"We are our own worst critic so if you're going to criticize yourself, it's probably better to let others do it."
Recently, I asked eight of my closest friends to describe me in one word. I asked them to choose one word that describes me best without giving an explanation as to why they chose it. Some of the answers I expected, but some felt like they were describing someone else.
This got me thinking. As entrepreneurs, we’re constantly asking customers for valuable feedback to help us improve products and services, so I am wondering why we don’t do the same for the company as a whole. You’ve collected enough feedback on products/services, now it’s time to learn what people really think about your business.
Here are three reasons why you must see your business through other people’s eyes.
1. We are our own worst critic
That couldn’t be any truer for entrepreneurs. We see the absolute worst in ourselves. Since we cannot fully rely on our own perspective for a true unbiased opinion of our company, then we must rely on other people’s points of view. We must understand that even when products are selling and things seem to be in order, this doesn’t mean that the brand has value. You may be heading for self-destruction without even knowing it.
This is why it is important to ask outsiders for their opinion occasionally. Ask your employees about the company’s culture; what they like or don’t like about you. Or even better, just as I asked my friends to describe me in one word, you can do the same for your business and see what answers you receive.
We are our own worst critic so if you’re going to criticize yourself, it’s probably better to let others do it.
2. Brand building opportunities
I am a big believer in creating opportunities. Things don’t just happen: big things are triggered by lots of small things. In that sense, the more you learn about your business the better informed you’ll be, allowing you to become a better decision maker. There’ll be no more decision-making based on assumptions, you’ll make decisions based on what people are actually saying.
This gives you a great opportunity to fix small issues and or to iron out anything that doesn’t align with your company before it becomes a bigger problem.
3. Shocking discovery
During my little experiment, one of my friends described me as “fearless.” I mean, fearless, really? I am the definition of fear! It took me many years to finally decide start writing, sharing my thoughts, let alone start a business. I don’t do anything without first thinking it over a million times. Fear is probably the reason why my last company failed (but that’s another story).
But yet… he said “fearless.”
The point I am making is that sometimes the way we think of ourselves isn’t necessarily the way others think of us. This is why it’s important to know what people are thinking. Don’t let your ego get in the way of collecting new information about your business, regardless of how hurtful – or flattering – an experience it might be.