Dealing with people that doubt your business idea

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As you prepare to start your own business you will inevitably meet people that doubt your business idea. These people may mean well but their comments can be a devastating blow to your self-esteem. You will meet:

  • The Gunslingers(“Your idea will never work so don't even bother wasting your time”)

These people are completely pessimistic and will shoot down your ideas immediately. These people are very quick to bring others down because they don't have the guts to try things themselves. The best people to talk to are other entrepreneurs or highly motivated individuals.

  • The Factoids (Do you know how small of a percentage you have of succeeding?)

They will always remind you of how slim the chances are of you succeeding. When dealing with these people always remember that these stats have nothing to do with you. Do these stats reference your name? No.

  • The Mockers (So how is your “little” business doing)

After launching your business, you will find people who ask you about your business expecting to hear negative things about your business. They may not be making it obvious but these people secretly want to see you fail. You need to use this negative energy to fuel your enthusiasm to work harder. There are too many variables for anyone to accurately predict the success or failure probability of your small business.

Looking back on when you were still conceptualising your business idea, which negative feedback did you use to fuel your enthusiasm to work harder?

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14 comments
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLP5TDV77dU This link is a must watch about one of my business role models the Dragon on UK DFragons Den and the entrepreneur rags to riches story of James Caan. Please watch it....
    So when we look at the article that speaks about dealing with people who doubt your business idea it starts again at the many things that make for great entrepreneurs. Enthusiasm and passion is one starting point You have to have conviction and belief in what you are doing in order to be successful says James Caan We ask the questions about why is my business growing so painfully slowly? and you sometimes think about people you meet who dont seem to have that problem. COuld it be the energy the vibe the positivity and the passion they exude that makes people like them and therefore are more likely to WANT to do business with them???
    As obvious as it might seem please remember that one simpole truth about your busienss and your business idea... you are only in business to propose the solution that someone else has as a problem so in every sales meeeting you may be in or presentation or discussion with people and companies if you know up front that they seek a solution from you (or someone) to problem that is standing in their way then you always go into the meeting as a SOLUTION and if your business delivers the solution that they cant deliver themselves. Its amazing how much more relevant the thinking becomes when the busienss of selling your products or services is not about you you and you (The proverbial I Specialist) but is about the solutioons you offer to their business... thin about it
    sorry for the typo's
    I want passion declares Mr Caan 48. To me passion is having the character to do something about it once the emotion has gone. Hi Guys its Valentines Day so why not speak about how the concept of PASSION can make the difference in your business. Please read the amazing story of James ( http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/yourbusiness/4560781/James-Caan-A-life-in-business.html).
    You see.... now more and more im liking you i get the solution im after i like the experience you dont mind me moving goal posts in fact you get my challenges and embrace the next level of solutions required and you get things done fast Whats not to like about this supplier????
    Lets take some lessons from James Caan. His dadwas an immigrant from Pakistan and as you read more about him you will see that his life has gone a full circle back to Pakistan because James Caan believes the word Entrepreneurship was created to describe the spirit of the people of Pakistan.
    Sticking with the theme of WHO the naysayers are you also need to try to understand their motivation which most often is not malicious. Some examples:- The Gunslinger - Your friend who has worked corporate all his life and has done reasonably well out of it has neither the courage nor the understanding to start his own business. Twenty years of a guaranteed salary vs not knowing where the next payment is coming from is daunting to a lot of people (which is why on average entrepreneurs account for less than 5% of most working populations). To him the risk vs reward is too high. He doesn't get it so his advice is essentially useless. The Factoid - In his mind he knows everything. If he doesn't his advice is essentially useless. The Mockers - these in my experience are the ones who have always talked about being an Entrepreneur and now that you are actually doing it expose THEIR failures and not yours. Their advice is essentially useless. See where this is going - again? It is more about WHO is speaking to you rather than what they are saying to you first and foremost. If the RIGHT person is speaking to you then you listen. The rest is just static.
    So your business wont be doubted by people or customers if you are able to offer a solution to their problem. So you offer the solution now differentiate yourself in regards to : The customers experience when doing business with you The passion conviction and belief you have in delivering the solution The price and the value your add YOur ability to be adaptable flexible and fast
    It seems to me that you will probably have more success in your business when you really believe that you have the best solution to peoples needs as a supplier and you are prepared to have a national TV debate about why your solutions are so much better than anyone elses... its that absolute belief and conviction that you can do the job better... Is that how we all think about our businesses??? Do we all have a confidence and a conviction that we are awesome at what we do??? Because it will show when dealing with customers and it will grow
    You have to have conviction and belief in what you are doing in order to be successful Here is the documentary link again for the life story of James Caan - Tycoon and entrepreneur watch and learn... its great https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLP5TDV77dU
    This is a tough one. Not listening to the naysayers cost me over R1 2 million on a business venture. That is an expensive lesson for anyone and one I am still paying for today. But the key part of the (sometimes very expensive) University of Life is to use the lessons you have learned. So what did I learn? More than half the naysayers were wrong (I know it sound like a contradiction to the first paragraph - grin). It isn't about the naysayers per se it is about WHO the naysayers are. It's also about WHAT they re against as it might not be the whole idea just a part of the implementation. My advice take what people are saying and then bounce that off a QUALIFIED mentor. You might find that a minor tweak makes you the next Microsoft (not forgetting Microsoft were insolvent in their first year of operation).
    If you are getting a lot of resistance then maybe your idea is NOT SO great. Your idea might be a great idea in your world but maybe the world is trying to tell you that your idea is NOT SO GREAT in the rest of the world. I have made this mistake I have seen many people make this mistake I have coached and mentored many businesses through this mistake. Strike a balance between listening and actually taking advice.
    Spot on Willem. At issue is people take outliers like FEDEX to be the norm (university professor shot down the idea and yet it worked). It is as simple as speaking to your target market in the right way. One way of doing this is to pretend you have the product and try to take pre-orders. Lot's of people will say they like the product because people don't like saying no but the moment you ask them to invest i.e. actually order and pay it will change to the real answer.