Okay, this isn’t a question that comes up very often, but if you own a business, hell if you have parents, you’ll get what’s coming next.
In life, and in business, there’s always going to be believers, and non-believers. For example – I’ve recently been working with a startup who’s going into a fairly competitive space. The owner was chatting with another owner in a similar field, and the conversation went cold. This other owner was a non-believer. This could be crippling to you, but it doesn’t have to be.
For whatever reason – we’re programmed to always remember the bad opposed to the good. In a day you could have 95 positive experiences, but when you lay your head down at night you mull over the 1 negative experience. Think about it – it’s always the terrible customers you run into that stick with you. It goes the other way around too. As a consumer, you always remember the negative experiences you’ve had with a company, and you’ll be the first to write a negative review. On the other hand, as a consumer, you rarely champion the positive experiences. I can think of numerous cases of poor customer service, etc…And yet, I can only remember a handful of positive cases. Although the positive outweigh the poor, I only remember the poor.
So what can you do?
I’ve found numerous ways to combat this negativity from non-believers. The first is to go at it head on. You can challenge the non-believer, and ask him / her about why he / she feels the way he / she does. Sometimes they’ll respond, sometimes they won’t. If they don’t…get them out of your life immediately. You can’t please everyone.
The second is to use it as motivation. I recently ran into a non-believer when starting a new venture. The funny thing is – the other people I’ve reached out to are 100% behind me, and think my latest venture is a GREAT idea. However, there’s always going to be sceptics. And sceptics are good – they keep you honest, but when the believers grossly outweigh the non-believers – stick with the believers.
This guy basically tore down my idea, and ripped my confidence. It literally ruined my day – I couldn’t function. So, I got up the next day, put an image of him in my mind, and said, “I’m going to prove this guy wrong.” This dude is now my one of my main motivations to be successful in my latest venture. In a way, I should probably be thanking him.
Conversely, if the non-believers outweigh the believers, than you should maybe find something else to do. The biggest key is to surround yourself with people you trust, and ask them about your idea. I’ve been lucky enough to find people who can keep me honest, and not sugar coat things.
Think about your parents for second. How many times have they not believed in something you’ve wanted to do? Think about the motivation it gave you to do it. “Honey! Don’t stand so close to the pool!” Screw you, I’m going to tip-toe on the side MOM! I’m a big boy!
As you get older, and your business grows the non-believers will grow. Forget about them or use them as motivation, and flip your psychology to think about the 97% in the believer column. One trick – at the end of the day – look back and think about a positive experience you had, then think about a negative one. Smile, and let the negative one go, and take a mental snapshot of the positive experience. Or literally take a picture of your customer, and post it in your store or office. That way, every day when you walk in, you’ll have the faces of great customers smiling back at you.
Jordan ‘The Guy with the Bow Tie’ Rycroft