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The Problem with Putting Your Self-Worth in Others’ Feedback

Woman sitting at desk with text overlay "The Problem with Putting Your Self-Worth in Others’ Feedback"

I recently came across a hilarious episode of Frasier that got me thinking about the way we perceive success and validation in our businesses.

Here’s the episode recap:

The radio station that hosts Frasier’s show hires a focus group to offer feedback on Frasier’s show. Sitting behind the 1-way mirror, Frasier listens as one by one every focus group participant gushes about how amazing he and his show are. Frasier’s beaming… until the group realizes that one participant (Tony Shalhoub of Monk fame) hasn’t said a word.

“Well, what about you?” the moderator asks Tony. “You haven’t said a thing.”

“I just don’t like him,” Tony says to the shock of the group.

Ego-bruised, Frasier spends the rest of the episode tracking Tony down to find out why he doesn’t like him. He eventually discovers that Tony simply finds Frasier annoying. Still not satisfied, Frasier presses for more information, leading to a hilarious series of events that ends with the fiery destruction of Tony’s beloved newsstand.

While this episode may seem like a silly sitcom plot line, it actually offers a valuable lesson for online business owners.

Why Relying on External Validation is a Problem

Most people in the online business industry would tell you about this story and say that the lesson is that you should just listen to the 12 people in the focus group who loved you, and ignore the Tony’s of the world. (There will always be Tonys… am I right!?)

But, I don’t want to base my self-worth, feeling of success, or satisfaction factor in my business on ANY of those people. Not the 12 fans. And not the Tonys. I want it to be based on my own independently defined version of success and what matters to me. My success isn’t based on how many people in a room like me vs. how many don’t. I don’t need everyone to like me to feel valuable and successful.

The same goes for you and your success.

The Importance of Defining Your Own Version of Success

Of course, it’s important to listen to feedback from our customers and clients — it’s a cornerstone of running a business! But when we can’t rest until every single person (including Tony) likes us — and that’s what we base our success off of — that’s a problem in my book.

We need to get clear on what kind of business we want to run and what matters to us, independent of outside opinions.

Get the Biz Pep Talk You Didn’t Know You Needed

In my podcast episode this week, I dive deeper into this topic and discuss the difference between getting and receiving feedback from followers and clients, and putting our self-worth in their feedback.

Tune into Episode 97 “The Biz Pep Talk You Didn’t Know You Needed” of On Your Terms here!

Bottom line? Don’t let others define your success. Define it for yourself and build a business that you’re proud of.

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