Every once in a while, I think about being a therapist.
Then I remember that chocolate isn’t the answer to everything (#debatable) and I’ve got a really low tolerance for inaction.
Then, there’s one other thing that really puzzles me…
Common scenario. An entrepreneur or aspiring entrepreneur is struggling. Or they just want some mentoring or outside perspective. So they seek out a mentor and share their concept. They lay out everything they’ve been doing and plan to do. Occasionally, I’m that mentor. #BizarreIKnow
If you know me at all, you know I’m loving, but direct.
Life’s too short to dance around the truth.
If I think you’re heading off the rails or you’re already in a ditch but don’t know it, I’ll tell you. And if I have thoughts on what might work better, I’ll share them. Am I right? Who knows. But if you come to me because you think I can help, I’m assuming you’re open to the idea that something I share might add value.
I once had a successful fitness-industry entrepreneur share his dream business plan with me. He’d written it himself and run all the numbers by his good friend, a Harvard MBA, but one who knew nothing about the industry. The projections painted a picture of stunning success, but the assumptions upon which they were built, total fiction. I went data-point by data-point and ended up, without intention, shredding the plan.
His response. Pissed off. Threw the document across the room and said “then what’s YOUR big f#%@ing idea?!”
Anger in response to sought-after advice is a huge tell for failure. Not because I’m right and you’re wrong. But because you’re looking for the wrong thing from me.
When you’re building something you want desperately to matter…
You don’t need validation, you need truth.
And if that truth blows your concept, dream, vision or current failing venture to smithereens, that’s a GOOD thing to experience as fast and early as possible. Better a reality-check and pivot now than a 10X catastrophe 10 months, $10,000 or ten trips to the hospital from now.
Determination to deliver a specific outcome can be powerful. But blind attachment to a specific “way” to deliver an outcome when experience, information and insight invalidate your opening assumptions at every turn, that’s not persistence, it’s arrogance.
Stay open to the possibility that you guessed wrong, that you may need to re-guess and test 100 times before you guess right, and that others might be able to drop that 100 down to 10. If you’ll let them in.
Look at your assumptions and actions and ask yourself on a regular basis, “how’s that working out for me?”
Focus is good, openness is mandatory, blind arrogance is death.
The moment you think you know better than the market, you lose.
And so does everyone you seek to serve.
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