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Do not seek praise. Seek criticism.

When starting my business I craved validation.

'Simon you have done the right thing'

'Simon you know so many people, you will be sweet'

'Simon we like what you are saying about this and that'

You get the picture. Those first steps are like being an 11 month old baby taking its first steps. Uneasy, wobbly and lots of people going 'oh, you are doing so well'.

When really, as a start-up business owner what you really need is people telling you what you can improve. Sure it is good to hear some nice words, but growth and development comes from the areas that you can improve on.

So, do not seek praise. Seek criticism, because it is easy to get approval if we ask enough people, or if we ask those who are likely to tell us what we want to hear.

It's easy to produce an item of work that is acceptable. However whilst it is ok, it's not great either.

If, instead of seeking approval you ask 'What's wrong with it? How can I make it better?' it is likely you will get a more truthful, critical answer... and maybe even an improvement on the original idea!

Food for thought.

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