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5 Tips on How to Stop Criticism From Killing Your Business

September 8th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments
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When we are children, we are conditioned to care very deeply what the “popular kids” think of us.  Because of our deep fear of criticism starting at an early age we continue to allow ourselves to actually care what people think about us.  I believe this is one of the biggest killers of the entrepreneurial spirit.

I have spent many years of my business life in the corporate world.  I have also been blessed with many years in the entrepreneurial world.  One of the common denominators I have found, is the use of criticism is an effective tool to control people.

Today, I am going to discuss the effects of criticism on the entrepreneur.  Why would anyone want to control us with criticism?  First of all, people, including our families feel threatened if we attempt to leave the comfort of the traditional job nest. Our families and friends care about us.  They don’t want us to get hurt.  They council us not to try a business venture, not because we are unfit for the challenge, but they don’t want to see us struggle the way “Uncle Harry” did when he started his business.

Another reason for trying to convince us “that thing” won’t work is they don’t want to see us outgrow them.  If we become successful, will we have any time for them?  We could become one of those “rich people“.  If we become successful with our new venture, how will they feel about themselves?  They have chosen to stay in their present position because it is comfortable.  If you succeed, the nagging voice in their head saying, they could be more and do more with their lives, will become increasingly louder.

Many times, when we start something part-time to give us the flexibility to work at our own business without leaving the security of our full-time incomes, we can run head long into opposition from our spouses.  They don’t want to give up “cuddle time on the couch” every night for a new business that may or may not work.  They could resent the extra house work and child care that could be foisted upon them.  Maybe, they are concerned with the financial angle of a new business.

With all this against us, how do we break out and take our shot at business ownership?  I would be lying if I told you it was easy.  Our past conditioning and our desire to keep our life free of others negative opinions can really throw the breaks on!  Here’s a couple of things that work for me.

1.  When our family and friends throw up the wall of reasons why you will fail, smile.  Understand where their objection may be coming from.  They care.  Then, grow some rhino skin.  Rhino’s have incredibly thick skin.  It takes a lot to get through it.

2.  To truly be free of caring what others say, you have to come to the conclusion, it is none of your business what they think of you.  Most people are so self absorbed, 5 minutes after they talk to  you, they have forgotten about you.  They are back thinking their thoughts that revolve around themselves.

3.  Learn the art of compromises when it comes to your spouse and kids.  When they give you the opportunity to pursue something that is going to take a lot of your time, give them something in return.  Schedule them in your planner, to do something fun, as a “unbreakable appointment”.  Keep that appointment, even if the world slams to stop on its axis!

4.  Give your spouse and kids ownership in the new venture.  What I mean by this is to involve them.  Bounce ideas off your partner.  Let the kids visit your new venture.  Let them keep a success thermometer on the refrigerator.  When you have reached a predetermined measurable goal, go some place they want to go.  Even if it is only to the park, or out for ice cream.  This could be a cash flow goal or a number of new clients.  It should be something they can measure on their success-o-meter.  Watch the attitudes change!

5.  Communicate with your spouse partner the exciting and wonderful things happening in the new business.  Many times, we use our spouse as a place to dump our business poop!  Stop it! If you want a supportive partner, give them something to positively support.

Criticism can only hinder us if we allow it.  Successful people receive as much criticism, if not more, as unsuccessful people.  The difference is, they have learned to deal with it. A successful business is worth the effort.

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