When it comes to your business, you know best.
Of course you do. You live and breathe it.
You are the mastermind and the decision maker, the best quality controller and market researcher. No detail can hide from your keen eye. You can talk about the process of production for hours, you can explain every single feature, you can list your frequent customers by name, you know what they like and you remember their birthdays.
Nobody has a better understanding of your business than you do. Nobody ever could, not if they studied it for years, not if they looked at everything with a magnifying glass. Why in the world would you need someone else to tell you how to appeal to your potential clients?
You just might be too close to see clearly.
You are not alone. It happens to the best of us. We’re too caught up in the details to notice the bigger picture, to realize the potential of something.
Even for those of us who do this for a living — look at the bigger picture, find focus and clarity, communicate the main message to others — when it comes to our own businesses, some outside perspective is always welcome, and sometimes necessary.
Sometimes, all it takes is a quick comment to make you sit up and listen, to suddenly know that you have ignored some interesting opportunities.
Other times, a long conversation or a question and answer session, followed by some time to think and reflect may be in order.
In either case, the first step is recognizing it. And then trying to shift your focus.
Sometimes it’s useful to just step away for a bit, to focus on something else. You won’t forget everything you know, but you might shake off the curse of the expert; just by doing things that you are not a pro at. And by speaking with people who are not experts at what you do.
And while feedback and advice from friends and family is useful in many cases, it isn’t always enough. Sometimes you need to talk to someone who isn’t trying to please you, or to be helpful; someone who is standing far enough away from you to see the big picture — all of it.
This kind of feedback is difficult to come by among your close friends, but that’s exactly the kind that helps most. Sometimes it can be worth to reach out and look for help outside your usual circle. And just listen, with an open mind. And reflect, brainstorm. Let yourself be excited by the possibilities. Don’t start with the barriers raised, don’t reject everything from the start because you think you can’t afford it, or because it would take too long, or because that’s just not the way you normally do it.
It’s ok to fantasize a bit. Ideas and thoughts that sound crazy at first just might have some potential. Let them form in your mind, for now. They just might open some new horizons, and let you see a much bigger picture than you ever thought possible.