Take Your Idea for a Test Drive

Look at the world through the eyes of a colleague or collaborator.

Do you occasionally share an inspired idea with a trusted sounding board, so you might learn how others see the situation?

When you speak with someone who sits on a different side of the table, or a peer in another industry, you’ll see the plan through another lens, which can be very revealing.

Here’s how I learned this tactic. You probably receive too many non-business newsletters, especially from retailers who twice a week entice you to shop for the latest fashion.

One way to control the distraction of such promotional emails is to create an email address with an account dedicated to that purpose. Next, you deliberately do not place that email account on your computer and phone. Instead, you only review that email on a tablet, at night, while relaxing or watching TV.

From your perspective, you are not interrupted by tempting announcements of sales and new products during your busy work day.

Now the kicker: From a marketer’s perspective, you are a dream audience. Sitting on a comfy couch, scrolling through promotional emails, you are in a much more receptive mood. When you see a photo of a fashionable jacket — voila. Immersed in news of sales, you now are more likely to shop online than when you are scrolling through emails on your phone before your next meeting starts.

How about that 180 degree turn? What started as a defensive posture has now made you a vulnerable target.

We all have a blind spot when it comes to our genius ideas. Find people who can serve as a corrective mirror. Make it a practice to ask for their perspective and see the market through their eyes.

This Month’s Tip

Who might be your sounding board? Members of networking groups. Former clients and former co-workers. Set up a phone chat with a social networking contact whose thoughtful blog posts and comments exhibit insights. The retired executives who serve as coaches at SCORE counsel business owners for free; ask to be paired with someone who worked in your industry.


Let’s test drive your newest idea. Contact me at Janet@JanetLFalk.com, set an appointment here or call me at 212.677.5770. We’ll take it out for a spin, so we can see if there are any bumps in the road ahead.

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Thanks to Joshua Sessler, whose observation inspired this newsletter.