Business, Just saying, Personal Branding
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3 reasons to pick the right enemies today.

Hey folks~Today’s quick post is on the 3 reasons as to why you need to pick the right enemies to create a strong brand.

Reason #1: Enemies passionately motivate you.

Have you really hated someone or something? Most likely, it is because certain values in that person conflict with yours.

All brands stand for something with varying degree of strength, and exceptional brands evoke strong emotions in the members of their tribes.

In fact, counting your enemies is a good verifiable criteria to measure if you are known for something–if anything– at all.

So whenever you pick an enemy, it is a sign already that you are angry about something. What better ways to reframe and re-channel that anger into building a great brand that adds to your professional portfolio?

The trick here, of course, is to pick the right enemies.

I define “right enemies” by results. For instance, if you fight with someone, does it benefit you if you win? It’s surprising isn’t it– that some people fight even when fighting does them absolutely no good.

Positive payoffs will validate that it is the right enemy. So, before picking an enemy, make sure that there are positive payoffs for you when you win the battle. Positive payoffs will validate that it is the right enemy. If there are negative payoffs involved for both parties (aka fighting because your enemy will die a worse death than you), then don’t bother.

The reason why people fight even when they incur harm onto themselves is because they want their enemies to suffer a worse death, which is obviously not rational. Don’t be consumed by negative emotions–it will result in pointless outcomes!

Rechannel your intense negative energy into something positive for yourself and believe that the asshole will get karma. (Trust Wendy and I on that).

Reason #2: Picking the right enemies ensure that you don’t badmouth others.

Screenshot 2016-11-30 09.58.03.png

Recently I’d been thinking about why successful people around me don’t badmouth others, even though others really did them wrong.

As we all know badmouthing others generate really strong negative emotions.

Some of these people who did them wrong really screwed up their lives–just listen deeply to the first-hand accounts of husbands and wives who have gone through the pain of divorce. Or listen to stories of vicious politics in academia because the stakes are so low, or even the typical corporate office politics.

So it got me thinking–can the result of badmouthing someone be due to the cause of not picking the right enemies? This is because you will only badmouth people you don’t like.

Therefore, whenever you badmouth someone–think: Mentally, are you picking the right enemies? Because once you respond to someone, you automatically go to their levels.

The best way to respond to a strong, angry and negative opinion is to…ignore. HAHA.

For instance, recently I got this hate mail to my reddit inbox:

Screenshot 2016-11-30 09.46.05.png

What did I do? I ignored and reported.

Don’t engage in fights with anonymous cowards.

Instead, report their IP.

Reason #3: Picking the right enemies can give you strong visibility.


Let’s say you want to fast track your way into a certain industry. It’s that situation where you definitely can consider picking the right enemies, even proactively.

If you are currently a nobody who wants to make a mark in the minds of industry folks, pick an industry leader. Write a well-reasoned, passionate and excellent article against his/her opinion. Because the views are polarizing, you’d definitely be remembered for writing such a “classic”. Be sure that you write something good and based on verifiables though, and not engage in personal attacks, because the latter might result in negative payoffs.

I say “industry leader” because there really is no point arguing with people who are not in the industry that you want to be in, or arguing respectfully with non-leaders without an intention of getting good consequences.

Don’t let your emotions consume you, once again! Think with a cool head and work out your payoff matrix.

Okay I am going to work! I’m really happy to figure out this point on “picking the right enemies” out, because I kept reading about it in business books on branding. I hope you have enjoyed this post, and have a great day ahead! ^_^

This entry was posted in: Business, Just saying, Personal Branding


Hi! This is Wan Wei and some affectionately call me WW. I am passionate about mass psychology, cognitive biases, propaganda and Edward Bernays. Also Editor in Chief at IKIGUIDE (, Asia's first portal on personal branding.

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