Were you ever teased or picked on as a kid? Most all of us experienced some kind of negativity growing up. Maybe someone made fun of you for trying, maybe someone made fun of you for failing, or maybe someone made fun of you out of jealousy?
Of course, what did your Mom say?
If she was like 99% of all mothers out there, she told you not to care what other people think. I’m sure you have heard lots of your friends say the same thing. I’ll bet you yourself have also said more than once in your life, “I don’t care what people think.”
But that is wrong. Your mom was wrong…or at least partially wrong.
You HAVE to care what other people think in life, especially the right people. Even more importantly, you have to care what the right people think about you in business. It does matter! I know we all want to say, “I’m just going be me, and the world has to deal with it,” but that’s a fantasy land of failure, folks.
Yes you need to be yourself, but there are many ways to share the multi-dimensional being that you are. Why do you think marketers split test ads, campaigns, and products? Why do you think companies enlist focus groups, surveys, and reward feedback? It’s because they know that other people’s opinions matter!
How we dress, the words we use to communicate, and the attitude we present to the universe make a world of difference. It does matter what others think, and to say it doesn’t matter is to live with a life limiting belief.
Do we care what the haters of the world say? Not really, but if a lot of them are saying the same thing we might want to listen.
Do we care what the failures of the world say? Not really because we care most about those people that have achieved what we wish to achieve. But we can learn from the failures of the world, all the same.
This isn’t selling out; rather this is selling up. The experiences people have with you and around you matter. People’s opinions of you, and especially your organization, ultimately determine your brand. You must decide what your core attributes and beliefs are that can never be changed, as well as the things that can be improved upon, changed for the better, and enhanced for a better message-to-market match in your industry.
Every time we get defensive and caught up in the thick of thin things because we can’t hear the truth in what someone else is saying, we stunt our growth and limit our opportunities. More times than most people realize, we should care what other people think. You can learn a lot from others if you listen and evolve through wisdom.
Grow thicker skin, listen to what people say, and try to learn what you can…because it does matter.