In this mini-series, we discuss in detail what we believe to be the Seven Deadly Sins that stop Business growth in it’s tracks.  You will find these lessons to be applicable in professional and personal application.

Missed the First Deadly Sin?  Catch up here.

Missed the Second Deadly Sin?  Catch up here.

Missed the Third Deadly Sin?  Catch up here.

Missed the Fourth Deadly Sin?  Catch up here.

Missed the Fifth Deadly Sin?  Catch up here.

Missed the Sixth Deadly Sin?  Catch up here.

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Sin No. 7: Stubbornness

“There’s none so blind as those who will not listen.” ― Neil Gaiman, American Gods

Have you ever been sure of something?  We all feel “sure” about something, sometime or another in our lives.  In my experience, the more I learn the more I realize I should not ever claim to be absolutely positive about anything.  I am positive the more I learn today, the more my opinions from yesterday will differ.  If they don’t, I probably cannot claim I learned much of anything.

Let me give an example.  You come home after work and sit on the sofa to decompress.  You log on to Facebook and begin scrolling through your feed.  A story, video, or post with thousands of likes and hundreds of shares catches your eye.  You begin reading the article, wide-eyed and in shock at the news that hundreds of people have been cured of various diseases by drinking water boiled with rocks from a volcano.  Ridiculous example?  Good, I wanted it to be.  The point is we’ve all seen these posts.  How many do you believe to be true?  What is the source?  Have you ever heard of it before?  Some people take this as gospel and share it without a second thought.  How absolute would you say your knowledge of this thing is?  How unmoving in your opinion are you willing to be?  Are you willing to claim your current knowledge as an absolute?

Before I claim an absolute I put it through a test.  I ask myself: “am I willing to align my opinion with stating this is an absolute truth?”  If so, that means I believe my alignment with the topic to be absolutely, 100% accurate and correct.  Any future knowledge, opinions or revelations of any kind will be ignored because I think I have “it” completely figured out.

Examples:

  • Until 1910, Bayer sold Heroin cough syrup and believed it promoted health
  • Cocaine was in a very popular soft drink as well as appearing in many different medicines and remedies
  • It was common belief the Earth was flat.  In fact, there is a flat earth movement taking place today.  In fact, a rapper tried convincing Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson the earth was flat.  See it here.
  • I was terrified as a child when I would pull faces or go cross-eyed being silly because I was told, “if you keep doing that your face will stay that way!”
  • Do no eat watermelon seeds, they will grow in your stomach!
  • Perhaps the most famous of them all is Tobacco.  Tobacco was once called “Heaven’s herb” and “God’s remedy.”  In addition to smoking it, people used to it disinfect and treat colds

“I do not think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.” ― Abraham Lincoln

Luckily, we all got wiser with these things, right?  We let go of what we thought was right and moved forward.

Stubbornness = Bad for Business

Being stubborn and assuming we know exactly what our customers want is dangerous.  Do you own a business?  You should be constantly asking your customers a few things: what they want, what they like, and what keeps them using the product or service.  If we do not understand these things we do not understand our customers.  They are our customers until they figure out that somebody else can do it better, listen to their input, and provide superior service.  How can one be customer-focused if we do not ask them what they want?

Remember Ken Olsen, President of Digital Equipment Corp said, “there is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.”  Nowadays, millions have a computer in their hand, briefcase, cubicle, and home.  I’ll give one more blunder for an example, “the horse is here to stay but the automobile is only a novelty – a fad” – President of the Michigan Savings Bank, steering investors away from investing in Ford Motor Co.  Hearing these examples, how in-tune do you think they were with what people wanted?

Thomas Paine said it well, “To argue with a man who has renounced the use and authority of reason, and whose philosophy consists in holding humanity in contempt, is like administering medicine to the dead, or endeavoring to convert an atheist by scripture.” 

Business owners and Entrepreneurs become GURU’s by knowing what people want and delivering top-notch solutions catering to the wants of their audience.  We can only know the wants by listening.  Our products only evolve when we figure out what the customer’s pain points are.

Author:

Eskae | Creative Solution Architect @ Creative Business GURU