The Entrepreneur’ s Performance Review

Criticism
Rules
Deadlines

…all the reasons why you left your last job. It’s why you don’t consider yourself a “nine to fiver.” Now, you sit happily at whatever workstation you’ve created pleased as punch that you don’t have to take orders from anyone. No more of that rat race you so vehemently despise; no more of those petty co-workers’ backhand complimenting you on a job they secretly want; no more of those pesky performance reviews from the boss that clearly has it out for you. This is why you started your own business.

Wait…what was that last one?

Oh, yes! Those stupid performance reviews. If you’ve ever worked anywhere long enough, you’ve received feedback from a boss. Your performance review was supposed to examine what you did well, what you did poorly, and how you needed to move forward. What you were supposed to do was take that criticism and improve on the suggestions of your supervisor.

That’s what you were supposed to do.

But now you own your own business, and you don’t have to worry about people telling you what you need to do better. You can do it your way…. and that, my fellow entrepreneur, is a serious problem.

The flaw that plagues our society today occurred at some board meeting I wasn’t invited to where everyone agreed that criticism and “hating” was the exact same thing. Anyone that has something not-so-positive to say about what you do, how you look, or how you act, is obviously a hater. And why would listen to what haters have to say?

Haters gonna hate.

Only sometimes they don’t…because sometimes they aren’t.

Want to know a secret? I don’t care I’m going to tell you anyway. Labeling someone a “hater” is just a lame way of not having to listen to constructive criticism. You can sit there and convince yourself that everyone that has something negative to say means you malicious harm, but that just isn’t true.

There are going to be some days where you just aren’t that great at what you do. There are going to be some days where you need to know how you can improve. And even though you are your own boss, there are some days that you need to know if the service you are providing people is meeting their standards…not just what you think their standards should be.

So what exactly does that look like?

Well, the last time you had people fill out a survey about your services what did they sa—oh, oh you never sent out a survey?

Um, ok. What about your mentor who is successful in your field? What did they say about—oh…oh you don’t have a mentor that you talk to consistently?

No problem. How about the people that are in other fields that can give you a laymen’s perspective on how your services or presentations is perceiv—oh…you don’t…you don’t talk to anybody outside your field because you think their opinions don’t matter because they can’t truly understand what it is that you do?

Wow. Hmph….whaaaat exactly do you do with the data you get from unsatisfied—oh you’ve never had any unsatisfied customers, clients, patients or audience members? And the ones that are had no idea what they were talking about?

Riiiight. So…how do you know you’re doing well at your business? ….because your loved ones told you? Goooootcha. And of course the one family member or friend that said you needed to improve on some things is jealous because they still have a nine to five, right?

Yep, it does look ridiculous when you read it; but that’s exactly what you’re doing.

If you’re not seeking at least a year-end review on your services, whether you’re a musician, doctor, lawyer, producer, homeschool educator, performing artist, etc., you are not a good businessperson. Period.

Period!

You should have started your business because you saw a need in your surrounding community that was not being filled. You should have started a business because you knew you could provide a service or skill that was unmatched. You should have started your business because you were passionate about the talents that you wanted to share with others. All of these things still require feedback. All of these things still require outside eyes and outside opinions. Bottom line: If you started your business because you didn’t want to answer to anybody, you started your business for all the wrong reasons.

It’s time you start being honest about how good your business really is.

What does that look like?

Here’s a chart…because you know how I loooooove charts.

SEE, WHAT HAD HAPPENED WAS…

REEVALUATE

IGNORE

Receive the same type of critique on a specific element of your services or finished product from more than one person.

Receive vague criticism like, “I don’t know, I just don’t like it.”

Don’t see a significant increase in clients, patients, customers or gigs every quarter.

Lose patients, clients, customers or recurring gigs.

Have to continue clarifying the type of services you offer.

Have a seasoned business owner tell you something that could benefit your customer service practices.

Receive a significant amount of “compliment sandwiches.”

Receive complaints or criticism about something that meets or is in line with policy, law, or specific universal standards.

Receive complaints or criticism about something that does not meet or is not in line with policy, law, or specific universal standards.

Repeatedly asked to change price packages but with the expectation that you’ll do the same amount or more work.

Discover that your price packages are significantly higher than someone else in your field whose work you hold in high regard.

Don’t have anyone you talk to in your field whose work you hold in high regard.

Don’t have someone in your field, whose work you hold in high regard, to assess and analyze your process and finished product.

Receive multiple complaints about the people who work with and/or around you.

Receive the comment, “Well, that’s not how ____ does it.” But ‘_____’ produces substandard or terrible results.

Get out of your feelings! If you receive criticism about what you do, it’s not personal. Everyone can improve. And if you get to the point where you can’t improve on anything else…well, let me know what Heaven is like from the throne you think you sit on.

Happy Labor Day!

You know I’m right.

-Danita LaShelle

 

 

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