It’s Not Just Business

How many times have we heard the term, “It’s nothing personal, just business.”? It is in music, movies, and ingrained into our general culture. The problem is business is personal. We invest in them with money, sweat, tears, and time. Many personal sacrifices go into our businesses or our work. So how can it not be personal? And what do you do about it? The answer is simple: Grow thick skin and take things personally. ​

It does not happen overnight, it is not easy, but it is necessary. People’s criticism is feedback. Feedback is essential to business regardless of what the business is. Even outside of business it is vital. Personal performance that is judged by others will rarely improve without feedback. 69% of employees state if they are given feedback they will work harder and are better because of it. Most of this is because they know they are being observed and that people care about them and the work they are doing.

If you are the author of a blog, you will be criticized. If you own and run an ice cream shop, you will be criticized. If you invent a time-machine, you will be criticized. There will always be someone who is critical of you and your work. The point is to accept that you will be criticized and keep doing your thing. Do not let it deter you from your cause. There is no doubt this is much easier said than done. I struggle with this myself. But if you identify it as something worthwhile, and are deliberate about getting better at it, then it can be done.

One way to approach this is through 360-degree feedback. If you are not familiar with 360-degree feedback, google it real quick, it’s not a hard concept to learn. The thing about 360-degree feedback is you get feedback from peers and subordinates. This is probably the most difficult feedback to accept for people. But if you do it enough and force yourself to evaluate what people tell you, you will grow thick skin and will certainly be able to take feedback from random strangers or customers.

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