Today’s topic is something we all struggle with. I’m always encouraging people to go out and get feedback. We need to know that what we’re doing is what our audience wants from us. We need to make sure that we are positioning our products and services in such a way that they are easiest and most compelling for our target audience to buy. After all, if we’re not focused on the interests of our potential customers, they’re not going to buy what we’re selling. If they’re not going to buy it, you’re not going to make money. If you don’t make money, you don’t get to stay in business. And so we need feedback to keep us on track. It can be difficult though to hear that we’re barking up the wrong tree. It is a natural human reaction to fall in love with the things that you create. It just is. In fact, we often refer to our businesses, products, services and ideas as our “babies.” We get very attached to them. They are our creation. They are an extension of who we are.
So it just goes to follow that if you are asking for honest feedback, sometimes you’re going to get feedback you don’t want to hear. And it might hurt. So let’s figure out how to handle this because this feedback, both the good and the bad, is valuable and important. Sometimes you need to take it to heart… but sometimes you need to ignore it. Here’s how to tell the difference.
First off, consider the source. In the same way that you wouldn’t ask your plumber what he thinks of your new hairstyle, you don’t necessarily need to ask all your Facebook friends what they think of your new product pitch. Here are some important criteria to help you evaluate when considering the source:
1. Is the feedback coming from your target audience? If not, ignore away! Your target audience is able to give you the most constructive and useful feedback because they know what they want. These are definitely the people to listen to.
2. Is the feedback coming from a champion or hater? There are plenty of people out there, target audience or not, who talk just because they like the sound of their own voices. Feel free to ignore those who don’t have your best in mind. You can tell when negative feedback is coming from a supporter because they will generally be uncomfortable being critical with you. As hard as it is to hear, this may be some of the best feedback you’ll ever get, so take it to heart!
So if you’ve considered the source, next you need to consider the message. We are all tempted to hear “Your price is too high” as “You suck.” Here are a couple of helpful hints when deciphering the message behind the feedback:
1. Don’t hear what someone is not saying. It is true that as mompreneurs we are often our own worst critics. Chances are we are way harder on ourselves than anybody else. Listen to the facts and act on feedback as necessary. If you’re hearing from supporters in your target audience, don’t take their feedback as a personal attack. Look at it as an opportunity to be even better than you already are!
2. Dig deeper. We talk a lot about communication around here and this is no exception to the rule. Clarify what someone means when they critique a product or service. Ask for a comparison. Ask for details. Ask for examples. This helps you get inside the heads of your potential customers and work to meet their needs.
The point here is that you’re already a rockstar and you know it! Feedback—positive or negative—is that edge you need to be even better and that guarantee that what you’re creating and spending time and effort on is worthwhile because your target audience is going to love it.
I love to hear from you, so leave me a comment!
Can you think of a time you took to heart feedback that you should have ignored?
How has listening to the right feedback been beneficial to your business?
I can’t believe we are starting week 50 of 2013 this week.
This year flew by.
It’s the simple moments that seem so…mundane.
Yet they are packed with special.
This week I finish up my fall semester of teaching at GRCC by grading research papers and exams.
Cortney will turn 35 this week.
Eddie and I have a Christmas shopping date.
And we have our first Christmas party.
It’s about to get busy up in here, yo.
Title: Holy Union.
This photo seemed fitting for a Sunday blog post. I noticed this window from a few blocks aways and instantly thought “that is some amazing glass work!” Much to my surprise the window was actually no window at all. In fact it was just the side of a rundown warehouse. Everything was make believe… from the church roofline to the window ledges. Have to say it - totally impressed how this street artist not only pulled this one off, but on how he was able to mimic stained glass glowing in sunlight.
Literally one of the coolest street art finds of 2013. Taken with a Canon EOS 6D and a EF 50mm f/1.2L lens.
Love Reading Book Series? I have 4 of them you’ll enoy. #Smexy #SensualNoir #Romance #Suspense #SylLitJohn B. Oliver. Oliver was born in France in 1794 as Jean Baptiste Olivier, and sailed with his family to America in 1828 aboard the ship La Leonarde. He settled in Rochester before the Civil War and owned a number of parcels of land on the east side of Main Street; in fact, on some early maps of the village, that which we know as East Street is marked as Oliver Street.
John Oliver was a cabinetmaker by trade, but the most interesting fact about his life comes from the 1877 History of Oakland County, Michigan, which tells us that he was one of only two veterans of the Napoleonic Wars living in the county at that time.
Oliver's house and lot on East Street was sold to Nehemiah and Mary Ralston, emigrants from Northampton County, Pennsylvania, in 1866. The Ralstons remained in Rochester only a few years and sold the house to local merchant Abram Horn in 1872. Horn, in turn, sold the house to James and Catherine Riggs, and following the Riggs family, the house was owned by Orestes Millerd. For most of the early part of the twentieth century, however, 324 East was owned by the Hadden family, who purchased it in 1904. In 1944 the house was converted to a nursery school, thus ending its service as a private residence.
Oscar Sorenson bought the house in 1969, painted it blue, and operated it as a private museum and antique gallery called "Wedgewood Hall." Sorenson also built an addition on the back of the house to replace an old summer kitchen. In the years since, the house has been the location of several small businesses, and is now the headquarters of Kosch Catering.
The John B. Oliver House is approximately 148 years old this year. More details about the history of the property are available on the Oakland Regional Historic Sites web site, here.
Title: Shadow Play.
The photo above is a sneak peek into a new show that I’m working on for 2014. I’m also hoping that with a few more phone calls this show might debut in NYC, and then come to West Michigan.
My upcoming show will be similar to the one I had in 2013 that featured window reflections, but this time around I’m playing around with shadows and silhouettes. I’m drawing inspiration from not only my reflection studies, but from the works of MC Escher. This time around I’m keeping the color palate simple and all images will be black and white… as I want them to have not only that Escher feel, but I want them to scream cinematic. Like a Woody Allen movie poster.
So onto the image… what makes this one for me is the offset sense of reality. One has to think through not only the shadow play and silhouettes, but their mind is eventually forced to figure out what is actually a shadow and what is real.
Photo taken with a Canon EOS 6D and a EF 35mm f/1.4L lens.
DO NOT MISS SHOW TONIGHT: ZOE KEATING – The Music Box at The Max M. Fisher Music Center – Friday 12/6Zoë Keating is a one-woman orchestra. She uses a cello and a foot-controlled laptop to record layer upon layer of cello, creating intricate, haunting and compelling music. Zoë is known for both her use of technology — which she uses to sample her cello onstage — and for her DIY ethic which has resulted in the sale of over 60,000 copies of her self-released albums and a devoted following.
The Music Box at The Max M. Fisher Music Center is located at 3711 Woodward Avenue Detroit, MI 48201
$16 at dso.org/mix
$20 at the door
$12 with student ID
Mix, Mingle, & Drink starting at 9PM. Performance begins at 10 PM.
Visit dso.org/mix or call 313.576.5111 to reserve your seats.
Visit Zoë Keating at: http://www.zoekeating.com/