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Monday, September 3, 2012

Unsolicited Advice is . . . unsolicited

 By Charna, Providence Perfume Co - 100% all natural perfume

"You should try and make your perfume's lighter.  They smell too old-ladyish."

"You know what your next fragrance should be called?  Xylophone!"

"I wish that you would make something that smelled more like perfume X."

"I wish you would make something that smelled less like perfume X."

"Are you that lady that makes all natural perfumes?  What do you have that smells like Tommy Hilfiger?"

"Are you wearing one of these perfumes that you made?  I'd like to smell it on you.  Maybe on your neck?  Are you single?"

"Why don't you try selling your perfumes at farmers markets or craft shows?"

"You should make your perfumes cheaper."

"I don't like natural perfumes.  Why can't you make something that smells like perfume X?"

"I wish you would make your perfumes lighter.  They're too strong for me.  Why don't you make a light pretty perfume?"

"I wish your perfumes lasted longer.  They fade too fast.  Have you considered making them stronger?  When I wear Curious, by Britney Spears it lasts all day!"



I've heard (or overheard) all the following comments in the past month.  Being a micro business owner requires a thick skin.  If someone doesn't like your logo or your labels or your product or your website the blame falls squarely on your shoulders.  There's no blaming Ted in accounting for a clerical error.  All business decisions are made by you.  When people offer you their sincere unsolicited advice on your business it's hard not to be offended, especially when they're criticizing something you've created.  Something that speaks to you.  Something you've toiled over and offered up on a silver platter.



And therein lies the dilemma!  It can be hard to separate ourselves from our product.  I remind myself that there is no pleasing everyone.  I do appreciate feedback, but in the end I make my own choices.  I put my head down and stick to my guns.  I try and trust my intuition and remind myself that it's gotten me this far.

6 comments:

Trygve Harris said...

You are right! It can be horrible. We had one of those today, which I fortunately didn't hear but she was insistent she should speak to me with some IMPORTANT suggestions!
Oh the huevos people have......
Thick skin indeed.

Trygve Harris said...

You are right! It can be horrible. We had one of those today, which I fortunately didn't hear but she was insistent she should speak to me with some IMPORTANT suggestions!
Oh the huevos people have......
Thick skin indeed.

womo531 said...

I think this post warrants some positive unsolicited advice: I admire your work greatly Charna and you are absolutely right to stick to your guns! I expect greatness =)

Charna said...

Thanks Trygve and womo531. Nice to hear positive feedback as well!
Charna

Suzinn said...

I love your posts and of course wish you wrote more. Oops was that unsolicited advice ;)
I've been a self employed "creative" since 1984 and it never changes. The hardest part is politely shaking off you parents "loving concern".
I look forward to meeting you and taking your class in a few weeks!!!

ona said...

It's also true that some people are just living in lala land. These types are full of ideas for all of us, but usually — oddly — most willing to dole out their advice to female business owners. At least, that's what I've observed after comparing my experiences to men in my position (graphic designer, independent contractor).

Anyway, thank you for the fun post of on this!