Underestimate You? That Should Be Fun.
Updated: Jan 20, 2018
When determining when/if you want to go the entrepreneurial route, you often ask others their opinion, perspective and direction. People you love, respect and trust. I know I did, as I was completely unsure of what I wanted to do and how to do it.
A key learnings from this is to take ALL feedback with a "grain of salt" and use discernment to determine what to Absorb, what to Consider and what to Dismiss. Btw, It won't be the first time you need this skill.
I knew one person in particular, a very successful entrepreneur. I had a taste of their thought process and I valued their experience and accomplishments. I asked for a meeting to run things by them, pick their brand and was excited to get their insights.
I am just starting out, and don't know where to begin or focus. But the way my mind works, I prototype quickly and inexpensively - you know, #LeanStartUp. So, I put together a draft website as a starting point. I can't say it was all correct or perfect, but I could at least applaud myself on the approach and the process. (insert pat on the back here).
We finally met at a coffee shop, and I laid it all out. Clearly walked though what I had worked on, why I did what I did and an initial plan for how it could work.
They were quiet most of the meeting and when I finished, "politely" said "You just wasted my time with something that is half-baked. And besides, when you are launching a consulting business, it will take about 6-8 months to get your first project. So what is it that you did on corporate? I have contacts at a few places that could be helpful".
Breathe... Pray...Focus... (don't round house or clothes line)
So admittedly, I was bummed. But, I did as for feedback, and feedback is what I got. It wasn't delivered in a pretty box with a bow, nor was it what I wanted to hear, but it was feedback nevertheless. Definitely didn't need to be prick about it, but that cool. They brought up a few interesting points for me to Consider.
But in true #SMITH fashion, I did not show my disappointment, frustration and growing anger in their approach. I kept a neutral face, took notes and kindly said "Thank you for the feedback. I know this advice came from years of experience, so it is valued. Did not mean to waste your time." (insert smile here).
There is more to this story, but their was a motive for them to break me and to discourage that route. Also in true #SMITH fashion, I have a strong undercurrent of focus and competition. I knew I was focused, but now I need to show this (insert nice thing to say here) person that they were wrong, I will win AND it will take me less than 6-8 months to get my first project.
My first gig came within 30 days and 2 years later, I am still in the game.
Needless to say, although it was considered someone I admired and respected, that was considered feedback to Consider. If not, it would have broken and discouraged me.
Nah bruh! I told you about underestimating me.