Two uncomfortable side effects of pursuing your goals – Visibility & Criticism:

  • July 1st, 2022

No matter what you do, there always seems to be someone ready to tell you how your ideas or processes are incorrect, absurd, or not as good as the idea of someone they know. Unless you decide to live off the grid and stop communicating with other people entirely, this is not going to change. The trick is not to try to change the critics but to change your attitude about their critiques.

Not everyone is going to like you/your product.

There are 7.9 Billion people in the world. Regardless of what you are doing, some of them are not going to be fans. This is ok. This is the reason why customer discovery and market research are important. Knowing who your target customer is can help you focus your marketing campaign on the segment of people that are more likely to buy from you. Don’t focus on trying to win everyone over. Instead, put your energy into winning over those who matter (and into which customers matter to you and why).

Don’t let criticism stop you.

Too often, we let the fear of what others may think to stop us from positive, helpful things like honesty, transparency, and participation. Speak up! If you think you have a product that could shift industry standards, apply for funding. If you think something is not working well when a colleague, employer, or customer asks you for feedback, say so. You may get some pushback about your idea, but by speaking up, you could change things for the better.

Use criticism to your advantage.

Some people have abhorrent people skills/attitudes and say nasty things. However, most of the time, in every criticism, there is a grain of truth. Focus not on how your ego feels hearing unpleasant things about your product but instead on how you can use a harsh critic’s feedback to improve your bottom line. Let every negative review you get in life and business shape your processes and products into something better. Our company openly seeks feedback from all customers. We have learned a lot more from people who identified gaps in our services at the beginning of our business journey than from our cheerleaders (though we are eternally grateful to our cheerleaders for the much-needed warm fuzzies).

For founders who are ready to unleash their ideas into the world, we suggest innovation grants such as SBIR/STTR, E.B. Howard Consulting can help guide you through the process using what we have learned from some very tough critics – SBIR Proposal Reviewers. We use the same merit review metrics as SBIR reviewers during our critical review and copy edit to ensure the proposals our clients submit are fulfilling the requirements set by the Funding Opportunity Announcement.


We help high-growth startups find and apply for non-dilutive funding. Schedule a consult call with us HERE.

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