I saw this T-shirt in a shop in Oxford Street yesterday and it got me thinking. Apparently membership of dating apps goes up by 40% between the 25th December and the 14th February. It seems that the combination of a dismal Christmas, New Year’s optimism and Valentine’s Day FOMO is a winning one for the dating industry. I haven’t used a dating app, but it’s fun to read the advice: nice headshot, don’t distract with fluffy animals and don’t be corny or rude.
One observation stood out: “dating apps are full of two types of people – those trying to be themselves and those trying to be like everyone else.” It’s understandable to want to run with the crowd but being either a diluted or exaggerated version of other people is not a great strategy for finding a match in your personal life or in business.
Just as it can be hard to be honest about yourself, it can be difficult facing up to who you are as a business. Many entrepreneurs and business owners shy away from research, fearful of what might be revealed. My experience is that it is always beneficial.
Building a three-dimensional understanding of your business involves looking inside and out, talking to customers, vendors, partners and to the people who work for your company. How they see your business tells you a lot of important things. It won’t all be good, and it won’t all be bad, but it will help you work out what’s important to the people that matter to you, show you how you can talk about yourself and get others to talk about you.
An important consideration is not to fear rejection but to welcome it. Being the right fit for someone is always going to mean being the wrong fit for lots of others. As Jim Collins said in “Good to Great”: “face the reality of the situation; keep the faith”. Or, as my friend Trish once said “every pot has a lid”.