4 thoughts on “Hey Founders: Shut Up!”

  1. Shutting up and listening is so crucial. Criticism is by far the best feed back an entrepreneur can get. I find that if I’m getting a negative response to my business idea it’s because:
    A) They aren’t my target audience (don’t assume this too quickly though).
    B) I did a poor job on my explanation (in the early stages this is usually the case).
    C) I have some real flaws in plan (early on this is the best feed back to get)}

  2. One of the best things I ever did was to shut up my defensive instincts and listen when my co-founder (and husband) told me, quite bluntly, that I sucked at my job. It was hard to hear, but I sucked it up and realized that I truly was doing a ton of running to stand still rather than moving our business forward. I made it my mission to get better at what I do, and I think we’ve been a stronger team–and company–as a result.}

  3. The old sales adage holds true: “We’ve got two ears and one mouth for a reason”.

    I used to work with a self-made millionaire who became a vendor to his own industry. He found himself selling back into a community of former colleagues and competitors.

    In short he sucked at it because he was too busy trying to prove he knew better instead of listening to customers’ needs to offer a solution.

    Much like the author – perhaps nothing needed changing, but at least by listening he’d know what rebuttals would resonate.}

  4. No question, in my view. Listening is at the heart of most successes, and the best entrepreneurs I’ve worked with are/were the best listeners. The most successful of them, moreover, usually listened to *anyone* that had something of value to add. That could be a receptionist in an office they were visiting, a casual window shopper on their property (real or virtual), an employee’s relative…

    Before you’re successful, most people will tell you how great your ideas sound, either because they like you and your enthusiasm or because they can’t picture what you’re seeing/describing.

    After you’ve become successful, it can be just as hard to find people who’ll give you an honest opinion and constructive criticism, even if for different reasons.

    When I’m working on a new project I don’t want to hear how great it is. What I value most is someone who is really paying attention and who will take the ideas/plans apart and put them back together again with me. The most successful things I’ve done have involved the greatest amount of that process.}

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