Learning from feedback, the key to success (and happiness)
This article is written by Hajnalka Collado, CEO of NurtUp
Everyone knows that learning from feedback is a key for success. But how do you get feedback if you are a starting entrepreneur or your startup doesn’t have customers yet?
My answer is start networking! 😀 Take every opportunity to pitch your story or idea to everyone. Even when you think you are not prepared for it. That is just what we (NurtUp) did last year in the Boost Your Business event 2015.
We heard about it on Helsinki’s Young Entrepreneurs Network (HYNY)’s Facebook group a couple of days before the event. We joined last minute, so we had only a couple of days to prepare an own stand and of course we were also supposed to pitch in competition. The challenge was worth it! Having our own stand gave us a lot of time to network and experiment what message compels the most and what parts of our business is unclear for our potential customers. We learned a lot from those conversations and we even won the pitching competition! 😀
Check out the second pitch that made it happen:
At the same time Nestholma’s Nordea Startup Accelerator was looking for startups for the upcoming program and Haaga-Helia Startup School invited us to pitch our idea to Nestholma’s and Nordea’s representatives. As a startup, you should always take the opportunity to pitch your business idea. So we pitched again. And guess what?! We were selected to the program (even though NurtUp is not a fintech startup). 😀
During the accelerator we used the lean method to validate our product and business ideas. The lean method is all about testing your assumptions before you put all your efforts into building your final product that eventually no one will want. This means that you need to get a lot of feedback while you are still embarrassed of your product. 😉 So in other words you have to validate already with your minimum viable product (MVP) as early as possible or even earlier.
How do you learn from feedback?
Learning from feedback is actually really easy. All you have to do is shut up and listen (actively)! 😉 Sounds easy but it’s surprisingly difficult for most entrepreneurs. It’s a skill you have to practice.
Don’t waste your potential customer’s or investor’s time by explaining your reasonings, rather ask questions. By asking questions you can learn why they think so and how could you improve and make them love your product. But remember: not all feedback is equal. Some is relevant and some is better to ignore, the decision to take it or not is yours!
I know what some of you are thinking. “But what if somebody steals my idea?”. The thing is: ideas are overrated. Everybody has ideas. The difference between successful entrepreneurs and not-so-successful ones is in the execution. Ideas are supposed to change based on the feedback that you get. If you don’t get any feedback, you’ll just have lame ideas. So dare to share your ideas with others!
The more you share, the more feedback you get.
The more you learn from feedback, the clearer your business model will get.
The clearer you communicate about your business model, the easier it is to get more customers.
The more customers, the more success your business has.
The more successful your business is, the happier you are.
This is why I think learning from feedback is a key to success… and to happiness! 😀
Let’s level up with others!
Hajnalka Collado, CEO of NurtUp
NurtUp is helping people become better and happier by creating a global community that meets up locally to coach each other with NurtUp’s social card games.