As Business mentors we encounter many start-ups suffering from the ‘fear’ factor, and I am sure that anyone who has set up a small business will have encountered it.
So, you have that great new idea for a business venture or a product to introduce to market and it’s all so exciting, so far removed from any element of fear it’s unbelievable, the passion, the concept, the excitement and the feeling you are going to conquer the world. The unbelievable ‘’floating on a cloud’ moment, but then the next step happens….
You ask for feedback….
And this is where the intellectual minds clash with the innovative mind. Your passion and enthusiasm take a knock as they pull every aspect of the idea apart looking at the flaws and worst-case scenarios if you progress. It can be heart-breaking, a confidence killer, leave you questioning all your hard work and feeling angry and frustrated towards those who have given the feedback. The negative questions then come…
• Why is my idea a failure?
• Do I have to start again?
• Should I just abandon the idea?
• Maybe I’m just not good at this?
Well, maybe you should look at the situation from another perspective – who was your committee? Family? Friends? Close Acquaintances? Why were they negative?
• They don’t have the passion for the idea like you have, so won’t approach things with the same mindset
• They will reflect and project their own fears and insecurities
• The closer their relationship to you the worse the projection of fear and insecurity
• They do not have the insider knowledge that you may have
It’s a common issue, everywhere you turn in the start-up arena you are asked ‘have you done your research?’ which is fine, but as Seth Godin states “If I listened to feedback, I would have quit on the first day.” Or “If you begin and end with surveys and focus groups, all you’re going to do is what has been done before”
The bottom line is – they are not looking at things with your perspective!
Another example is that of James Dyson who, when recently interviewed, said one piece of advice he would give anyone starting out is not to rely too much to market research as when he conducted research on the Dyson Washing Machine the conclusion was to lower the selling price; ultimately that turned the product into a loss making venture and it ended up being withdrawn from production as opposed to the original vision of a successful, high-end, exclusive product. Innovation brings change and that can introduce the unknown to the uninformed.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t do any research at all but do ensure you are asking the right people, the target audience and one that is engaged and interested in what you are looking to do. Generic research will not give you true validation, it’s more important to concentrate the time in identifying you target persona and target that as an acid test.
As Business Mentors we find the ‘fear’ factor a common issue for start-ups and small businesses and help many navigate these troubled waters, validating ideas and fleshing out the planning processes as well as offering practical support to ensure timescales are met and accountability is achieved.
Remember ‘It’s your magic and only you can make it happen’ but having an experienced and supportive mentor can help!