No Shortcuts - Looking Dumb

There are a lot of ideas out there.  People like commenting on ideas.  Everyone does it.  If I see a good idea I'll recognize it and talk about it.  If I see a bad one I'll do the same.  It's human nature.  

When this gets hard is when people are talking bad about YOUR idea.  It doesn't feel like a natural thing anymore.  It feels like criticism, hate and jabber from "idiots".  You get defensive.  You get embarrassed.  You question. 

Looking back I can totally understand that male friends of mine would either laugh out loud or at least internally when they heard the idea for a nude colored undershirt.  You immediately think of women's undergarments.  That's actually pretty funny.  And the idea is coming from educated business school students who previously worked in financial services.  

Just imagining the scene now makes me laugh.  I'm picturing people wondering if it was a joke.  Like....oh that's funny what's your REAL idea??

It gets worse when I explain the undershirt is super fitted, has a deep V neck and is breathable.  When they actually see the first prototype is when you see the faces is this??

All this to say that the brand is around 10 years later and has tens of thousands of nude colored undershirts.  It never would have happened if we got shook up about some bad comments from friends.  

I like Seth Godin a lot and believe most of what he writes is gold.  He talks about minimum viable audience.  The group you need to succeed with to have your business win doesn't actually have to be that big.  It can be hundreds to thousands of people depending on your business.  An executive coach just needs a handful of well paying clients!  

When you think about it that way it's actually totally fine that most people might say your idea is terrible/strange/small.  Take the feedback.  Don't get discouraged.  There are usually nuggets in the negative feedback that you can use to make your product even better.  It's actually a good thing when there is negative feedback.  That means your idea is striking a chord.  When EVERYONE likes your idea that means there are probably other people already all over it or it's just too bland to strike a chord. 

Looking dumb with your idea is not necessarily always a bad thing.  In our case it was actually a very good thing.