I have been in this business a long time, over three decades to be exact. I’ll bet you all can guess how many opinions I have heard in that course of time. Whether it was a positive or negative thought about my design, business plan or what I was wearing on a particular Tuesday, I have been handed opinions by friends, partners, family members, colleagues and strangers nearly every day of my life. Though I have always been a bit set in my ways (I am a Taurus, after all) it took a bit of time to accept the difference between staying flexible (which is essential) and allowing myself to be swayed by every suggestion that didn’t align with my vision. There were moments on my timeline when it would have benefitted me financially to go against what I felt was right, but I have always maintained that I was here to live a life and build a business based on individuality and authenticity, and that, at times, may be a little controversial. That can be difficult to deal with when the fanfare starts to quiet down, and believe me, it will at times. Not everyone will love everything you do. That’s life, and thank God. What kind of challenge would that sort of situation provide us? How ever would we grow?
In my book, Dear Preston: Doing Business With Our Hearts, I discuss the importance of maintaining a close relationship with both your clients and your character. The more successful you become, the more people will come to judge your work and the more opinions you will receive about it. When you’re flying high, the accolades can be intoxicating, but there is a hefty price to pay when we allow our sense of success and fulfillment to shrink and expand in accordance with the opinions of the masses. Yes, we need to always please our clients, but with work and product that we believe in on a deep and personal level.
Today, I want to ask all of you how well you manage your vision and veto power. Do you allow negative comments to sway you from your path? Do you constantly second-guess yourself? Were you someone who did this in the past and learned how to manage it?
(Photo courtesy of Dior)