“Do you know what you have against you?”
My lips curled a bit and I’m sure that the woman noticed because she paused.
During the silence, inside my head, I replied “Sure, semi-retired art gallery woman who moved to my town two years ago from a place completely different than where we were now standing, tell me about my business’ obstacles.”
I smoothed my lips into a fixed smile and then she continued.
She told me how the last business owners were sold commercials and ads and “all kinds of crap.” And that every day they get somebody walking in there from one of the nearby cities trying to sell marketing “when how can they even know this place when they live don’t even live here.”
That was a nice touch coming from a brand new transplant to our city.
She gave an exasperated laugh as if she was pleased with the point she had made. I didn’t laugh with her.
People love to linger in the negative
People love to point out obstacles. They like to acknowledge how hard it is to achieve success because that way they can justify their failures or puff up their chest if they succeed. Yes, life, building a business, becoming successful, it’s all hard but why not look at the positives?
Why doesn’t anyone ever say “Do you know what you have going for you?”
I knew she wasn’t “my people” when my husband and I walked into the gallery. My husband wanted to chat her up though. He called it good networking. He was right in his thinking. I wasn’t going to pitch her because I wouldn’t want to work with her. I could tell from before her declarative statement because I’ve become really good at identifying who my target clients are, but that sentence sealed it.
Everyone will know what is best for you. Everyone will be happy to point out the obstacles you’re not seeing. DON’T INDULGE THEM. This kind of talk is lethal because it slips into the psyche and does the damage silently. Without realizing it you are suddenly doubting your abilities or ideas. Soon you will nod your head in agreement and think, “She’s right. This market is saturated,” or “He’s right. This market doesn’t have that kind of money to spend.”
The woman’s comments angered me because I can’t stand it when someone who doesn’t know your business or you personally, tries to give you the “you might as well give up” speech. And though it angered me I didn’t let it affect me in any other way. The bottom line is, she is wrong and she doesn’t speak for the business community at large.
We promptly wrapped up conversation and left. She is not my people.
You know your business. You know your goals and you can defeat any obstacle—real or perceived—in front of you.