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Opinion Doesn’t Matter

October 18, 2013


Working primarily in the music business, I get a lot of requests to listen to music. And it usually goes something like this…

“Can I send you my album? I’d love to get your opinion.”

And now that I’m becoming more known for my work in book publishing, I’m getting similar requests from authors…

“Can I send you my book? I’d love to get your opinion.”

Seems straightforward, doesn’t it? But it’s never actually “my opinion” people are looking for.

What People Really Want

Some people do value my opinion, but after a project is done, most simply want me to say something positive. They want a response along the lines of, “This is perfect! I wouldn’t change a thing!”

Believe me, as a writer myself, I get where these people are coming from — we all want our “art” to be appreciated. Opinion at this point doesn’t matter though and here is why…

Nobody Will Ever Say Your “Art” Sucks

Why? Because it’s your art!

The time to ask for a professional opinion is before you’re done creating something, while it’s still a work-in-progress. After that, unless you’re willing to go back and change things, it’s pointless to talk about it. The project is what it is.

Most of the people I’ve met on the business side of both music and books were once on the creative side. They get where artists are coming from because they’ve been there themselves. Because of this, they’re not going to say anything bad about a project after it has been finalized. In addition, these people know that, after putting in hundreds or thousands of hours on a project, few artists or authors will be open to contrary opinions anyway.

The Flip-Side

There are creative people, writers, and musicians who never do anything because they listen to everybody. And “everybody” has a differing opinion.

If this is you, here is some advice… When it comes to your creative  project, you’re not going to get it right, but you’re not going to screw it up either. No matter what you do, no matter how good it is, not everybody is going to like it.

The Solution

If you’re serious about getting input from professionals, ask for it early in the process and be open to it. Approach the situation like a palm tree in the wind — you want to be firm, but not so much that you’ll break. You want to bend a little, while still keeping your shape.

Get clear on who you are and what you want to create so you’re able to move forward. It’s good to listen to others in your industry, but don’t make decisions or follow paths based on the opinions, good or bad, or a single person. Look at the big picture.

ABOUT THIS SERIES: Every Friday, I give tips on how to build the foundation needed to have a successful business and platformSee other posts in this series here and, if you have a request for me to cover something specific, let me know via Twitter.

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