Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice." -Steve Jobs
When I was still acting, I noticed this interesting phenomenon...people who knew nothing about my business as an actress LOVED to give advice and tell me what they thought I should do.
It was pretty fascinating. I’d meet someone for the first time, tell them what I did, and they immediately had a nugget of ‘wisdom’ for me, even though, more often than not, they had no knowledge of the industry or my situation.
And, y’all, this wasn’t just a once in a while thing, this was an all.the.damn.time thing.
I worked a bar job to pay the bills, so there was never a shortage of people eager to tell me what they thought I needed to know or should do.
I think most of us have experienced this. Us humans love to share what we know and give unsolicited advice. It makes us feel good.
It’s a phenomenon that must have some research behind it (who wants to find the study for me?), and we've all experienced it and most likely been on both sides of it at some time.
Ever had a cold and been met with 13 different cold remedies from well-meaning family and friends when you’re perfectly happy with your go-to solution (Kombucha and a wellness shot at the corner juice bar if you’re me)?
Or maybe you suffer from insomnia and have received more than your share of advice from loved ones about the importance of sleep.
It’s human nature to want to share what we know and help those around us.
This is something I like to remind my clients and coach them to be very mindful of as they’re building and growing their businesses: if you allow the outside world to have an opinion on what you’re creating, you better believe it will give you more than an earful.
While feedback can be valuable, not all input, advice, and feedback is created equal.
There’s a big difference between mindfully seeking feedback in an area of your business you’re ready to look at and listening to anything and everything that’s flung in your direction labeled as ‘advice’.
It can be very tempting to listen to anyone who has a suggestion for you, especially if your confidence is wavering. But unless they know the intimate details of your business, vision, and current plan, they don't get a vote.
When we’re constantly open to input from the outside world, it can cause us to start and stop, burn down strategies we’ve committed to, and constantly test the waters of what everyone else thinks we should be doing.
Want to know what doesn’t grow a business? The corrosion of trust with yourself when you begin to second-guess what you’re doing. Stopping and starting isn’t so helpful either. And last time I checked, doing what everyone else things we should at the expense of our vision is a great way to feel trapped in the very business you were building to give you freedom.
Whether you’re acting, creating artwork, or building a business you have to protect your vision from the multitude of voices vying to give you their two cents.
It's easy at ANY stage of our business to be susceptible to the well-meant, unasked for advice that can cause us to sabotage and stall our growth.
More often than not, unasked for advice is distraction in disguise that plays on our fears and insecurities.
It takes serious focus, dedication, and mindset work to believe in what you're doing enough to double down on your commitment instead of jumping through every hoop the world will gladly give you.
My rule of thumb is to be open and free with the content and value you share. Be vulnerable and let people get to know you. Break down the walls of communication and connect with your audience. Get to know your clients’ and customers’ wants and needs.
Then, be protective and selective with who you allow to influence your mindset, vision, business strategy, and plan. Unless someone knows you and your business intimately, they don’t get to influence your business decisions and direction.
One of the things I remind my clients and coach them on is to step into the role of CEO of their business and life. As a business owner, it’s your job to mind who you outsource opinions and feedback from, and it’s your job to put those earmuffs on the rest of the time.
It’s your job to be clear on what feedback is relevant, what’s important, and what’s the equivalent of unasked for cold remedies in your business. This is one place where you have to have boundaries around what will and won’t affect your business.
Stepping into the role of CEO in your business requires this discretion, otherwise we sway like a weathervane and are at the mercy of whatever opinion blows our way. Stay locked in on your true north and seek guidance and feedback when you feel off course.
And, don’t hate on the sleep advice, cold remedies, and unasked for advice, they’re well meant, and I guarantee you’ve dolled out the same ;).
Wishing you your version of success!
P.S. Ready to tap into your own advice and partner with someone who knows the ins and outs of your business? My coaching approach is all about guiding you to step into your confidence as the CEO of your business, so you can make decisions like a boss. I'd love to help you build a business you're wildly in love with that also gets you paid!