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Entrepreneurship 101 - Handling criticism

It is hard to be an entrepreneur. An entrepreneur has to do many things, including coming up with an idea, building a team, raising money, and building the product or service. You will be criticized often.

It is hard to escape criticism. Some criticisms will be valid, while others will not be. It is essential to learn to handle criticism well. By learning how to handle criticism, you will be able to achieve your goals and succeed. 

First, do not take criticism personally. An entrepreneur will face many rejections and criticism. Investors and business partners will criticize you. You will face feedback from customers and friends. Do not see criticism as something that should discourage you from your path, but as something that encourages you to iterate and do better. It is essential to focus on the big picture and keep trying to get better. 

Priyanka Manani, Founder and CEO of Easy to Pitch, shared pitch decks with ten investors. They were quick to criticize her. Nevertheless, she did not let the criticism affect her from achieving her goals. She took a 3-month break to understand the nuances of creating a deck and pitching it to investors. She later started Easy to Pitch, a woman-led startup for pitching solutions.

Shrijay Sheth, Founder of legal tech platform LegalWiz.in, says that criticism is not the end of the world. It’s temporary, and learning is permanent. People criticize him often. For him, being criticized is sometimes an indication to go back to the drawing board. Other times, he lets it go and moves on.

Learn to differentiate criticism from unsolicited advice

Criticism should not cause you to change your product every time. Do not dilute your product or service to please people. We do not need everyone to agree to what we are doing. We need a few people to agree with our vision.

You should have a thick skin and be able to take criticism as a way to improve things. Use your sound judgment to determine when to implement the feedback. You should know when to let it affect you and when to let it go.

Stay calm

When receiving criticism, it is essential to stay calm. Many people will try to give you some unwanted advice. They might not have your best interests in mind. Be mindful of why people want to do what they do. Why are they saying these things? Do they have ulterior motives? When being criticized, step back and understand the source of this advice. Remember that there is such a thing as constructive criticism. Being objective about criticism will allow you to determine whether it is constructive or not. Constructive criticism will make us better. 

Communicate

When criticized, be able to talk to the person who is criticizing you. Allow them to vent their frustrations. Patience is key. Ask yourself, is it valid what they are saying? If so, try to get better. That same person who is criticizing you might become a customer. Have self-control and inner strength. Don’t get defensive. Hear the person out. Try to understand where they are coming from. Be as respectful as possible. It’s always important to take the high road, especially when people are going low. 

Stay true to yourself.

Believe in yourself. Just because people say no does not mean you have a bad idea. Remember, you need a few people to say yes. Stay true to yourself and believe that you are moving in the right direction. Be objective and professional about being criticized.

A few more tips

Let criticism roll off you. Try to learn what you can, but don't let it affect you negatively.

It is OK if people disagree with you. Many successful entrepreneurs were rejected before someone said yes to their idea and agreed to invest in them. 

The co-founder of handy.com pitched his idea to many investors, who said no each time. Only two said yes, and that was it. He was able to raise money for his business and later sell it to Angi Homeservices. He didn’t let the criticism he received from investors deter him. He tried to understand where they were coming from and tried to learn as much as possible to get better and achieve his goals.

If you are facing criticism and are having trouble, book a call with a mentor at MentorDial.com. Mentordial connects entrepreneurs with professional mentors who are in the top 10% of their industries. Entrepreneurs can book a 30-minute call with a mentor on MentorDial. 

Mentors have made the mistakes and can help you avoid making these same mistakes. Mentors offer unique insight and will give you the support you need to get through your entrepreneurial journey. Being an entrepreneur is hard, but it doesn’t have to be with proper support and mentorship! 

Booking a mentor is free. Try a 30-minute video call today by visiting mentordial.com

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