Get Thick Skin Because the Truth Hurts

Building a successful anything isn’t that complex. You just have to do two things and do them consistently.

Those things are:

  1. Hear the truth
  2. Tell the truth

That’s it. But you would be surprised how many of us are just incapable of doing either. Would be entrepreneurs especially struggle with both. We have the tendency to inflate our capabilities just to tell customers what they want to hear. Conversely, we’re apt to stray away from critical or scrutinizing feedback because we may have to admit we were wrong.

If you find yourself embellishing an idea or straying away from scrutiny of it, you likely don’t understand the customer and you definitely aren’t being truthful with yourself.

What you have is an idea that was great till it had to be great.

Sure it’s probably ego problems, that’s the human in you. But you can solve them, that’s the founder in you. So if you want to help your career more than just a little, do these things.

First, you have to talk to your customers as soon as possible. Tell them which of their problems you think you’re solving, then shut up. This response could be brutal because you’re totally wrong, but it will be the most valuable input you get. Internalize this, iterate, improve the accuracy of your value proposition.

Second, shoot your shot the next time you see ‘em. Lay that accurate and truthful value proposition on them for the sound of them calling you back. Customers don’t mess with lies, so when you honestly give what they want, you’ll get less goodbyes.

So for all of you thinking you needed something more complex to build the successful startup of your dreams, you don’t.

Just the truth.

I wish it were more exciting.

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