You've done it! You've fed the muses and kept them happy. They in turn are feeding you inspiration. And all that hard work is starting to pay off. Maybe it starts with a bang, you launch your business, and it's an overnight success story. Or maybe it's a slower burn. A post like here, a sale there...it's more gradual, but ever upward. It's slow, but you know you're on the right path.
As wonderful as success is, it also comes with a side dish of bitterness. See, success will show you who's really in your corner. You're true friends will continue to support you. They'll cheer on every post like, every sample sold, every customer response, good or bad. They may offer critique, but it will always be constructive (hey, have you thought of this?)
Your not so true friends and full on haters will start with venom. It probably won't be as obvious at first. Snide asides. Hints that something is off or less than perfect. The trick is to weed out the genuine pieces of helpful advice—the things that can help you move your business forward and in to your next level of success—from the bitter remarks of a jealous friend.
I don't say former friend, because even jealousy can pass and someone can find they are genuinely happy for your success. Or it's entirely possible that in your flush of success, you turn in to a bit of a snot, and what is offered as genuine critique is blown all out of proportion by you. In which case, pull your head out! Seriously, success gets awfully lonely and if you turn in to a snot, you will chase all your friends away. Then when you need a friendly ear to run an idea by, all you're left with are sycophants. And there is no way to improve when surrounded by yes men (or yes women).
So celebrate the wins, big or small. Keep your friends close, but listen to the haters. Sometimes your next direction will come from the most unexpected source.