Why Seeking Perspective Matters as Your Own Boss
Learning to run a business is one thing, and learning to be a small business owner is another, entailing another level of personal commitment, ability to balance work and home life as well as the ability to constantly challenge oneself to grow. When you are your own boss there is no waiting around for orders from on high, you must be motivated to create your own agenda and set your own ability to grow in motion lest you wind up getting nothing accomplished. For this reason, small business owners should learn to trust themselves and value their own perspective as the guides of their businesses and employees, but far from meaning that they should shut out feedback from other channels, business owners should instead look at opportunities to gain other perspectives as ones that will allow them to strengthen their own with the benefit of viewpoints that they can contrast against their own perceptions and experiences. There are three main perspectives that you should seek to compare with your own, and they are as follows.
Influencer perspectives. Influencers can take the form of mentors, or they can be people who you respect for their clarity of thought, experience or good judgement. In general, having a broader range of influencers is better than having one, as it allows you to go further into the exercise of comparing their views against each other and your own.
Employee perspectives. As important as the views of your mentors, the perceptions of your employees relative to how things are going in the workplace has the potential to alert you of issues before they become major problems. Not only that, but your employees are the ones on the ground dealing directly with customers and performing support roles, so the ways that they perceive the business to be going are rooted firmly in first hand experience. While they might lack some of the business acumen that an influencer who has already been successful in business does, that is not to say that their perspectives are less valuable, and when taken along with your own business sense and the advice of others you trust can be a valuable diagnostic tool.
Customer perspectives. Taken with the perspectives of your employees and those who you respect as influencers, the perspectives of your customers stand as the third part of a trinity of important perspectives. It goes without saying how important customers are to a business, therefore making a continuous effort to reach out and gather their perspectives should be an integral part of your business. Aside from the practical element of being better able to anticipate and meet customer needs through directly engaging with them, your customers will be likely to appreciate the fact that you are seeking their opinions.
Photo Credit to Derek Schille on Flickr