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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

You may never see what I see

In my last two articles (article 1 & article 2), I described that you must teach people enough that they are able to understand and agree with your vision.  Even if you teach them, they may still never see what you see or agree with your conclusions.  The data may be there right in front of them and they will just miss the conclusion or interpret it differently.

As an example, the photo above shows a picture of an animal.  The animal is large and when found in the woods is rather furry.  Everyone in this photo stopped to take their own photo of the animal and they are looking directly at it.  Can you see it?  I have described what you should look for, but I suspect many of you are missing the image.  I know I did and I took the photo.

Now look at the image again.  Start from the top and you can see the ears at a point. Coming down the wall on the right you may see back of the animal.  Keep in mind perspective is everything when you view something described to you.  The image painted by words is essential but the eye may still not see and perhaps your experiences are telling you something different.

Focus on the brightest areas in the center.  Keep in mind that everyone in this photo sees what I am describing and recognizes the animal.  The blurred visitor is moving away and on the other side.  Can you tell what the animal is yet?  One last hint is that the nose is at the top left and a little brighter than the surrounding area.

The image is a bear!  Now that I have told you what to look for and provided you with clues, I suspect many of you still do not see the bear image in this opening.  Do not feel embarrassed, it took me several minutes of someone pointing and describing before I saw the image and I was there.    

Now recall the last time you told a joke and no one laughed.  Most likely, they did not get the joke.  A worse scenario is that they got it but failed to see the humor or your delivery was all wrong.  At least you knew something was not right because of not seeing the immediate response you wanted, i.e. the laugh. 

You may never know when an investor does not get your idea or business model unless they break down and tell you.  No matter how great you are, there will always be those that miss the concepts.  If you ever learn of the confusion, you have a chance to correct it; most of the time you will never know.  Adding to the complexity, many of the people you present to will ask a friend or neighbor about their impressions of a business area.  When the response comes back negative, the investor would move on for sure.

No matter how clear your presentation or detailed your business plan, there will be some people that see something different from your vision.  You cannot convey the image to everyone the way you see it because they see something different.  Your best efforts are to learn what you can, be as clear as possible, and move on.  Maybe you will find a way to help them see the vision or convince them in the future.

  Taffy Williams is the author of:  Think Agile:  How Smart Entrepreneurs Adapt in Order to Succeed to via Amazon