In the last issue of my newsletter (sign up here or in the box to the right) I shared a story about a colleague asking how many hits a day I get on my site. When I told him the somewhat modest number, he could barely contain his disdain. I didn’t really understand his reaction – I had just gotten done telling him how pleased I am with my business growth this year so why the reaction to my traffic? It wasn’t until later that I realized that he was asking the wrong question. In his business strategy, big traffic is really important. In mine, it’s not. That led to a post on how it’s important not only to measure your results but to make sure you’re measuring what really matters.
I’d like to add one more thing I learned from this, which is to be very careful in choosing whom you share business ideas and information with. Had I not had a clear vision of how my business model works, I might have been dismayed by his reaction. I might have run home and gotten right on the “bright, shiny object” of getting big traffic. Fortunately, I do have a mentor I’m following and I trust her greatly. I’m following her business plan for growing your business via the internet and it’s working. It’s easy in the early stages to get lost in following whatever advice and opinions you can get, and right there is the problem – opinions and advice are easy to find, but someone who understands your business and can give appropriate advice is much more rare.
We have a natural, almost unavoidable tendency to view the world through our own point of view and to assess new ideas based on our experience to date. This means that not everyone is suitable to give you feedback on your business. Make sure you choose your confidants with intention and high standards. Of course you can have colleagues and friends who don’t meet the requirements to be a confidant, but choose your inner circle carefully. If you’ve gotten advice or feedback from someone you haven’t vetted for the role of confidant, make sure to take their comments with a grain of salt and run it through the filter of what you know is right for you. Their advice might be good, but then again it might not have any value, so be open to that possibility as well. People are very willing to provide feedback, but make sure it’s someone in a position to give valuable feedback before you take their comments as valuable. I would advise listening to your customers though – they always have valuable feedback which, since they are your customers, is right on the mark.