How invested are you in other people’s opinions of you?
Are you attached to being liked?
How comfortable are you with being criticised?
Most people aren’t comfortable at all with criticism. In many ways it’s understandable. We’re a social species. At one time our very survival depended on fitting in, being part of a greater collective. In our formative years, childhood, adolescence and early adulthood, we seek to fit in, to conform, to be liked, to be popular.
Today, we live in a world where it’s almost frowned upon to not follow the crowd and be a “socialite” on social media.
Is it any wonder so many business owners shy away from the idea of standing out from the crowd, of speaking their truth, of polarising opinion?
We seek to differentiate ourselves from our industry peers and yet, ironically, we avoid the ultimate means of doing it.
If you were to take a hundred, random businesses in any location in the world, you’ll find, in the vast majority of cases, every single one is a generic vanilla-flavoured business built on an “all things to all men” philosophy.
How do you react to criticism?
Is it a personal affront for you?
Do you take it to heart?
How attached are you to being “liked”?
Your business will never outgrow the quality of thinking you bring to it. You are your business. Even if you have a small army of staff, your business can only and will only, reflect you.
If you fear criticism, from relatives, friends, family, industry peers and the public at large and either consciously or unconsciously seek to avoid it and if you’re attached to what others think of you or how they might see you, or if you’re deeply uncomfortable with “upsetting” or “offending” people, you’re massively limiting your business.
I’m not suggesting this is easy. I’ve had to grow into a thickened skin over the years. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t. But make no mistake, the consequences of not being willing to strike a somewhat controversial figure in the eyes of some people will significantly undermine your ability to succeed.
The world is rich in ignoramuses fueled by an ego well-fed on their own insecurities who think it’s their God-given right to tell other people how they should run their business, personal lives and what they should or shouldn’t be thinking, writing, saying and doing.
Take one particular gentleman for instance who was the first of a number of people to react to a recent email I wrote. He wrote.
“You should stick with business and stay out of controversial, political issues. It’s not attractive.”
God knows where he got the idea that I was in the slightest bit interested in his unsubstantiated opinion, or its relevance. And God knows where he got the idea he was qualified to share it.
The man couldn’t be more off the mark in one sense and more on the money in another (although he’d have no idea why).
Aside from the fact I’ll write on whatever topic I choose to whenever I choose to, it’s incredibly attractive to write about my truth on any given topic, including the so-called “controversial” issues of our world, to the audience I choose to serve – the more consciously aware business owner.
Where he has a point is that it’s not attractive to less conscious people like him (although he won’t see himself that way of course). That’s what people like him just don’t understand; I write my truth to prompt a reaction from people like him so I can filter them out of my world.
This is why polarisation is extremely good for you and your business.
It’s good for you because:
- a) It’s not healthy, either physically or psychologically, to be subservient and not speak your truth and…
- b) Business should be fun as well as profitable. Where’s the fun in serving difficult, easily offended, egotistical, insecure, demanding drama queens and entitlementalists with all their self-opinionated pissing, whingeing and moaning?
Polarisation is good for business because in speaking your truth and polarising, you increasingly attract to your business your ideal client, while simultaneously pushing away the opposite. That’s why it’s uber-smart to go to town on profiling your ideal client and your client from hell.
Remember, sovereignty is running your business like you’d run your own kingdom: doing what you choose, when you choose, with whom you choose, at the price you choose, only if you choose to do it all.
The email was the perfect example of polarisation and sovereignty. It exposed the less conscious and hard-of-thinking patriotic junkies within my General Inner Circle that I’m not in the slightest bit interested in serving, and, in equal measure, it prompted engaging responses, supportive comments, humorous exchanges and respectful debate with the more consciously aware I am interested in serving.
“By their fruits you shall know them”.
I strongly encourage you to do some self-analysis; where might your reluctance to be criticised or not be liked in certain quarters be throttling back the growth of your business and all that comes with it?
Christian Simpson is the UK’s leading coach and mentor to business owners and entrepreneurs. For COMPLIMENTARY ACCESS to tried, tested and proven entrepreneurial success strategies, click here