Whether we acknowledge it or not, much of the time many of us are playing to one or more juries.
I’m not talking about a literal jury–or even one of those goofy panels HLN puts together for sensational legal cases.
I’m talking about those sometimes nameless and faceless people that we consciously or unconsciously allow to drive our attitudes and behaviors.
We not only believe that there are these groups of people who are out there constantly judging us, but we take action to seek their approval, to get them to agree with us, to persuade them to buy whatever it is we are selling. To try to make them like us.
There are useful juries of course. Hopefully we all have friends, confidants or other members of our tribe whose input is trusted and valuable. They help us sharpen our message and fine-tune our product or service. They give us confidence to walk through our fear.
The customers we have or want are useful juries as well. Ultimately if they aren’t voting on behalf of our value proposition it matters a lot. And we have the choice to adjust our strategy and try to win them back, or move on to something new.
The useless jury, however, is the most pernicious.
Sometimes they take the form of the relentless defender of the status quo. They are filled with fear and hate most change, particularly if it might somehow reflect badly on them.
Sometimes they are the folks that aren’t engaged enough with your project to fully understand what it is about and who it is for–and you are powerless to change that. If they aren’t willing to do the work, they don’t get a vote.
Mostly, though, the juries that bring us down–that keep us stuck–are those whose judgment is irrelevant, yet somehow we feel compelled to listen.
When, as Seth reminds us, you choose your customer first then you can be emboldened to say and accept that “this is not for you.” And if it’s not for them, why does their opinion matter, why do you have to listen, why let them hold you back?
It’s time to dismiss all the useless juries in your life.