Every single person on this planet is unique. Everyone develops their own skill sets, takes different things from their educations, experiences childhood differently, and values things their own way. It is true that if you are smart and dedicated, you can turn your uniqueness into a super power, but the sad reality is that your individuality can just as easily lead to your demise.
When it comes to starting a business, it is important to stay nimble. I have already discussed that in my piece on changing course, and my piece on how the path you set out on is never the one that actually gets you there, but I would like to take a look at why that is true. Ultimately, it comes down to uniqueness.
Everyone on the planet views the world through their own personal lens, and the biggest mistake a person can make is assuming that the rest of the world sees things like they do. Every person’s background, education, work experience, and interpersonal relationships have put them in a position to make them understand the world around them. As a business owner, the people that you are leading, selling to, or serving will not have the same perspective. I have seen leaders essentially put blinders on, and refuse to acknowledge or entertain the idea that everyone doesn’t share their perspective.
I recently saw this concept play out in the real world with a software company that I was working with. The developer I was in touch with was incredibly intelligent. He could design systems and understand concepts that I struggle to contend with. But unfortunately, as a result, the user interface and customer workflow he designed was impossible for someone who wasn’t tech-minded to understand. This person assumed that everyone could think like a developer. He didn’t realize that the people using the website he was designing would be more diverse, and maybe couldn’t make the logic leaps that his brain made hundreds of times daily. As a result, customers gave up and never made it all the way through our sales funnel. This isn’t just true of developers. Absolutely everyone has different values, and it is vital to remember that your employees and customers are not likely to respond to things the same way you are.
So as a solution, make sure to listen. Listen to feedback, criticism, and suggestions. Stay open to the idea that your take on something will differ from everyone else’s, and adjust for those differences. If you can internalize the understanding that no two people are alike, and let go of your ego when it comes to your ideas and perspectives being challenged, you will become unstoppable.