So its day two and I feel I have already started to learn a lot of lessons. My first (the clue’s in the title of the blog!) is that taking advice and accepting constructive feedback is a lot harder in my new world.
I am used to working in a fast paced corporate environment with a large team around me. I am always in meetings or chatting to someone at the coffee machine and therefore no sooner is an idea formed than it is out there and everyone else is throwing in their input, making suggestions, and often (if I’m brutally honest) simply coming up with something that is much better and which throws my idea straight out as we all rush to focus on that. It is the way things work and I have always thrived on it.
In my new mumtrepreneur world the only ideas that are being discussed (in my head this is – I haven’t quite taken to talking to the furniture yet!) are my own, the only improvements being made are my own and therefore the chance of one of my ideas being thrown out are pretty slim. By 09.00am I am stuck in to my latest brain child and by the time I pick up the kids and start cooking tea I have invested it with hours of solid thinking, worrying, improving and pretty much rank it alongside my firstborn (well maybe not quite!) in terms of life achievements.
Then in steps my husband. A very tolerant and supportive guy who has just worked a full day to pay our mortgage, the kids nursery fees and everything else that goes into allowing his wife this opportunity to ‘set up the family business’ and I ask him for his input. Little does he know that by now in my head this whole plan is utterly beyond criticism of any kind. The rational part of me accepts completely that this is a process, that I will follow many dead ends before I embark on the right path and that if you can’t take constructive criticism you are doomed to failure from the beginning. This part however has not worked all day coming up with, polishing and elevating an idea, followed by picking up 2 tired children and fighting them through a bedtime routine, making tea and then finally sitting down at 20.30 to present my brainchild for the praise and adulation it surely deserves?
Within 30 minutes he has pointed out all of the glaring holes (and they were pretty glaring – how did I miss them?), offered at least 10 solid alternatives of how I could be progressing (again how did not think of them?!) and then gone on to suggest some brilliant other ways I could approach things. All of this he does kindly and reassuringly (honestly if I find this so hard – how on earth do contestants on Dragons Den ever manage it?) but I still feel by the end like I have had 3 teeth pulled.
So today is a new day, back to the drawing board trying to apply my new lesson learnt of keeping a little perspective. Maybe todays efforts won’t be ‘the one’ either but if I kiss enough frogs, surely eventually I will find a prince………?