begins with “I’m not happy…”

Many entrepreneurs are in business, at least in part, because they want to make people happy. We get a certain satisfaction from creating a product that customers are pleased with. So a customer is unhappy, it can really hit where it hurts. We tried so hard to do the right thing, spent sleepless nights perfecting our product, and it still went wrong somehow.

But, if you can handle it, bad feedback is actually one of the best things that can happen to you.

Most unhappy customers won’t make the effort to let you know they are unhappy, they’ll just drop their business when the time comes. So if one of them actually makes the effort to give you some feedback, you should actually be very grateful.

By facing up to the criticism head-on, and honestly assessing whether it’s valid, you can work out what you can do better to keep improving and growing your business.

Confronting negativity instead of wrapping yourself up in a comforting cocoon of ignorance is a vital part of running a continuously evolving and growing business.

If something has fallen over in one of your processes, then you might need to track back to get more detail about what happened. This needs to be done with a mindset of fixing a problem, not finding someone to blame.In reality, regardless of who technically might be ‘to blame’, in the end if you’re the boss, then it’s all ultimately your fault and an opportunity for you to fix it and fix the underlying problem too.

Criticism may be wrong, it may be unfair, it may sting, but you need to face up to it honestly and start by asking yourself what you can do differently or better next time. It’s much easier to ignore criticism, to fight back, to blame someone else, to blame circumstances, fate, the market, but if you can look honestly what you did wrong, chances are you’ll get it right next time around. And your business will be stronger for it.