Awaiting Validation

Today I submitted new credit card information for our website’s monthly auto-draft. After I pressed “Submit” the screen read ”Awaiting Validation.” I started wondering how it would validate me, how long would it take? Had I entered in something incorrectly, was the address ok?

Then it struck me: How much of small business marketing is simply us awaiting validation?

We’re waiting for the big pay off, the swarms of customers who will ask, no, beg for our widget. We’re waiting for that line that goes around the block waiting for our product or service.

Every phone call, every person who walks into our shop or visits our website is a chance for validation. Unfortunately, when people inevitably don’t buy our widget or widget service it invalidates us.

I’ve watched a perfectly kind volunteer who maintained an non-profit’s Facebook page completely blow a gasket when someone flashed a troll-like post about the company’s late-fees being unfair. I’ve felt my blood boil when someone throws a design concept in my face, all but ripping it to shreds and spitting on the remains.

These events i.n.f.u.r.i.a.t.e us.

That’s because we’re all human beings. We’ve all felt unloved and unappreciated when what we produced or offered isn’t desired. It’s why selling to and finding customers is such a frightening prospect. What if they don’t like us?

Bad news: There are many who won’t like your widget.

But if we don’t put ourselves out there, no one will find out about our genius YOUR genius. A wiser man than I once said we have a choice: either to make meaningful things and face criticism or do nothing at all.  If those are our choices, well… there’s really only one option in that is there?

Validate yourself.

Don’t rest your pride, self-esteem and confidence on your widget. Rest it in the things that matter: family, friends and God.

Good news: If you focus your validation on the things that really matter, it won’t matter what happens with your widget. You will win regardless every time.

The strange things is, the less your worry about your widget validating your life, the better you will sell it. People smell worried stress a mile away.

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