It’s human nature to seek out the opinion of others. And soliciting feedback can be extremely valuable in the process of vetting and developing your startup idea. But be careful how you react to everyone’s opinions.
When asking people for their opinion on your new startup idea, you’ll get a variety of answers:
- Brilliant! Why didn’t I think of that?!?
- Very, very cool. I totally get it.
- Hhhmmm…Seems interesting.
- Say what now?
- Um, that’s stupid.
Hopefully most responses are positive, but no matter how great the idea, you will get some lukewarm and flat out lousy responses as well. And those less-than-stellar opinions can be damaging.
Lousy Feedback Breeds Self-Doubt
Negative feedback is often like a kick in the groin. Very, very painful. Acutely painful. But not long lasting.
It’s critical to keep negative feedback in context.
- It’s only one person’s opinion. Don’t let one person’s opinion derail you. Even if that person is an expert in your field, it’s still only one person. If you ask 100 people about your startup idea and all 100 people run screaming, you’ve got another problem altogether…
- Most people are wrong. Picking winners isn’t easy. It’s why most VCs only hit 1 home run out of 10. Look back at the history of many successful companies and you’ll find plenty of early naysayers.
You shouldn’t dismiss negative feedback. It can be extremely beneficial. But keep it in context and evaluate it analytically and strategically.
Most Importantly, Remember: Self-Doubt is OK.
It’s rare to believe 100% in your idea, all the time. There’s a reason so many entrepreneurs talk about startup life as a roller coaster. Part of that is self-doubt. Is this a good idea? Am I doing the right thing? Will this work?
All good questions. The key is to realize that doubt is part of the experience. And doubt is easily combated and defeated by passion. Passion is key, even if you hit a funk.
Passion is the primary motivator of entrepreneurs. And you can rely on and leverage that passion when hit by doubt.