We humans have no trouble doing stupid things. But we do have trouble seeing the stupid things we do - even if they're smack in front of our nose -- or worst, smack ON our nose -- which is why we need to gather input from others.
For example: If you have a problem with ink on your cheek, you won't know unless someone tells you. And...if you have a problem with being too damn cheeky at meetings, you won't know unless someone tells you.
A big business secret: Seek criticism as much as compliments.
Facing the harsh truth about what you need to improve is the only way to ensure you will grow your valuable skillsets -- and thereby grow your income. Hence why I recommend you create what me and my friends call a power posse -- a group of people you feel will always tell you the harsh and helpful truth.
How do you collect together a power posse?
Seek out people you respect and feel "safe" hearing harsh-truth criticisms from. One of my favorite expressions is "A friend is someone who stabs you in the front." Power posse people are friendly front-stabbers. Power posse people can be from other professions. Just make sure the people are smart, honest, insightful, and good-natured. Pick one night a week for the next three months to share your career problems and ask for honest feedback and business tips. Promise yourselves that you will listen closely and be open to feedback and tips. Recognize: If more than one person tells you that you've been walking around with the equivalent of "career ink on your nose," chances are it's time to come clean!
The Power of A Power Posse Speedily Explained: If a group of people each give one another 1 dollar -- they each get nothing monetarily by this exchange. But if a group of people give each other an idea or insight - they can literally make millions together. The exchange of ideas is super powerful, because each of our lenses on the world are so very different. By merging our lenses we create a powerful magnifying lens and telescope to see the world through!
Keith Ferrazzi, the best selling author of Never Eat Alone, is the ultimate expert of people-powering your business. He is always strongly recommending getting a little help from your friends -- creating what he calls "peer-to-peer pressure." Ferrazzi offers these wonderful Power Posse tips...
1. Continuously define and redefine goals.
2. Ensure you are all maintaining a balanced "Personal Success Wheel" which includes:
* health & wellness
* job & career
* intellectual & cultural
* deep relationships
* giving back
3. Make sure your goals are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound.
4. Cheer each other on, sending inspirational songs, helpful website links, whatever it takes.
I also personally recommend Ferrazzi's website, www.greenlightcommunity.com -- where you can find an internet full of infinite virtual accountability buddies to booster you to your goals.
I also recently discovered an inspiring large and growing Power Posse group here in NYC, which began in Spring 2008, founded by Frances Cole Jones (author of "How to Wow" and President of Cole Media Management) and Karen Giberson (President of the Accessories Council). Frances and Karen named their group Brain Barter -- and began their dinner meetings with six senior level female executives -- each with strong entrepreneurial spirits. Quickly these Brain Barter dinners grew into a monthly gathering of over fifty members. Besides offering empowering front-stabbing business advice, members barter their talents -- which is a perfect money-saving way to grow your business in today's tight-wad economy. While there are many women's networking groups out there, Brain Barter is very different because its members are all 100% focused upon the very simple and very powerful question:
"How can I help you?"
Karen Salmansohn is a best selling author of self help books for people who wouldn't be caught dead reading self-help books - with titles like "How To Succeed In Business Without A Penis" and "How To Be Happy Dammit". For more life boosting tips: http://notsalmon.com/