Updated: Jun 8
Friends and family are NOT the right audience to run your new business concept by!
This one makes me nutty.
I mean dance around the front lawn in a tutu, making strange animal noises, NUTTY.
My 'Nutty' dance
Seriously… If I talk to another entrepreneur who tells me that they ran their business idea past their Mom or their Aunt or their cousin, their hockey buddy or ‘Nick from the pub’ and they “just didn’t think its a good idea” I’m going to have to be mildly sedated and given soft toys to play with.
OUCH…Does that seem a little harsh?
Let me explain…
Their mother has been a stay at home mom all of her life!
Their Aunt is a librarian!
Their cousin is a florist out on parole!
Their hockey buddy has worked at Walmart for 17 years!
Nick works for the government and has a pension starting at age 50!
Is there anything wrong or unimportant with what these people in that close personal circle are doing? NO. Are they somehow lesser people than you? Of course not. The problem is… they have NEVER taken a business risk in their ENTIRE LIVES. They have no concept…. they have (by their career choices) signalled they have no appetite for business risk.
But, because of that, and because they care about you, their frame of reference tells them that stability and security are as divine a sense as any human can possess. So, do you really think that you were going to get ANY other answer than what they gave you?
And, even if they DID somehow encourage you, they can’t tell you why. They can’t critique your concept with any validity other than their concern for you. They can’t site examples of where they made a critical business decision and failed. They can’t offer you concise examples of alternative tactics they chose when THEY started and operated their business.
So… Whatya do?
You talk to a small business consultant (shameless plug, I know – but valid)
You talk to a friend who owns a “successful” business
You talk to a business owner you’ve never met
You hang out where business owners hang out
You reach out ‘cold turkey’ to a business owner you admire and invite him/her to lunch
Honestly…. If you want business startup information and someone to vet your concept, please do not expect a qualified, informed, well rounded opinion from ANYONE other than those folks in that last list.
DON’T DO IT
Because, If you do, chances are pretty good you’ll never start a business. Ever.