Last week we talked a little about the benefit and challenge of options in business. I’ve been thinking about this from a bit of a different perspective this week, that of opinions. Every day I meet business owners and (regular individuals) looking to improve something (or many somethings) in their business (or life). Maybe they don’t understand using social media, maybe they’re struggling to get sales, maybe they’re struggling with a disconnect between their business and potential customers, maybe they’re struggling to lead their business, maybe they’re struggling with their marketing, or maybe they’re so stuck they have no idea anymore what needs to be improved, only that it’s not going as they would like it to.
We’re not going to answer the many questions therein directly today, instead what we’re going to talk about is the improvement aspect. I believe that everyone, every business and every person, has room for improvement. Depending on where we are in our life’s journey some of us have more need for improvement than others. Often it’s necessary to get an outside perspective on what isn’t working and/or how to improve. Sometimes once some of us know what’s not working we’re able to tap into our resources and fix or change things. But other times we need the support of others to make the needed improvements. It’s not wrong or bad to need help from others, it’s part of what makes the world go ’round.
I believe that everyone should get opinions from others throughout the life of their business. Not all of your customers will leave feedback or tell you what they think isn’t great, sometimes they’ll just silently play a role in your business, and other times the opinion they give you is more about them than your business, so it’s necessary to reach out and get opinions. I fully support getting help and asking for opinions, but there are a few things to consider when asking for an opinion. First, it’s my opinion no matter how much research I’ve done in a field or years of knowledge and experience I have. It may not be the opinion of someone else. It also may not be that of your ideal customer. Finally, my opinion isn’t the only one out there.
So while I have lots of ideas about how you can improve your business or what you could do differently, it’s always a good idea to check it against your mission and vision as a business and that of you as a business owner (an essential reason to have a mission and vision). Because while my ideas may help you reach customers, it may not be the ideas you need to hear right now.
I share all this not to discourage you from seeking the opinions and feedback of others, in fact it makes me want to get even more feedback as a result. It’s a reminder to stay humble, to consider others and to take all of life with a grain of salt. I encourage you to worry less about perfection this week and more about helping others.