In the legal profession there is no lack of critics. I was at a Bench and Bar Conference and heard comments like… “I didn’t think the conference had enough substance.” “I think there were too many breakout sessions and not enough time to network.” “I don’t want to waste my time networking, I came to get CLE credit and I will do networking at another event.” So, whom do you listen to? The critics or those that matter? Seth Godin has some insights…
For the one person who didn’t get the joke.
The fabled comedian is killing it at a club that seats 400. One guy in the back, though, isn’t laughing.
Miles Davis was shunned by a few people in the audience, even at his coolest.
The theater critic at the Times might not like this play, the one that made people cry and sold tickets for years.
And just about every blog post and book listing collects a trolling comment from someone who didn’t like it, didn’t read it or didn’t agree with it (or all three) and isn’t shy about speaking up with a sharp tongue.
For those people, the message from the creator of the work is clear: ‘It’s not for you.’
Unanimity is impossible unless you are willing to be invisible. We can be unanimous in our lack of feedback for the invisible one.
For everyone else, though, the ability to say, ‘It’s not for you,’ is the foundation for creating something brave and important. You can’t do your best work if you’re always trying to touch the untouchable, or entertain those that refuse to be entertained.
‘It’s not for you.’
This is easy to say and incredibly difficult to do. You don’t have much choice, though, not if you want your work to matter.
Who’s your core audience and what do they want? What do you want them to think? How do you resonate with them? If you don’t know the answer to these questions then ASK them! For those member of your audience that matter… make adjustments. For those that don’t matter, don’t waste your time worrying about it… say “thank you for sharing” and move on with your day.