You recently spoke in front of more than 200 people. There were a few in the front row that you noticed could care less about what you were saying.
The other week you wrote a post with a new idea and not one reader shared how it moved them.
You spoke up in a meet just yesterday and no one gave you feedback. They carried on with what they were doing.
Certainly you failed, right?
Stay Positive & Remember, It’s A Spectrum
Tumblr has a pop up that asks “What face are you making when you use Tumblr?” and then asks you for feedback why it’s that face.
Many airports, especially in Europe, have buttons on the way out that you can press to show how satisfied or unsatisfied you were with your experience.
Restaurants and retailers are utilizing this technology feedback tool, too.
The problem I see with it is that it’s not targeted enough.
When everything that makes up a business should be creating a reaction, you can’t have one button because you’ll never know the specifics of what makes them happy or frustrated.
Better to invite 20 strangers to each walk through your establishment with you and you ask how they feel about every item: The decor, the table set up, the doorway, the lighting, the staff dressware, the temperature – everything.
There are tools to help find the time that people are having a poor experience (although, you can tell that simply by looking at sales), but nothing will replace the need to assess reactions item by item.
It’s amazing how much of a difference you can make simply by going through it all yourself.
“How will/are people reacting to this?”
The more consistent the reaction, the stronger the business will be.
Stay Positive & Smile, You’re On Camera
Those who ask questions have an enormous advantage over those who don’t.
This includes you asking for help, for advice, for leadership. It includes asking for a shoulder, a listener, a friend. The more you ask, the more you’ll be provided. Don’t convince yourself that the world isn’t full of people who want to help, because it is.
Those who listen to the answers, advice, and feedback they’re given have an enormous advantage over those who don’t.
This includes asking follow-up questions, giving them your full attention and taking notes. It includes stepping out of your shoes and into theirs, seeing the world through a different worldview and trusting they’re there to help you, because they are.
Those who act on what they hear from others have an enormous advantage over those who don’t.
This includes setting goals based on the information you’re provided and to develop a game plan. It includes establishing a team of support, of doing things even when it feels risky and to put your lizard brain second to your heart, because you need to.
It’s a cycle. Those who live it have an enormous advantage over those who don’t.
Stay Positive & Where Are You Stuck?
When you’ve made a huge mistake at work, it’s easy to forgive others for a minor one.
When you’ve seen a divorce occur, it’s easy to shake off the little tiffs you have.
As humans, everything is relative to our worldview.
The challenge, then, is to expand the worldview as much as possible.
It’s easy for me to speak to a group of 200 people because I’ve already spoken to a group of 3,000.
And it will be easy for you to ship another project once you’ve shipped one.
But here’s the paradox of it all: Once more things look small, we tend to stick to them.
We don’t speak to a group larger than 3k and we don’t ship a project more life-changing than the one we had just shipped.
Truth is that it will never get easier (if we’re doing it right), but it will get bigger in a better way.
It’s less about making things look small and more about making the next big thing look small.
Stay Positive & It’s Your Call
When it comes to the work we’re doing and the change we seek to make, if you don’t move forward, sooner or later you begin to move backward.
The same can be said for connections you make. If you don’t continue to build that connection, the link begins to diminish.
At some point (not very far after establishing a connection) trust and social currency begin to wane and you’re both left without an opportunity to help one another out.
Believe it or not (as it is with most things in life), it’s easier to maintain a connection than it is to rebuild it.
Five or ten minutes a day can go a long way to maintaining a network that matters.
Stay Positive & Use It Or Lose It
There are millions of opportunities out there.
Billions of people to connect with.
Trillions of ways to share your work.
And with all of those options, there’s no shortage of distractions.
Things that keep us from doing the work that matters. (And this isn’t even about the feeling of fear or status or failure … it’s about the tangible items that are available every day to us.)
It’s the billboard on Main Street on our walk to work. It’s the video game console calling our name. It’s the food that needs to be eaten. It’s the clothes that need to be set out for tomorrow. It’s the thing you remembered you wanted to do, but never got around to it. It’s checking Instagram one more time to see if anything changed from five minutes ago.
It seems everyone wants to make positive change in the world, but those who will are the ones who can ignore the distractions to focus on what matters.
Stay Positive & Look Over There
I’ve been guilty of seeing a piece of artwork in a shop and thinking “I could have done that.”
But I didn’t.
I’ve also been guilty of seeing someone else launch something I was working on launching.
But they beat me to it.
For every remarkable project you’re working on, there are people out there who will …
1) Think they could have done it (maybe better).
2) Be frustrated that you beat them to it.
3) Question why you think you have the authority to do it.
4) Not give a damn about it.
5) Bash it because it’s not their idea.
6) Bash it for the sake of bashing it.
All of those people don’t matter, though.
The person that matters is the one who decides to ship their work, whatever their art form may be. It’s the person who ignores the 6 types of naysayers listed above and does the work that needs to be done. It’s the person who acts, who creates, who makes; not who thinks.
The person that matters is you, if you choose it to be.
Stay Positive & Keep Your Mind On Who Actually Matters