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Know Your Audience - A.K.A. When to Keep Your Mouth Shut

Know Your Audience-1

I was hanging out in the pool this past weekend with a friend (because #laborday, and also it’s Austin, and our pools are open 10 months out of the year) and we were chatting about business and private jets. You know, the usual.

He’s a very successful entrepreneur so it’s rare that our businesses (or at least his) don’t come up in conversation.

We started talking about Tony Robbins' net worth (as you do) and his private plane, and I ended up confessing that last year I had downloaded the Jetsmarter app on my phone. My intention was to signal to the Universe that a private jet was on my list of desires and if it could be so kind as to get the ball rolling on that….

And that’s when steam started coming out of my friend's ears. 

This person is one of my closest friends; I know better than to talk to him about the woo woo side of my business and my life. I know that books like Science of Getting Rich, and Think and Grow Rich not only didn’t contribute to his success, but he thinks they’re total crap. 

know your audience

Don’t worry, MANY successful people have attributed their success in part to their mindset practice and belief in the power of the law of attraction. 

But not this person. Our light conversation had now shifted and his participation in our dialogue now primarily consisted of eye rolls, nostril flares, etc. I was sure to point out both because I’m assertive and annoying like that. 

The point of this story is not to illustrate how close-minded my friend is, or how illogical I am. The point is that if mindset work and affirmations give you the necessary confidence to take action towards your goals, then DO THEM. But be cognizant of who you talk about these things with. 

If you’re reading my article, then chances are good you’ve already read Think and Grow Rich, or similar books, and understand the power of focus, intention, and affirmations. You understand that everything is just energy and we are predisposed to thrive and for the Universe to deliver to us what we need and what we ask for. 

Since you likely speak my language, listen up. It does you no good to preach about these principles to people who have no interest in hearing it. It only causes frustration for you and your friends to try and convince people of things that they firmly disagree with. 

And that’s their prerogative. This friend (and others like him) are still VERY supportive of me and my business. But in other ways. It’s important to be aware of your audience and to be intentional about what you share with them. Be it friends, family, former colleagues, etc. 

Just as you wouldn’t talk about politics with everyone in your life, it’s equally important to pick and choose who you talk to about your personal development, your beliefs, and your business goals. Some people may mean well but their form of support comes across like harsh criticism and can leave you feeling deflated and unmotivated. Again, just know your audience. 

When I first launched my business, I had one friend who openly trolled my social media posts. I don’t even think he meant it to be as malicious as it came across, I think it was his form of humor, but it was anything but supportive. And I ended up blocking him from my business page. 

You have that same right. Create boundaries to protect the things that are important to you, this includes your ideas and beliefs and goals about your business. 

I recently had a conversation with a friend about our Facebook groups for our forthcoming books, and we were discussing our process for inviting people to join. She said she had a very clear “no-invite” list, consisting of people that she knew wouldn’t be interested or supportive. And who likely wouldn’t resonate with the content enough to add or get value by being there. 

You may feel inclined to tell EVERYONE about your new business thinking that’s the best way to spread the word, but be aware that not everyone is going to get it. 

I don’t want this advice to imply that you shouldn’t post things on your personal Facebook page, and you shouldn’t share your message with the world. What I want to impart is that you should use your judgement when sharing things that are important to you, especially if they’re personal and potentially fragile like a new business idea, or a new belief system. 

Find a community of people who you can be open about these things with, and accept your existing circle for who they are. If it reaches a point that you all no longer can connect because your interests have become so polarizing then you’ll organically drift apart. But until then, know your audience, and know when to keep your mouth shut.  


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