Don't Judge Too Quickly

Your mother wants to open a clothing store at age 60. She has never been in that business before. A brother wants to get into real estate and he doesn’t own his house outright. A friend has an idea for an app and needs someone to create it for him/her.

I have had these types of conversations in the past and continue to have them. I’m about to respond to a similar request today.

It is so easy to discredit them, to show their folly ways.

It is easy to think they are a fool and are ill prepared.

It is easy to argue against them because you are worried for them.

It is harmful to you to hate their idea because they just might win.

How would you respond is important. You need to keep the relationship, but I don’t want to discourage work, hustle, trial & failure to someone. It’s kind of fun. It’s a good journey to be on. To fight against yourself, grow yourself, stretch yourself to be something you weren’t before, and to learn more things about your community or an industry. It’s fun, hard, and humiliating sometimes.

There are “wow” people and “how” people. You need to figure out how to respond appropriately to who you are talking to. For the “wow” people act like you are catching an egg, be easy and gentle. Just absorb the impact. Just listen. Let them build up excitement. Don’t start in with “how are you going to carry inventory”, “how are you going to get funding” ..etc.

Don’t ask “how” type questions, instead ask about things that can still get them excited, but also gets them thinking.

Who are they going to market?

What money will they make?

What are some of the challenges they see?

Who do they need to hire.

Save the scary ones later for next week or month, once they are off their “wow” moment. Then begin to dig in.