Matt Stewart is a dynamic leader and speaker. He’s grown a small Southern California business into a national leader in two industries and has received several awards for his work. That said, Matt is no stranger to nay-sayers. He’s heard them all his life and while he would be the first to tell you that his ‘inner marketer’ wants to ignore them or bite at them, but he’s trying to remind himself to harvest the useful from what they nay-sayers tell him.
As entrepreneurs, Matt believes we all have an ‘inner marketer’. It’s the thing that makes us think we’re invincible. It’s what makes an entrepreneur an entrepreneur; it tells us we can do something when everyone else says we can’t. Our inner marketer is the attribute we have that gives us the power to fix broken things but unrestrained, it can cause some problems for it. Unrestrained, the inner marketer can make us shut down in the face of contrary opinions and we can miss hearing the useful in those opinions.
Harvest the Useful
Matt says he’s learned that his ego gets in the way when people tell him his plans won’t work, but he tries to stop and harvest what might be useful out of what they’re saying. It isn’t something he learned easily. Matt says that it took being broken down as far as he’s been broken down before for the lesson to sink in. He says that if he’d listened to the useful in the negative opinions around him, he may not have been brought to his knees financially. Matt uses the phrase ‘harvesting’ to describe the process of discerning the useful from the negative. He breaks it down into 3 aspects: 1) Ask first and make statements later 2) Keep the ego in check and ask why people are brining you their opinion and what can you take from their opinion 3) Remember that even in a bad year there’s some good crop there, there may not be a lot of it but there’s likely something there. The same applies to opinion.
“I’ve come a long way, but I have a long way to go,”
Matt would be the first to admit it isn’t an easy thing to listen for the good in contrary rants. “I’ve come a long way, but I have a long way to go” he says. It’s a challenge, but we have to train ourselves to listen for the good in contrarian rants. People who say it can’t be done will eventually be right about something at some time, so it’s up to us to hunt for that kernel of good in the mound of crap someone just heaved on our entrepreneurial enthusiasm. Matt has found that using this ‘harvesting’ method has been fantastic for his business, the growth curve is steeper than ever before and the retention level of his company is better than it ever was. If you harvest every opportunity you get, what might that do for your company?
Listen to my conversation with Matt here: