…and it’s not your mother/brother/lover/best mate…

Have you ever found yourself watching gameshow auditions, reflecting on how many of the failed auditionees could have been spared their pain and embarrassment if someone had done the honourable thing and been straight up with them about their lack of talent? Instead, some had obviously been told that they were really good and that they should go for it. Did they get knowingly dishonest feedback, or were they naively misguided? Who knows. 

The problem is this, I’ve met people who have set up businesses on the basis of similar misinformation. Someone close to them said their work was good, and they committed to the whole set up – without bothering to conduct any further reality checks. Tragic. This may all sound a little harsh but it is, unfortunately, true. 

So many people spend hours worrying about costing, pricing, marketing and promotion. What they ought be focussing on is whether they have the quality, track record, excellent communication skills and social proof, i.e. people they DON’T know being prepared to recommend their work, to get the desired asking price. And crucially to be able to price according to perceived value as opposed to the cost of materials and time. 

What’s the lesson? Get independent feedback – when starting up, when branching out, when you need to know if an idea or product is going to cut the mustard. Your mates love you too much to be objective. Constructive, objective criticism might be uncomfortable. But it’ll save you a shedload of cash and pain in the long run. And if you have got the X factor, it’ll help you get where you want to go much, much faster.

Best wishes – Pete