What to do when people say that my business idea will not work?

I begin this article by going to the past, maybe some 13 o 14 years ago, when I was a student at my university. Back then I had an innovative business idea that I wanted to pursue and make a reality. I had gathered several of my classmates to be part of this venture and we were very young (our age was around 20 to 22 years old). We also looked for other people that might help us with this project, including teachers from this university.

I have a vivid memory of one particular teacher who said that our business idea already existed. Although I believe he trying to help us see something that he knew and we didn’t, he didn’t see the potential we knew this idea had.

Throughout the years I’ve had many similar experiences, where I’ve shared my business idea with many people. Usually people are quite receptive and they praise my business idea. However once in a while, I find someone like this professor, who says the idea won’t work, a situation that is normal. I’ve learned with time, how to deal with this people as I share in the following lines.

To start, I believe no one has the absolute truth about anything, not those that criticize me, those that stand by me and of course, not even myself. Life is a learning process and there are no absolute truths.

However, when I find someone that criticizes my ideas, I take one of two paths. The first one is when I understand that the criticism is positive and want to make me be better, such as the way this teacher did. People who talk this way, have my best interest in hand and I should listen to them. When this happens I usually analyze my idea and make it even better. That’s what we did after this teacher made his remarks, as it was clear our business idea had some pitfalls.

The second scenario happens when you talk to people that are always trying to destroy others. I might listen to this people, but when I can, I limit my contact with them and ignore this comments. I’ve found that these are toxic people, who add no value to my life or my ideas. I’m sure you know several people that can fit these criteria.

The same way I’ve been criticized for my business ideas, several entrepreneurs have asked me to evaluate their ideas. I only do this, when they ask me and I’m honored to give them my input. I always start by telling them that these are my ideas and that I don’t hold the truth about anything. I try to give them input on additional things they can offer, not criticizing what they already have. For instance, I talk to them in terms like “have you thought on the possibility to…” or “it will be interesting if you offer this to…”. My objective is to construct, never to kill a project because I am nobody to talk this way.

The next time you share your business idea and you find an obstacle you know what to do. No one in this world can see the future and tell you that your idea will work or not. Many important entrepreneurs of the past had people saying they couldn’t do something, but they just didn’t listen. If they had listen many of the things we have in our life (computers, cellphones, planes, cars, etc) wouldn’t exist.

Image taken from Flickr.com

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