As Stephen Fry demonstrated on Twitter a few days ago, it’s easy to allow a vocal critic to screw things up for you.
In Stephen Fry’s case, one of his followers told him that his tweets were boring. Fry then threatened to quit Twitter and sever his ties with the million people who actually DO enjoy what he has to share. Whilst Stephen Fry’s lives with some well documented mental health challenges, his reaction to this criticism is common among many business owners; who allow fear of criticism to hurt their businesses.
Fear of criticism
I had an email today from a reader, who wants to add a pop-up box to her website; to encourage people to subscribe to her newsletter. She explained how she was concerned that some of her readers might not like it. In my reply, I explained that her decision should be based on what’s the correct thing to do and not what’s the easiest thing to do. If there’s a chance that by adding a pop-up box, she will get more subscribers and as a result make more sales or win more clients – then it’s worth testing and measuring it.
She then sent me a 2nd email, which said how she was worried that a few hyper-critical readers would complain. Apparently, her readership is over 3,000 and she’s seriously considering missing out on a potentially effective way to grow her readership, because of what 3 or 4 readers (not customers) might think or say!
This got me thinking:
- I wonder how many great ideas have never seen the light of day, for fear of criticism?
- I wonder how many opportunities the average business owner or entrepreneur misses each year, for fear of what the vocal minority might say or think?
Here’s a question to ponder:
What changes would you make to your business, if you knew for certain there would be no negative criticism?
Criticism: What do you think?
I would love to hear your feedback on either the people who criticise or those who allow fear of criticism to govern their decisions. Let us know what you think!