Protecting Your Dream- A Guide to Navigating Criticism

Many presenters are leaders and entrepreneurs. As such, you’ve likely either had the opportunity to watch your dream come to life, or are in that process now. Throughout this process, criticism is inevitable. Sometimes, along the way, dreams take shape perhaps in different forms than we originally anticipate. Now, this doesn’t have to be a negative experience. Being prepared for whatever may come your way instead of leaving yourself vulnerable to your critics will make all the difference. I love the clip from The Pursuit of Happyness where Will Smith says, “When people can’t do something themselves, they wanna tell you you can’t do it.” Yes, you will probably hear a couple of “no”’s along the way. But where are you willing to bend?

Don’t be afraid to stick to your guns

Here’s the thing: change is hard to understand. If you have an innovative idea, you can expect to be met with criticism. When you’re inevitably given advice that doesn’t sit will, don’t let it shake you. Bottom line: even if it’s a decent idea, if it may change the trajectory of your project in a way that makes you uncomfortable, don’t do it. Holding out for the right offer is certainly risky. However, if protecting your dream is the ultimate goal, patience is critical. Working with the right people will helps you win, realizing your full potential in the final outcome of your vision.

Avoid misunderstandings with a clear story

Criticism may come your way simply because people don’t understand your vision. Spelling out your plans in a way that is clear and direct is of vital importance to protecting your dream. Whether it is a clean infographic, a simple PowerPoint, or a fine-tuned elevator pitch, your story needs to go through a period of refinement. Figuring out the modality best suited for your situation can be tough. Consider the types of engagements you will likely encounter and craft narratives tailored to those specific appearances. Over time, you’ll have enough in your arsenal to tell an efficient story no matter if you’ve got one minute or an entire hour to share.

Be selective accepting advice

Along the way, you may be given advice. Sometimes this will come in the form of constructive criticism. Take it all in stride and examine each source. If the advice comes from a source that you trust is trying to help you realize your original vision, consider taking it. However, there is a fine line between having the humility to accept needed help and listening to too many opinions.

Avoid the noise

In the end, there will be people who just don’t get it and can’t see your vision, no matter how well perfected your story has become. You see this on Shark Tank all the time. There are investors who say something will certainly never succeed sitting one chair over from an investor who believes in it enough to back the idea. There are also entrepreneurs who only leave with advice, and no investment. Each situation is telling. Taking advice when someone helps you realize the fatal flaw you’d not considered is important. But ultimately, ignoring the noise of those whose life experience just doesn’t naturally lend them to invest in your brand is best.

Protecting your dream at all costs is what will make future partners believe in you as well as your product. Don’t forget to connect to your why and remember what brought you to representing your brand in the first place. Surround yourself with people who understand your vision and are committed to bringing it to life in its purest form.

Need help with messaging? Looking for someone who will listen to your process, then build you an infographic to explain its functionality? Want advice on how to deliver your thoughtfully tailored messaging? Ethos3 can help with all of that. Customizing our full line of presentation, design and content services meet your every need would be a pleasure. We can’t wait to hear your story!

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