I was meeting with someone and thought it would be helpful to share a quick overview of what I was working on—a new business plan that included an overhaul of my website and a completely new menu of services.
And that’s when it happened. We moved from what was intended to be a little background information to 15 minutes of “If I were you’s.” As he continued to share his thoughts, I couldn't help but wonder how we got there. But I couldn't recall one “So, what do you think?” or “Does this make sense?” or “Will this work?” I usually love feedback. But there are times when, whether writing a business plan or revamping your website, you’ve moved past the point of gathering any more input. And this was one of those times.
After a quick assessment, I figured I had three primary options:
- Try to refocus the conversation. Thank him for his suggestions and then do my best to eliminate openings for unsolicited feedback (in other words, no "So what do you think?").
- Ride it out. Play the odds that he can’t go on for more than 5 or 10 minutes before talking himself out.
- A combination of 1 and 2. And ultimately the strategy I decided to run with.
As an entrepreneur, you’ll get loads of unsolicited feedback—but it doesn't have to shake you or your business plan. No matter what others may think, ultimately it's you that has to be comfortable with what you’re doing and where you’re headed. After all, you're the one that has to live with its success or failure.
By: Shawn Graham