Criticism and Compliments

Am reading a biography of Jacques Courtin, the founder of Clarins. One thing jumped out at me as being extremely useful – that compliments keep you going, and criticisms keep you going further.

Criticism is quite hard to get – you have to ask for it actively, or spend thousands on focus groups if you’re huge and out of touch. A form to facilitate anonymous criticism on my website could be a good thing… It can take years to learn what one could have learned with one sentence from a client, family member (you know who you are), friend or best of all, a foe.

Today I phoned an old client to get a font, and the conversation turned to my new website. I sent him the secret link and asked for feedback. With this dude I know he’ll call it as he sees it, and sure enough I came away with about 5 different points  to keep in mind; the first involved the positioning of the logo and it’s now improved 200%.

But compliments are great for those dark days – as the good Mr Courtin says – they keep you going. The best ones suddenly land on you just when you think you may chuck everything and go and travel endlessly round the country, stop in towns and draw insulting caricatures, making sure to get the money upfront. The feedback will probably make me carry on… much further.

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