How Much Should You Care About What Other People Say?
I have a problem, not your average problem. It's not a problem that can easily be taken care of in some situations, that problem is caring. Now, you may be thinking, "Why on earth is that a problem?" Let's talk about it.
When I say caring, I mean caring about what other people say or think. From a business standpoint, I always seek feedback. I always want to know what I can do better if there was something I didn't do right. After all, how can I fix something if I don't know that it's broken? Since I always seek feedback, I feel that trait alone was a huge factor of me winning the 2017 Angie's List Super Service Award. During this last year of me seeking feedback on my services, I've heard some people tell me, "You care too much about what other people think about you." Since I've had some time to reflect on that statement, I've come up with an answer to my problem.
It is good to care about what other people think about you because without feedback, you can't grow. Especially if you are trying to grow your business. It's good to know that you are doing a good job while you are working. It's good to know that your clients are happy with your work even if they don't tell you right away. There is a downfall to all of this and that is not knowing when to separate business from personal statements.
Recently, I was working an event and I was doing my normal routine by double checking everything I can to make sure the event went smoothly. The venue's door security shows up and changes everything. They start coming in and complaining like they're the ones that own the place and making demands with terrible attitudes. Normally, this kind of stuff doesn't get to me but for some reason it did. I don't like being disrespected and talked down to by a door security person that doesn't have any real responsibility like I do. I know that sounds super shallow of me to say, but when I start my work day at 8 AM on a Saturday and work till 11:30 that night, is it too much to ask for a little respect for what I do for my clients?
Long story short, I kept my cool, kept my client happy, and went home wondering why some people make it their mission to make others unhappy. After about a day of rest, I realized that sometimes I just need to worry about my clients feedback and not so much what others think. I don't work with everyone that get's hired at a venue and I do my best to respect the rules of the venue. That doesn't mean that I won't put my foot down when I need to, but that also doesn't mean that I'm going to be hard to work with.
I know what it's like to work with people who make life hard and the best revenge is to show them how little they're actually contributing to the project. One time, I actually told a person, "If you are going to have a bad attitude about every little thing, then go home and let us worry about what we need to do because you aren't doing anything here to contribute and I'm not paying you to complain about the client that hired us to do this job." Yeah, I know. It's a really harsh thing to say, but the client comes first and the rest of the project went smoother from that point forward. The person came to me the next day and apologized, but after numerous repeats of the same situation, I told him that I wouldn't be calling him back for work anymore because of his attitude.
Sometimes it pays off to listen to people, sometimes it doesn't. The important thing is to know when to take it seriously and when to take it with a grain of salt. I'm not saying never to take anything seriously and I'm not saying to brush every single constructive piece of criticism off because sometimes you need to know where you need to be improving. Always remember:
The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing - Albert Einstein