Dear Entrepreneur: Get Rid of the Bias or Ruin Your Startup

Dear Entrepreneur: Get Rid of the Bias or Ruin Your Startup

ENTERPRISE54 – In some ways, owners and their start-ups are like new parents and newborns: the sleep denial, the constant need to check up on them, the poo (yes, new businesses poo) and the dealing with many missteps and near accidents on the way to get them up and running. Startups and babies also share

ENTERPRISE54 – In some ways, owners and their start-ups are like new parents and newborns: the sleep denial, the constant need to check up on them, the poo (yes, new businesses poo) and the dealing with many missteps and near accidents on the way to get them up and running. Startups and babies also share a common trait in the emotional attachment vested in them. New business owners are very similar to newborn parents: decisions are made with an underlying emotional undertone.

While there is need for some level of emotion in running a business, business owners also need to be able to run their businesses with some emotional detachment. The reason is that emotions, when not properly managed and questioned, have a tendency to distort facts. When you are too emotionally involved with something (or someone), you gloss over the flaws and exaggerate strengths. And while everything might seem nice and swell from your perspective, the rest of the world, which isn’t as enamored with your business as you are, sees it for what it really is.

Emotions will also have you feeling like decisions that run contrary to your plan are a personal affront. Because of that, you might kill valuable input from other parties who are as actively involved in the business as you are and want to see it succeed. When constructive criticism is met with a mental brick wall which has you getting defensive with feedback and alternate opinions, you have a problem on your hands.

A key part of running a successful business is the ability to look at things dispassionately and sift through feedback. A lot of feedback is useless but some of it can be quite useful, especially when it comes from people who are involved with the brand on a day to day basis (they could be employees or customers).

You also need to be aware of your shortcomings when it comes to running your business. You can’t be right all the time. You can’t have all the answers. What you can have is the ability to look at things from a holistic perspective in order to get a balanced view. Recognise that because you are emotionally attached to your business, you have a bias; in itself, that is not a bad thing, but it can be destructive if not controlled.

Yes, your business needs your emotional input but not so much that you destroy it. Be wise. Strike a balance!

 

Editor’s Note: This post was contributed by Kwirkly

Adegoke Oyeniyi
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