When I first got the idea for my business, I was so excited I would talk to everyone about it. I was passionate about my idea and could not wait to get started. Everyone was pretty excited for me!
Then I actually started my business. It became time for me to figure out how I would get customers. That was not nearly as easy or fun. As a matter of fact, it was out & out stressful! I had all of the “technical” things in place, but no money was coming in. I started wondering if I had made a mistake. Those same people who had been so excited for me now had a lot of feedback and in some cases criticism of me and my business. Like many entrepreneurs, I had enough of that going on in my own head….the voices of others would go straight to my heart — like a dagger. So, I came up with a way to sort the feedback and/or criticism from others. I knew there was value in some of what I was hearing and other comments that were tearing me apart.
Here’s what I did:
The Sorting & Reframing Method — all Feedback and Criticism need to go through the filter of encouragement & wisdom before discarding.
- Encouragement – Words that built me up were “keepers”.
- Wisdom – Words that didn’t tear down or build up were put through a wisdom I would look at what was said and see if there was some wisdom I needed to act on or set aside for later.
- Negative and “tear down” words – These are pretty easy to identify, because there is often the word “you” or a “but”. Often modifiers can also tear down even if it is positioned with an encouragement. These are things I choose to discard.
For example: “Cindy, you are working fairly hard to launch your business, but you need to change up your messaging and bring in some business or you have wasted your time and money.” Here is how I sort through those words:
Encouragement: You are working hard to launch your business (notice I discarded the modifier “fairly”). Also, the last “you” is assigning all blame & responsibility when other factors could also involved. “But” — if you hear this word and it is from someone who typically is not an encourager or wise, you can typically discard anything that comes next! Another thing to look for is “you need”. No one really knows what YOU need, but there might be some wisdom that comes after that phrase.
Wisdom: “Change up your messaging” is something I will consider and set aside to think about later.
Tear down: “You have wasted your time and money”. DISCARD! Not helpful, not true and really none of their business.
Then I reframe the sentence to something like this: “Cindy, you are doing a good job of launching your business, but you MIGHT consider changing up your messaging to bring in business.”
Try this and see how it works for you. The first few times it will take you awhile to sort through the feedback and criticism of others, but as you do it more and more, it will come so quickly, you will not have to give it much thought.