Why It's Important To Surround Yourself With The Truth

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"You suck!!".  Most of us would interpret this as unpleasant to hear.  Nobody wants to be bad at anything, but instead we want to feel as if we are accomplished and successful. The thing is I live in Akron Ohio.  In Akron one of our biggest problems is that we can seldom find anyone who is willing to tell you that "you suck". This is especially true when you're really trying to do something that's different or new. I think it all happened about eight years ago when we began seeing new ideas coming to life in Akron.  An urban garden here, a street mural there.  Everyone loved it, and constantly fell into the "that's awesome" habit. I heard it all of the time, and still hear it to this day.  This is what it sounds like.
An Ambitious Citizen would say , "So I'm starting my own business that takes unused ice cream cones and repurposes them as erasers for pencils."
Ambitious Citizens Friend would reply, "Whoa, that's so cool. You're amazing." 
Of course it feels right to participate in this kind of exchange, but friends don't let other friends clap on the 2 and 4.  Even if they are your friends, you have to let them know that nobody leaves any ice cream cone for anything to be repurposed.
It's so important to surround yourself with some people who will tell you the truth.  Even better, it's important to surround yourself with people who not only tell you the truth, but people who have been there and done that.  I can only speak from the perspective of a business owner who needs to hear what's broken. In business you can't fall into the trap of gauging the health or vitality of your business by the amount of likes you get, or by the amount of high fives your supporters give. You've got to know two things: does it work and how well does it work.   
But since you will inevitably get compliments , it's important to not dwell on those compliments, and to be able to just use tour best filter.  Compliments should be appreciated , but in order to make forward movement you have to realize and focus on what's not right.  What exactly needs to be fixed.  To get at this valuable information, it's best to seek feedback from people who don't know you as well.   They may turn out to be the folks who most effectively see to your success.
~Wesley The Keeper

1 comment

Margo Erme

How true and necessary. Unfortunately it seems as if there are increasing proportions of the population who cannot take critique as anything but a personal affront, insult, or attack and, therefore are unable to use this type of important feedback to their advantage.

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