The Search For Meaning Can be a Trap
Early on in our careers we all struggle to find ourselves and to craft a business that reflects who we are and what mark we want to leave on the world. I don’t think there is one entrepreneur on the planet that hasn’t, at one time, struggled with the direction of where there business is going. During those formative years, it’s healthy to listen to what your customers and clients have to say. That being said, there comes a time when the only vision that actually matters is yours. Henry Ford is famously attributed for stating the following:
If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.
Henry Ford never actually said that (but is typically given the credit) but the quote makes a lot of sense to anyone who has been creating products and services as a business.
There comes a point in your business when you’ve gotten so in tune with your market (and the needs of that market) that you become the expert. Once you become that expert you develop a vision of exactly where your company needs to go and what it needs to do. Once you get to that point, taking constructive criticism from all of your customers can be deadly. The dangerous thing about taking constructive criticism, when you know exactly where you’re going with your business, is that it can actually slow you down to listen to what other people say about your business.
Lions Don’t Care about What Sheep Think
As hard as it can be to block out what other people think, one of the most important business lessons you can learn is that:
Lions listen to other Lions, but ignore what sheep think.
What this means is that, when taking feedback you need to have a core group that you actually listen to.
This “Core Group” Should Include:
- Trusted Advisors (board of directors or consultants)
- Your High Level Staff (you pay them to give you advice)
- A Group of High Level Clients (the ones that actually love your company)
You’ll find that most of the feedback that comes your way is from people that don’t actually care or have a stake in where your company is going. Typically this is the advice that should be taken with a grain of salt.
Howard Stern sums it Up Perfectly
We’re all about reader and client feedback at Fearless Social, but we absolutely love this Howard Stern phone call.
Listen as one of the most successful entertainment personalities of all time takes a phone call and handles some “constructive criticism”. (whether you like Howard Stern or not, or even agree with the way he handles this, you have to give him some credit for knowing what his brand is all about and sticking to it.)
Tell Us What You Think
Is Constructive Criticism from Clients Dangerous or something you should spend a lot of time on?
Tell Us in the Comment Section Below.
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